VADITO, N.M. (AP) — Lloyd Bolander, the founder of Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort in northern New Mexico, died Monday at his home in Vadito. He was 86.
The resort announcement Bolander's death but did not provide any details about the cause. Bolander's family said they will announce at a later date how they plan to commemorate his life.
Sipapu managing partner James Coleman said Bolander never stopped learning and striving to be his best. The native New Mexican impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people through his work on the slopes, Coleman said.
"Lloyd was one of the last true pioneers of New Mexico. He and Olive had a vision for their family and community that they successfully brought to fruition through their vibrant spirits and sheer determination," Coleman said, referring to Bolander's wife. "That vision is carried on by his children and those of us that are blessed to be a part of his family."
Bolander grew up in Penasco and began skiing at age 3.
In 1950, he and his wife, Olive, bought 13 acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Two years later, they opened the ski area, charging at first 50 cents per lift ticket.
Over the years, they replaced the lifts, put in new trails and built by hand the resort's slope-side lodging. Eventually they opened a rental shop, restaurant and store.
His family said he was most passionate about teaching others to ski.
Bolander and his wife retired from their daily duties at the resort in 1984, but Bolander visited regularly and often helped his daughter with ski school lessons.
Bolander and his wife were inducted into the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame in 2004, and he was recognized by the Professional Ski Instructors Association last spring for 55 years of service.
Bolander is survived by his wife, his daughter and son, four grandsons and seven great-grandchildren.