Heavenly Ski Resort recently held a ceremony at the top of the mountain as a trail was dedicated to the 96-year-old local legend, Martin Hollay. Martin hit the slopes for an impressive 100 days last winter. After leaving Hungary and settling in Lake Tahoe in 1958 he eventually settled in the peaceful South Lake Tahoe where he could enjoy the relaxed mountain lifestyle.
Martin helped cut the runs at Squaw Valley for the 1960 Olympics, worked at Harvey’s parking cars and then worked part-time at Heavenly just for the free pass. Not only did Hollay help cut many of the Nevada Runs at Heavenly but he also worked on ski patrol there for decades. Martin commenced working full time at Heavenly in 1964 where he eventually retired in 1990. Since his retirement, he has continued to ski the resort as much as possible stating that his favourite run is the Lizard Run.
“My favorite run is Lizard Run,” Hollay said. “My knees tell me go up once more, or go home.”
The Lake Tahoe community got together to sign a petition to name a trail honouring Hollay and obtained more than 1,300 signatures in only a few months. Hollay has been very much involved with the local community in Lake Tahoe and after the immense response to the petition, Heavenly decided to dedicate a trail to the legend. The dedicated trail is full of trees that he planted himself. The dedicated trail leads to a peak Hollay has long referred to as “Martin’s Peak”.
As an added honour, Heavenly gave the legend a brand new Hungarian flag to replace the tattered flag at the top of the peak with. Hollay did not waste any time and along with friends, family and co-workers, he climbed to the peak to place the new flag. Martin also received thanks and a special mention from Vail Resorts and the local mayor.
“Your life is and continues to be extraordinary — and that’s an understatement,” said Mike Goar, Tahoe-region vice president for Vail Resorts and Heavenly COO. “Thank you for everything you’ve done in creating this world-class ski resort that everyone is so proud to be a part of.”
Keep getting out there Martin Hollay, every time that you get out there skiing you continue to motivate and inspire others to do the same.