Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s 2011 season opener marked the first time in 64 years that Marjorie Brown “Marnie” Jump wasn’t around to witness the festivities. Jump, of Denver, passed away in June.
Jump came to A-Basin after serving four years in the Navy during World War II. Initially she found herself in Colorado with ambitions to be a “ski bum,” her son, McCleane “Mike” Jump, told the Denver Post. But Jump’s family wealth, derived from the steel industry, enabled her to bail out the fledgling ski area, which was reportedly $45,000 in debt when she arrived.
Jump used her connections to help pull A-Basin into the black. She married Larry Jump and was named the vice president of Arapahoe Basin Corporation. In A-Basin’s first season, 1947-48, there was a single tow lift and $1.25 lift tickets. The Summit Daily News reports that an Army weapons carrier towed by a four-wheel drive vehicle was used to transport skiers to the bottom of the tow.
Larry and Marnie Jump, along with Dick Durrance and Frederick Schauffler, sold A-Basin in 1973. The Jumps stayed in Colorado, living in Denver, Georgetown and then Vail.
Throughout her life, Jump maintained a strong presence in the ski community. According to the Ski Channel, in 1957 she helped organize the first Veteran Race sanctioned by the US Ski Association. The event would evolve into the Masters Racing Series. She also founded the annual ski ball for the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame, of which she is a member. Following the Vietnam War, she established A-Basin’s program for amputee veterans, which is still active today.
Marnie Jump left behind one son, McCleane Jump, and two daughters, Patricia McCray and Alice Jump. A-Basin will designate a lift and Keystone a car on the River Run Gondola in her honor.