For Lio Delpiccolo and Grant Robbins, there will always be something majestic about creating memories on the ski hill.
For Delpiccolo, it was trekking with Robbins from their dorm at Regis University into the mountains, where Delpiccolo learned to ski. For Robbins, it was being forced by his older sister to go down difficult runs at Winter Park Resort when he was a kid.
“I think we all have those stories. It brings back memories being with families and friends,” Robbins said. “It’s fond memories that you hold onto. With this I think that’s what we tapped into.”
The two Regis graduates — along with Robbins’ wife Sara — recently released the ski film “Abandoned.”
The two-year project looks at the history of three abandoned ski areas in Colorado — Geneva Basin, Berthoud Pass and Cuchara — and examines each area’s effect on nearby communities. After recently selling out at The Oriental Theater, demand for the movie continues to grow.
Delpiccolo, a 2013 business administration graduate, and Robbins, a 2013 biology graduate, sat down with Regis.edu to discuss the movie, their journey and what might be next.
How did you start your production company, The Road West Traveled?
GR: Lio and I were roommates sophomore year and made videos throughout college. The Outdoor Adventure Program used to have an annual film festival and we’d always try and create a ski edit. After graduation, Lio and I and my wife Sara and three others from Regis took a road trip across the Western United States. People wanted to know how they could stay in touch, so we started an Instagram account called The Road West Traveled. We got a lot of people starting to follow us and message us.
Why a film about abandoned ski areas?
LD: None of us are professional skiers and we got sick of seeing ourselves on film. We were trying to find new places to go skiing one day when we saw Rock Creek Ski Area on a map and thought, “What the heck is this?” It used to be a ski resort in the 1930s. We did research and found 100s more of these places out there. We went and checked out Geneva Basin – it’s one of the ones featured in the films – and thought, “Let’s make this happen and go interview people.” It kept growing and growing, and we kept talking to people. We knew then this was much bigger than we could have imagined.
What has the response been like?
GR: A year ago I would have never thought we’d be showing it at a theater. It’s been crazy. We hoped we’d get 100 people in the door at the first Oriental show and we ended up selling out. The more and more we talked about it on our own social media, the more people would message us wanting to see it.
What’s next for you guys?
GR: We have some other big projects that we’re trying to get going. I’m a physician’s assistant and love medicine and love being a PA. I’d love to balance it and do both.
LD: My goal for the last few years has been to make filmmaking and photography my full-time job. This is a good step toward that. We have ideas for our next films and stuff.
How did Regis help you get to where you are today?
LD: It was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people in an environment that fosters collaboration. It was doing that, the OAP film festival and producing some cool videos. It was a tremendous environment that helped foster our relationship.
To see a full list of showings or a trailer for the film, visit www.theroadwesttraveled.com. For information about getting the movie shown near you, email firstname.lastname@example.org.