About the Original Tahoe Ski Bum…

 

Kenny Ski Bum

When I arrived in Tahoe over 44 years ago I was like the immigrants of old — I had 10 cents in my pocket and all my clothes had been burned up in the dryer at the old laundromat on Ski Run Boulevard. I was in a new place with no friends, family or future — just hope.

Since then, I have built myself a piece of the American dream and have made Tahoe home for my wife and three children. I have worked hard and steady and always have had at least two jobs: one in the service industry and one in the construction industry. I joined the military at age 30 and recently retired as a major with more than 20 years of service. I started a business, K & K Services, and struggled my way to the top through positive work ethics and quality service.

My wife of almost 40 years and I have raised three children here. I have written for local newspapers like “The Entertainer,” “Tahoe Daily Tribune” and “The Mountain News” all under the SKI BUM byline since the early 90’s. I have made friends as well as enemies, but one thing I have never done is compromise myself for a story nor backed down from controversy.

Always Given Back To The Community

I have always tried to do the right thing for this community, regardless of whose toes I might step on or egos I may bruise. I have always given back to the community over the years through big tips (25%), cash donations (close to $75,000 to local charities), firewood donations (more than 250 cords), free labor through my company to just about every public and private agency up here and just about every resident who has ever asked me for anything and always without question. I helped raise more than $21,000 in one day for the Angora Fire Fund and I bet you didn’t know that for the past 22 years I have cleaned up Regan and El Dorado beaches every July 5 after the fireworks.

I built my dream home, took out a second mortgage, purchased a lot and built the first multi-use, multi-family commercial building in Tahoe in over 30 years. I even won an award from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency for innovation and building.

Living The Dream & It All Came Crashing Down

I was living the Skibum dream when my little world came crashing down. I lost one of my fingers in an accident in February 2008 and I should have taken that as a bad omen of things to come, if I believed in that stuff. When the real estate bubble burst in July 2008, I was caught just like everyone else and the plunge has been fast and swift.

The weather, unlicensed contractors, locals hiring out of town workers, and loss of work due to my injury has severely decreased my ability to earn a steady income. But I persevered every day and I never gave up.

Through it all I skied every day and have averaged over 125 days a season. There is nothing better than getting on the slopes with my fellow Skibums and letting it rip. Over time the Skibum name became synonymous with my passion, my values and my way of life. I was becoming well known as ‘Kenny – Lake Tahoe Ski Bum’. I am not the only Tahoe Skibum. There are multitudes of us here in South Shore that has called this place home since the 70’s.

It was suggested to me in early day’s that I take the long history and identification with Skibum and share it with all by further development of the brand. That has led to this site and business venture.

I hope you enjoy our products and like me, continue to be a Ski Bum. Everyone wants to be a Lake Tahoe Skibum™, but never forget where you came from. Remember: Ski every run, every day and every year like it will be your last.

All the best,

Kenny Curtzwiler