The Pepi Gramshammer family is hosting a memorial service for Pepi at the Vail Interfaith Chapel on Monday, Aug. 26. This event is intended for family and friends due to the space limitations of the chapel. The greater community is invited to join a Celebration of Pepi’s Life Friday, Sept. 20 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Additional details regarding the September event will be announced shortly.
As a child of Austria and the heart of Vail, Pepi passed away on Aug. 17 and is being remembered for his exceptional ski racing and for pioneering Vail’s success as an international ski resort.
For those attending the services on Monday, the Vail Police Department advises the following:
The Vail community extends its sincere condolences to Sheika and the Gramshammer family for their loss. Vail owes its present-day success in large part to the role Pepi played in building lifelong international relationships that not only brought ski racing to Vail but also lasting friendships from around the world. Without Pepi, we wouldn’t have celebrated a single world ski championship, let alone three! His legacy will be remembered forever!
Reflections from Mayor Dave Chapin
Locals and visitors young and old were always excited to see Pepi and his presence in town. Whether it was greeting guests at all the various spaces at Gasthof Gramshammer or simply walking down Bridge street people were always enamored with him and his legacy in the history of Vail. It was always about the guest experience for Pepi and he was so proud of his town and at every opportunity he would boast about Vail being the best ski mountain in the world! He will be profoundly missed.
Reflections from Council Member Kim Langmaid
Pepi was a very special person who helped create Vail’s unique mountain culture. He was one of Vail’s best ambassadors, always with a smile and a bright twinkle in his eyes. He was friends with my grandparents as they established some of the earliest ski businesses in Vail. We will miss him.
Reflections from Council Member Travis Coggin
I didn’t have the good fortune to spend much time with Pepi, other than meeting him in passing once I became a member of Town Council, but in the winter of 2017 I was asked to be Pepi’s Ski Patrol escort for the day. I was told the day consisted of meeting him and his assistant at Gondola 1, heading up Chair 3 and then skiing back down to Gondola 1. Things started out easily enough and we met and headed up Chair 3, but as soon as we got off the lift Pepi took off down Eagle’s Nest Ridge before we even had discussed our plan. I quickly followed trying to catch-up leaving his assistant no where to be seen. Pepi finally stopped halfway down Mid-Vail Express where he chatted with little kids that were skiing by, but as soon as his assistant caught up and started to lecture him he quickly took off and skied back towards the Gondola with her hollering for him to slow down all the way. Even though it was a brief memory, it is one I was fortunate to make because it seems to capture the essence of who he was and the story makes me smile every time I share it with someone new.
Reflections from Council Member Kevin Foley
When I became the general manager at the Red Lion in 1988 Pepi made it a point to walk up the street and wish me well. He said, “remember, we are all in this together!” Words of wisdom from a newfound friend! God bless him & the family!