The Original Tahoe Ski Bum…
When I arrived in Tahoe more 34 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 29 years and I have raised three children here. I have written for local newspapers like “The Entertainer” and “The Mountain News” under the SKIBUM byline for the past 14 years. 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.
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, cash donations (close to $25,000 to local charities), firewood donations (more than 100 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 (more than $50,000). 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 10 years I have cleaned up Reagan 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 more than 30 years. I even won an award from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency for innovation and building.
I was living the dream until about two years ago 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, if I believed in that stuff, of things to come. 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 at every opportunity. 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 me, my passion, my values and my way of life. I was well known as ‘Kenny – the Skibum guy’.
It was suggested to me in early 2015 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 am fortunate to have a great team of local advisors, web developers, artists, and supporters to get this project off the ground. They are:
Brad Jones – Independent Retail Consultant – South Lake Tahoe, CA
Kathleen “Kat” Hood – KKP Goldenconnection – South Lake Tahoe, CA
Peter Currington – Graphic Artist – Grass Valley, CA
We have developed all new graphics (with more to come). We are aligned with a state of the art digital printing and fulfillment center. We use 100% cotton with hundreds of colors and styles available.
In the near future we expect to add more exciting Lake Tahoe Skibum artwork and accessory items as we work with our development team.
I hope you enjoy our products and like me, continue to be a Skibum.
All the best,