Originally Posted by Bill Miles
Summer Road on Aspen Mt. (lower mountain on Lift 1A side) used to be called Dago Cut Road. Guess it wasn't too PC.
Monarch has a story in a similar vein of run names that get to be just too much baggage, although no racial slurs involved. In the 1980's, the run 2 slots over from the Panorama lift was called JR's run, as seen here in 1986.
By 1991, that run was now called Frazzle. It continued to be called Frazzle until 2008.
2008? Now its JR's.
Why all the changes? Because JR's references Gerald Rogers, who purchased the ski area in 1980. Why rename the run? That story gets more complex, and our story moves to Seattle. In the early 20th century, a religious sect called the Seventh Elect Church in Israel resided in the Seattle area. The sect/cult, which numbered perhaps 400 people at its peak, pooled their assets with Daniel Salwt, the messianic leader. He died in 1929. The sect, believing him immortal, refused to turn over his body to authorties, but alas, he did not resurrect.
With the leader dead, several members who had placed their assets with the church sued for their money back. They lost. Lacking their leader, the followers of the sect dwindles away, just a handful of people living on this tract of land, progressively fewer people in charge of a substantial fortune, described by this article as "church property, property in Michigan, "oil lands" in Montana, lots in Green lake and Port Angeles, a ranch near Tacoma, and "rooming house properties" in Vancouver, BC." estimates to be worth $200,000 in the 1920's. Reinvested, how much would that be worth in the 1980's? A ton.
Somebody needed to manage these assets, and to do so, the ever dwindling, getting-elderly church faithful remaining in the late 1960's hired somebody to do so. They hired Gerald Rogers.
What did Gerald Rogers do? Apparently he robbed them blind. What else did he do? Among other things, he bought a little ski area in Colorado and named a run after himself. You can also thank him and by extension the church for the Panorama and Tumbelina lifts that were installed at Monarch in the Rogers era with stolen funds.
Rogers embezzled millions from the assets of the church. He was found guilty of several counts of fraud and owed a few million to the members of the church, of which only a scant handful remained by the 1980's.
The church assumed ownership of the ski area. The name of the guy who had stolen millions from them was promptly removed from that run on the mountain. I suspect the replacement name "Frazzle," was related to what the church felt about dealing with the whole situation and finding themselves in ownership of a little ski area.
Late last decade, after several more ownership changes, apparently somebody decided to give the run back its original name. Why, I'm not really sure. But it is one hell of a story about an ill-named run.
I only found out the full story a few years back when trying to figure out why the hell a church with that odd name ended up owning a ski area that they seemed not to care about- not a penny was spent in improvements during the church years.
The run itself is pretty sweet, BTW.