Bill Bergman - Keystone Cofounder

Passing Date

Bill Bergman

Keystone Resort Cofounder and First President


Bill Bergman, the cofounder of Keystone Resort in Colorado, died December 11, 2023, at his home in Keystone. He was 99.


Born in Iowa, Bergman attend the University of Iowa on athletic scholarships. After one year, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, serving as a lead navigator in B-24 bombers stationed in Italy.


After the war he returned to the University of Iowa, where he met his wife and business partner. In 1949, Bergman became a lawyer and worked out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but started taking annual ski trips to Summit County, Colorado.

The couple purchased a cabin near Arapahoe Basin, the only local ski area at the time. Bergman befriended A-Basin’s Max Dercum, who had a vision of opening a larger ski area down-valley. The search for investors started in 1968. Keystone opened in 1970. Bergman served as Keystone’s first president, and as board chairman for six years. Jane was the resort’s first chief marketing officer. In the 1970s, Bergman helped establish several now-standard practices for resort development: extensive snowmaking coverage and environmentally friendly trail designs.


In 1997, Vail Resorts acquired Keystone. In 2004, Little Bowl was renamed Bergman Bowl. And in December 2023, Keystone christened the new Bergman Express lift.


In addition to his love of skiing, Bergman was an elite golfer and competed in the U.S. Amateur Championship and the British Amateur Championship. Bill and Jane moved permanently to Keystone after Bill’s retirement. Jane passed in 2015.


In 2012, Bergman was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in the Sports Builder category.