One of our goals at the café is to create a place for people to showcase the history of the Blue Angels and Heavenly Ski Resort. Our walls are adorned with memorabilia, all donated by our loyal customers and those we call our friends. This past week, the legendary Martin Hollay presented us with a very special piece from his past.

Who is Martin Hollay?

Martin Hollay in his workshop Image courtesy: Tahoe Daily TribuneA man in his 90’s but with a youthful soul in his 20’s, he embodies the Lake Tahoe spirit and passion for skiing. Originally from Hungary, he immigrated to the United States as a refugee like so many other Europeans at that time. He traversed all across California, as his trade was glove manufacturing and eventually landed in Los Angeles. His true passion was always skiing, and as soon as he laid eyes on Lake Tahoe, he questioned why he was living in Los Angeles. Picking up his stuff, he moved to Tahoe and got a job at Heavenly through his friend Stein Eriksen. When the Olympics arrived in 1960, Martin was the one they called upon to help lay the cross country course. Over the years, he’s helped transform Heavenly and the surrounding area. In fact, even a book was written to share his amazing story, titled “I’m so lucky! The life of Martin Hollay.” In 2002, Martin was given the honor, which he clearly earned, to run the Olympic torch across Heavenly’s base, on its way to Park City.

An original Heavenly Company Uniform Jacket

Martin Hollay Heavenly Valley Vintage Ski Jacket

Actual jacket donated by Martin Hollay

We know what you’re going to ask, “What did Martin donate to the Blue Angel Café?” Well, he gave us a Heavenly company uniform jacket from 1955. The jacket by itself is awesome, but the patch sewed on it is what makes it truly special. The logo has three blue Angels skiing, which is an iteration none of us had ever seen before. A true gem! Like so many items that adorn the walls of our humble establishment, we’re so very thankful that Martin picked us to display this amazing piece of Heavenly’s history. We hope you’ll come see it and check out what else decorates our café. Stay for a little while and grab a bite to eat while you relax and enjoy the scenery.