By Matt Kroschel

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Klaus Obermeyer made his first pair of skis at 3 years old by nailing his boots to the slats of an orange crate. Now 97 years later, the ski industry comes together to say happy birthday to the living legend.

Klaus Obermeyer

Klaus Obermeyer (credit: CBS)

Sport Obermeyer – a ski clothing company he founded decades ago – still runs to this day. He can still be found on a sunny, clear day on the slopes in Pitkin County.

“Our company makes things for skiing and for the outdoors in the winter, and we are just having fun doing it and it gets better every year,” he said.

Klaus Obermeyer

(credit: CBS)

Inside the Hotel Jerome on Monday, final preparations were underway for an all day celebration to honor Obermeyer on his 100th birthday.

He came to Colorado from war-ravaged Germany after WWII and became one of the first seven ski instructors in Aspen.

Klaus Obermeyer

(credit: CBS)

“Skiing and the snow kept me here, but also we made a nice town out of it,” he said.

His clients then were the stars like Gary Cooper, Katherine Hepburn and others who helped turn Aspen into a winter getaway for the rich and famous. But, Obermeyer’s impact on the industry and Aspen goes much, much deeper.

His inventions and the business he built continues to help skiers go faster, stay warmer and the impact is felt industry-wide.

Klaus Obermeyer

(credit: CBS)

“Feels just like every great day. All days are great.”

Decades later, Obermeyer says he has a hard time finding a parking spot these days.

Matt Kroschel

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