This news article origingally ran in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.
Written by John Stroud
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Longtime Sunlight Mountain Resort general manager and part owner Tom Jankovsky joins a group of seven new inductees elected this week into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame.
Jankovsky, who is also a Garfield County commissioner, has been general manager of the Glenwood Springs resort since 1985.
He became part of Sunlight’s ownership group in 1988, and has also served on the Colorado Ski Country USA board since the late 1980s.
“I was honored just to be nominated, and to be named to the hall is a real honor and a surprise,” Jankovsky said.
“It’s always been a business I love. It’s a challenge, the people are great, and I enjoy going to work every day,” he said.
Jankovsky has been in the running for the honor for the past three years since being nominated by Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association President and CEO Marianne Virgili.
She nominated Jankovsky in the category of “Sport Builder,” acknowledging his work to “innovate, re-invent and keep Sunlight as a viable business.”
“For a quarter of a century, Tom has championed the ski industry in general, and small ski resorts in particular,” Virgili wrote in her nomination letter.
In particular, she noted Jankovsky’s work as a Ski Country board member to create the Gems ski package, which focuses attention on the state’s smaller resorts.
He was also influential in creating the organization’s Fifth Grade Passport program, which provides free skiing for fifth-graders at participating resorts around the state.
Sunlight itself offers a free season ski pass to fourth-grade students in the Roaring Fork Valley area.
“The idea is to try to perpetuate the sport, and provide a way for young skiers to learn and grow into the sport,” Jankovsky said.
Jankovsky began his career in 1973 as a lift operator and later mountain operations manager at Arapahoe Basin in Summit County, where his uncle was general manager at the time.
Jankovsky was then hired in 1980 as general manager at the small Eagle Crest ski area in Juneau, Alaska. He spent four years there, learning the ins and outs of ski area budgeting and marketing, before taking the job at Sunlight.
“Tom remembers that it is not always the business side that keeps him excited after 25 years,” Virgili wrote in her nomination. “He still manages to get 50 or more days on the mountain and approaches opening day with nervous excitement every year.”
Jankovsky is joined in this year’s hall of fame class by Bill Bergman, who helped create Keystone Resort; Toby Dawson, a 2006 Olympic bronze medalist in freestyle skiing; Jerry Gart, founder of Gart Bros. Sporting Goods; Paul Testwuide, former Vail ski patrol director and now chief operating officer; Ralph Walton, owner of Crested Butte Mountain Resort and a former Colorado Ski Country USA board member; and Denver Post skiing reporter John Meyer.
The group was elected from a total of 20 nominees this year.
“I’m honored to be part of that group,” Jankovsky said. “It will be a fun group to be inducted with.”
The formal induction ceremony is planned for the fall.