Gravity Haus CEO Jim Deters and wife Alicia have created a globally conscious hospitality group, a modern adventurer culture and a family centered around a deep love of adventure, fitness and the planet. The couple has raised their own three children — now ages 12, 15 and 17 — with strong Colorado lifestyle values.
When asked how they did it, Jim exhales and says as parents, you have to do the work. And you have to do it early.
“When we had our first child in 2005, we thought ‘how are we going to continue to play in the mountains?’” he says. “It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s a lot of lugging gear, finding lessons, doing the schlep. It’s a lot of work, especially when you live in Denver.”
Remove the Obstacles
If you don’t spend time in nature, you don’t build that love for it, Jim adds. Removing the two biggest hurdles or excuses — lack of time and lack of money — is crucial. For families heading up the hill from the Front Range, spending time sitting on I-70 with a screaming baby stuck in the car is a nightmare way to get into nature (The traffic jam solution? Obviously, a Gravity Haus membership and discounted lodging). When kids get older and join sports teams, weekends can be dominated by soccer and baseball games.
At that stage, it’s time to divide and conquer, Jim says. The Deters daughters are elite soccer players. So when one had a game, one parent would stay behind and the rest of the family would head to the ski resort. The whole family would meet up and ski together later.
The Deters’ eldest daughter, Chloe, shredding the slopes!
“It’s so much fun ripping with all the kids,” Jim says. “It’s the one sport we can all do together. But you’ve got to commit to it, get out there and do it.”
CULTIVATE A HOMEBASE
Jim and Alicia manifested the Gravity Haus hospitality family from their own journey raising children. They saw an opportunity to help families have a homebase in the mountains, a consistent place to stay and play. Gravity Haus provides the beds, the gear, the gym, the work space as needed, healthy food and proximity to beloved Colorado peaks. And you don’t have to spend the weekend cleaning and maintaining a second home instead of playing with your family in nature, Jim says.
“Skiing a powder day is more fun,” he says.
A Deters family ski day
Ingrain a Lifestyle
Deters household values are built around fitness and wellness with a focus on being outside. Their second home in Blue River backed up to national forest and days when the kids were young were often spent exploring and building stick forts or jumping into snow piles.
“Nothing extreme,” Jim says. “None of my kids were bagging 14ers. We were just out being explorers and checking out the trails and creeks.”
De-stigmatizing Colorado “adventure” and removing that pressure to be crushing terrain parks or taking the podium in mountain bike races is important for kids, he says. “Just go out and be curious and let them be kids. Set aside egos.”
Jim, Chloe and Jake after a day of skiing in Japan.
BE STEWARDS FOR THE PLANET
Just like the Gravity Haus mantra, the Deters always stop and ask three big questions: Is it good for you?
Is it good for the planet?
Is it an amazing experience? The family has always emphasized smart choices: how they cook, how they compost, how they make low-impact conscious consumer decisions.
“We’ve always been super cognizant of what we put in our bodies, what we put on our skin,” Jim says. “We taught our kids to ask questions like where did this meat come from?”
Alicia and the kids hitting the trails!
These every day choices make an impact on the planet and an important part of parenting for Jim and Alicia has been helping their children make the smartest choice available.
So, parents, when you wake up on Saturday morning, tired from the week and you’re thinking it’s not worth the hassle to load up and drive I-70 with your toddler and his tiny skis, think about the payoff when you’re ripping the back bowls at Vail as a family ten years from now.