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The Town of Vail recently issued the following press release on an installed tribute to Pepi Gramshammer and the dedication ceremony set to take place at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17 at the Children’s Fountain as part of this year’s Vail Village tree lighting ceremony:
A dedication of the newly installed tribute to Pepi Gramshammer will take place at 5 p.m. on Dec. 17 at the Children’s Fountain as part of this year’s Vail Village tree lighting ceremony. Family, friends and visitors are all welcome to attend. In addition to the dedication, the annual event includes carolers, a visit from Santa, and a countdown flipping the switch to the holiday season.
Designed and installed by Chevo Studios, the tribute is a sculpted stone column notched into an interactive stone water table at the southeast side of the Children’s Fountain. The column is a carved sinuous gesture that embodies the feeling of a ski turn with the top surface inspired by Vail Mountain’s back bowls. The word “Forever” is deeply carved into one side of the memorial as a reminder of Pepi’s legacy among his many friends and loving family.
A native of Austria, during a first visit to Vail Pepi skied down what is now part of Sun Down Bowl. After hiking back up, he said “that took forever” – hence the name of the well-known and beloved run, “Forever.”
The tribute’s location was chosen not only for its proximity to the Gasthof Gramshammer, the lodge Pepi and his wife Sheika opened the heart of Vail Village in 1964, but also as a nod to Pepi’s dedication to children and introducing skiing, particularly ski racing, to a new generation.
In addition, Pepi and Sheika were selected as recipients of the 2018 Vail Trailblazer Award. Presented by the Vail Town Council, the Vail Trailblazer Award has been established as an annual civic recognition to honor those who contribute their time and talent to make Vail a great resort community.
Pepi passed away on Aug. 17, 2019, and is missed by the entire Vail community.