Ski Train, Club, + Shop

It was a snowstorm that frustrated Frank Bulkley in his job of selling flying lessons one day in 1939 and inspired a visit to a private school run by an aunt. There he talked the students into trying skiing, and thus was born Denver's famous Eskimo Ski Club.

“If you had enough nerve, you pointed your skis straight downhill. If you had enough sense, you figured out how to turn”

Frank Bulkley II

The process of getting city youngsters to Winter Park led to Frank's founding of the ski school there and his selling the Denver and Salt Lake Railroad on the idea of a ski train. Bulkley started using the Denver + Rio Grand Western Railroad to bring kids to Winter Park on Saturdays. He soon opened the Eskimo Ski Shop, which was the first in the nation to offer season rental equipment.

It is estimated that over 250,000 youngsters have been introduced to skiing and boarding through the Eskimo Club. At the Ski Train's peak it packed almost 20 coaches with as many as 1,600 kids each sporting either green, blue, black or the coveted race-ready rainbow patches on their jackets reflecting their skiing prowess. It is said Bulkley blazed the trail for countless kids and the Winter Park Ski Train had become a Denver institution.

For his success in introducing thousands of children to the sport of skiing, Bulkley was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1978, “the first living inductee” he would chuckle!

Unfortunately, after 79 years in operation, in 2018, with new operators of Winter Park, the Eskimo Ski & Board Club was told that, even though the area covers over 3000 acers, there was no longer enough room for the club. The club headquarters, which has always been the heart and sole of the Club, occupied about 900 sq. ft. The Club has had to disband.  "Money wins every time" said Frank III.