Christopher S. Diamond, 76, of Steamboat Springs, CO, died peacefully in his home on January 12, 2023, a perfect bluebird day and fittingly, the 60th anniversary of Steamboat Ski Resort. Chris was born in Danbury, CT, but spent his childhood in Easthampton, MA. Chris graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, where he proudly warmed the bench for Williston’s undefeated 1964 football team. After Williston, Chris attended Middlebury College on scholarship. He served as the social chair and cook for his beloved fraternity, Alpha Sigma Psi, also remembered fondly as “the slughouse.” Chris graduated from Middlebury with a commission from ROTC and he received his notice to report for active duty in January of 1970, interrupting his masters from UMass Amherst. He served in Vietnam with the US Army as a first lieutenant and became platoon leader in a joint unit formed between the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and the 510th Signal Company. As a result of his service in Vietnam, he was awarded the bronze star and commendations. Upon returning from active duty in 1972, Chris completed his master’s at UMass. His interest in academics waning, Chris took a role as the assistant to Killington Mountain Resort founder Preston Smith. In 1977, he became the general manager of Mount Snow in West Dover, VT. Chris would go on to hold multiple leadership positions for S-K-I Ltd. and American Skiing Company before assuming the role of managing director at Steamboat Ski Resort in 1999. He continued his career as president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski Corporation until his retirement in 2015. During his career, Diamond also served as chairman of the National Ski Areas Association and of Colorado Ski Country USA. In 2013, he was recognized with an NSAA Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame in 2017. After retiring, he consulted with resorts ranging from the Sun Valley Company to Schweitzer. He also became an award-winning author, writing two books (Ski Inc. and Ski Inc. 2020) chronicling the resort business and his career in it. Chris served on numerous boards in the Yampa Valley including the Routt County Airport Advisory Commission, the Steamboat Chamber (past president), the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and Strings Music Festival. In addition to Chris’ passion for skiing and the ski industry, he was an avid cyclist and sailor. He took up sailing in his 20s and went on to compete successfully nationally and internationally. Chris is survived by his wife of 44 years Eileen Diamond; his sister Barbara Diamond; his two children Keenen Diamond and wife Mandy, and Elizabeth Diamond and husband Peter; and his two grandchildren, Kaden and Makayla. Chris was preceded in death by his father James Diamond, a World War II veteran who landed on Omaha Beach; and by his mother Mary Diamond, a social worker who played a lead role at Children’s Aid and Family Services in Northampton, MA. Chris was a beloved father and husband, a faithful friend, a thoughtful leader, and a true visionary in the ski industry. The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Strings Music Festival or to the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado.
Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community