Art Furrer - Skiing Acrobat
Art Furrer grew up in modest circumstances in a small town on the edge of the Altesch, the largest glacier in the Alps. As one did and does in these remote mountain areas, he taught skiing to tourists and even wanted to be an Olympic racer, an ambition that he didn’t quite achieve. But he could ski, with a distinct flair for the theatric. He wanted to show tourists that skiing was fun, not just the rigid application of rules. His entertaining, highly acrobatic antics won many admirers, but not among the leaders of the Swiss ski instructors’ association, a dour lot in those days, who finally expelled him from their ranks. There he was, a ski teacher without a license to earn a living. His response was not obvious: without knowing a word of English, he emigrated to America and in the free and easy world of US skiing in the 1960s, the “crazy Swiss guy” and his acrobatic style were welcomed with open arms. Soon he was earning more than he’s ever imagined, with clients ranging from the Playboy clubs to the Kennedys. That might have been achievement enough for some, but Furrer was homesick. He returned to his mountains and began a second, or is it third, career as a hotelier, building up an impressive portfolio of hotels that reflect his flair and his undiluted joy for living. Art Furrer: a lesson in doing what you love no matter what obstacles come up.