Robert S. DesLauriers, 1983
Extreme Skier, Real Estate Developer
Extreme skiing pioneer turned professional ski mountaineer and real estate entrepreneur; Rob DesLauriers ’83 has skied from the summit of Mount Everest, brokered over $500 million in real estate transactions, and developed two luxury condominium hotels at the base of Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Rob’s life-long love affair with skiing began at the age of two on the slopes of Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont. His parents owned, and operated the beloved ski area, giving Rob and his siblings the opportunity to ski almost every day during the winter. Rob entered Vermont Academy as a junior and made an immediate impact as captain of VA’s NEPSAC championship alpine ski team. He competed in varsity soccer and tennis when he wasn’t on the slopes and graduated as Valedictorian of his class. He went on to earn a degree from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in 1987.
As a professional extreme skier from 1988 to 2000, Rob was a featured skier in Warren Miller films and eventually starred in over 20 ski films. He produced five films as a member of The North Face Alpine Team and served as the founder and director of world wide Extreme Skiing Advanced Ski Clinics from 1990-2000. Powder Magazine designated DesLauriers a “Top 50 Skier in North America” in 1998. An avid cinematographer, Rob founded Straight Up Films with his brothers Eric and Adam. DesLauriers documented the first snowboard descent of Artesonraju in Peru, and in 1999 released a backcountry adventure documentary "Higher on the Mountain". DesLauriers and Eric also co-wrote Ski the Whole Mountain in 2002, a book on how to ski any terrain. Rob met his wife, Kit in 1999 while on a mountaineering trip to Mount Belukha in Siberia. He accompanied Kit, an accomplished skier in her own right, on her quest to become the first person to ski the highest summits on all seven continents, providing video documentation of her feat. With Kit, Rob has skied down Vinson Massif in Antarctica; Mt. Elbrus, Russia; Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Denali, Alaska and Mount Everest, Nepal.
In 2000, Rob shifted his focus to real estate and the development of the Teton Mountain Lodge, a AAA Four Diamond award-winning condominium hotel resort located at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He completed his second Jackson Hole hotel development project in 2008 with the opening of Hotel Terra. Terra is a sustainably designed and operated, Silver-LEED certified condominium hotel with modern mountain sophistication located slopeside to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Rob also founded Teton Village Realty in 2003, which he sold to Sotheby's International Realty in 2010. This past summer, Rob sold his Jackson based hotel management company to have more family playtime.
Currently working as a broker at Sotheby’s, Rob and Kit live, ski and play with their two young daughters at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. For his pioneering achievements in the world of extreme skiing and his accomplishments as a real estate entrepreneur, Vermont Academy is proud to honor Robert S. DesLauriers ’83 with the Florence R. Sabin ’89 Distinguished Alumni Award. Awarded September 2015