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Gary Mayer honored at Boston Ski Expo

Photo courtesy of Karen Lorentz
Betsy Brauer looks on as Bernie Weichsel presents local Pittsfield resident and Killington business owner Gary Mayer with a 2012 BEWI Award at the Ski and Snowboard Expo.

Pittsfield resident and Killington businessman Gary Mayer was surprised to be honored Nov. 9 with the 29th annual BEWI Award at the Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo.

Bernie Weichsel, president of BEWI Productions which produces the show, presented Mayer with the award in recognition of 30 years of event management and troubleshooting service for the various BEWI shows.

In making the presentation, Weichsel credited Mayer for helping to make the shows a success and run smoothly, also noting he was "shocked to see Mayer in a jacket and tie for the first time."

Some 150 industry friends and family members were on hand for the luncheon, with wife Sharon and daughter Lauren surprising him and bringing along the jacket and tie for the occasion.

In his acceptance speech, Mayer noted he was tipped off just prior to the luncheon, saying he normally would have been working at the show and not have enjoyed the great lunch at the Seaport Hotel.

Mayer told the Mountain Times that he moved to Killington after college to become a ski bum and worked for Victor Kalina at the Trailside Lodge, beginning in 1981.

"That was where I met Bernie," he said of the days when he clocked 150 days on snow annually, readily confessing to being a "true ski bum."

One of the good things to come out of his Killington days was meeting his wife Sharon at the old Cabana Bar (by the Killington tennis school courts). Since then he has given up tennis for golf, started the Killington Taxi Service in 1987, and has also owned the Baja Burrito in the Chalet Killington since 2008.

He still skis (not as many days though) and notes that he "loves the 16-hour day ski shows," where he sees people year after year. "I'm terrible on names but great on faces," he said of enjoying reconnecting with those in the ski business and working with exhibitors.

Also accepting a BEWI Award was Betsy Brauer of Wisconsi. She has been with the shows for over 30 years and helped talk Weichsel into taking on ownership of the Boston and other shows.

Weichsel is also a familiar face in Killington as a skier and owner of units at the Inn at Six Mountains. He will be honored by the New England Ski Museum on Nov. 17 with the museum's Spirit of Skiing award in recognition of his influence in popularizing the sport.