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Founders of US ski areas - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Thread Starter 
I am going to keep bumping this thread once in a while as I massage the info, which is all from internet surfing or poster's inputs, therefore not definitive. Informed comments about your local ski areas most welcome.

American ski area founders and approximate start-up date (additions and corrections wanted):
Dick Hubbard started MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE SNOW BOWL, VT 1934
Perry Merill and others started Stowe, VT in 1934
Bob Bourdon, Bob and Betty Royce, Suicide Six, VT 1934
Averell Harriman,1891-1986 , founded Sun Valley, ID in 1936 (and Belleayre, NY?)
The Meads (?) founded Pico, VT in 1937
Dupree family, Seven Springs, PA 1930s (?)
Dick Hubbard, Middlebury VT 1937
Alf Engen, George Watson, Joe Quinney, Alta, 1938
Dow Gibson started Mt. Cranmore, NH 1938
Sugar Bowl, California opened by John Wiley, Hannes Schroll, Walt Disney in 1939
Winter Park, CO 1939
Fred Pabst - Big Bromley, VT 1941
Sig McGuire started the Mt. Baker ski area in 1946.
Squaw Pass, now Echo Park, in CO. was started by the Creighton family
Larry Jump and Sandy Schauffler with Max and Edna Dercum started Arapahoe Basin, CO 1946
Roland Palmedo headed a group that started Mad River Glen, VT in 1947
Friedl Pfeifer and Walter Paepcke, 1897-1960, cofounded Aspen, CO in 1947
1941—Big Bromley opens under Fred Pabst in Vermont
Everett Kirchner - Boyne Mountain, MI 1948
Alex Cushing, 1913-2006, founded Squaw Valley, CA in 1949
Chuck Stone Buck Hill MN 1954
Walter Schoenknecht, ..-1987, founded Mt. Snow, VT in 1954
Dick Bass, 1930-, founded Snowbird, UT in 1971
Ernie Blake, founded Taos Ski Valley (with wife Rhoda Blake), NM in 1955
Dave McCoy, 1915-, founded Mammoth Mtn, CA in 1955
Robert M. Barrett - Solitude, UT 1956
A group led by Harold Haynes and Perry Merrill started Jay Peak, VT in 1956
"local businessmen" founded Okemo in 1956
Smuggler's Notch, VT 1956
Group of investors including Gordon Smith started Burke Mtn, VT 1956
Walter Schoenknecht also goes with Mohawk Mtn. in CT
Brooks Dodge, George Macomber, Malcolm McLane and William Beal started Wildcat, NH 1958
Sugarbush 1958
Preston Smith, founded Killington, VT in 1958
Jim Temple, Steamboat, CO 1959
Orville and Israel Slutsky, founded (or built?) Hunter Mtn, NY in 1960
Pete Siebert, 1924-2002, founded Vail, CO in 1960
Hans Thorner - Magic 1960
Dave Judson started Otis Ridge, MA
Herbert 'Tink' Smith and Frank Snyder led the group that founded Stratton, VT in 1961
Tom Alexander opened Cataloochee, NC in 1961
? founded Crested Butte in 1961
Bill Rounds of Rounds Lumber founded Breckenridge in 1961
J.C. Blickensderfer - Loveland, CO
Irv Naylor founded Ski Roundtop, PA in 1964
Charlie Rist, Charnita/Ski Liberty 1965
Paul McCollister, 1915-1999 and Bruce Morley founded Jackson Hole, WY in 1967
Ralph Crowley, 1970? Wachusett Mtn, MA
Dick Bass and Ted Johnson opened Snowbird, UT in 1971
Chuck Lewis founded Copper Mountain in 1971
Jack Kurlander, founded Great Gorge NJ 1962 then Hidden Valley NJ 1975
Max Dercum founded Keystone (with wife Edna), CO in 1973
Jack Kurlander, founded Hidden Valley NJ 1975
Edgar Stern - Deer Valley 1981
Tim Blixseth founded the Yellowstone Club
Robert Redford, Sundance, UT
Tommy Corcoran, Waterville Valley, NH
Chet Huntley and Everett Kirchner , Big Sky, MT
Doc Brigham founded at least 1 resort in NC (Beech?) and then Snowshoe, WV
Hugh Killebrew-Heavenly Valley, CA/NV
Vern & Bobbie Sprock-Sierra Ski Ranch/Sierra-at-Tahoe, CA
Alvin Cobabe-Powder Mountain, UT
Willis Stoick - Alpine Valley, MI, and Devils Head, Wis.
James and Patricia Ganter--SugarLoaf, MI
Sam Hall - Tenney, NH
Charles Beebe - Temple, NH
Aaron Brill founded Silverton, CO in 2002
Lee Poole & Joe Vujovich founded Moonlight Basin in 2003 (ski operations started)
post #32 of 58

Loon

Sherman Adams,1965, Loon Mountain, Lincoln, NH
post #33 of 58
Caberfae Peaks was founded in 1938 by the U.S. Forest Service, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Cadillac Chamber of Commerce. No single individual. Does this count?

Nub's Nob, founded in 1958 by Nub Sarns and Dorrie Sarns.

Everett Kircher (not Kirchner) founded Boyne USA.
post #34 of 58
Jim, ask Woody on DCski (screen name bousquet19) about Bousquet in Mass -- his uncle started the place. He has some good stories.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Orville and Israel Slutsky, founded (or built?) Hunter Mtn, NY in 1960
Actually started by a consotium of Broadway and show biz stars in 1959 wth major support from the Slutskys, who were locals. The Slutzkys owned the construction company that did the work and were owed the most money when the consortium went under in 1962. That's when Izzy and Orville got thrown into the Ski area business.
post #36 of 58

Samuel Gerber Hall, the originator of Tenney Mtn, started the project of Tenney in 1959. As a Master surveyor, He, along with his son Steve Hall, surveyed the mountainside to find where the snow stayed the longest. He cut down the trees and used the lumber to build the house my grandmother lives in today, still on Tenney. He was my grandfather, and was one of the most rugged individuals anyone could ever meet. He only spoke when necessary, and his dry wit was a rarity. He had a large family, taught great values, and I had the pleasure of spending my summers working at his pole-peeling mill in Thornton, NH as a teenager. Our family are honorary sons of the American Revolution, and his patriotism to this country cannot be overstated. He has been sorely missed. I love you Grandfather.

Mark

(one of the lummoxes)

post #37 of 58
Quote:
Ralph Crowley, 1970? Wachusett Mtn, MA

The first two ski trails were cut in the 1930s by the CCC.  The state put in the first lifts and ran the ski area from 1960 to 1969.  Ralph Crowley took over management of the ski area from the state in 1969. 

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wachusett_Mountain_(ski_area)

 

post #38 of 58

Harvey Gibson, President of Hanover Bank of New York, owned Cranmore in the late '30s. I don't know if he founded the resort but he did bring Hannes Schneider to America and began the modern era of American skiing. Richard King Mellon wanted to develop his little rope tow slope operated for the Rolling Rock Club in Laughlintown near Ligonier, PA. R.K. Mellon contacted Harvey and asked if Hannes could help out. Hannes Schneider laid out Broadway and Laurel Mountain was the end result.The original ski lodge still stands and was in use during Laurel's last resurrection.

post #39 of 58

Walter Schoenknecht of Mt. Snow & Mohawk (where I grew up) -- he was a heck of a guy -- I remember when I was 6 or 7, that whenever the lines got too long, he would be out in his sweater giving folks donuts & hot cider while they waited in the liftlines.  That was a guy who really "cared."

post #40 of 58
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, the death of another of the greatest generation of ski area founders has brought to my attention the need to update list below.  Any other suggestions/updates/edits welcome. 

8/11/09: Wisp Resort officials say Helmuth Heise (1927-2009), founder of Maryland's only ski resort, has died. He was 82 and suffered from renal failure and congestive heart failure. He died on Tuesday.

Heise, known as "Ace," and community leaders, started ski area operations in 1955 in the Deep Creek Lake Area. Located on 3,080-foot Marsh Mountain, Wisp has 23 slopes and trails totaling 14 miles. Although Heise sold his financial interest in Wisp Resort in 2001, he had remained part of the resort management team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

I am going to keep bumping this thread once in a while as I massage the info, which is all from internet surfing or poster's inputs, therefore not definitive. Informed comments about your local ski areas most welcome.

American ski area founders and approximate start-up date (additions and corrections wanted):
Dick Hubbard started MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE SNOW BOWL, VT 1934
Perry Merill and others started Stowe, VT in 1934
Bob Bourdon, Bob and Betty Royce, Suicide Six, VT 1934
Averell Harriman,1891-1986 , founded Sun Valley, ID in 1936 (and Belleayre, NY?)
The Meads (?) founded Pico, VT in 1937
Dupree family, Seven Springs, PA 1930s (?)
Dick Hubbard, Middlebury VT 1937
Alf Engen, George Watson, Joe Quinney, Alta, 1938
Dow Gibson started Mt. Cranmore, NH 1938
Sugar Bowl, California opened by John Wiley, Hannes Schroll, Walt Disney in 1939
Winter Park, CO 1939
Fred Pabst - Big Bromley, VT 1941
Sig McGuire started the Mt. Baker ski area in 1946.
Squaw Pass, now Echo Park, in CO. was started by the Creighton family
Larry Jump and Sandy Schauffler with Max and Edna Dercum started Arapahoe Basin, CO 1946
Roland Palmedo headed a group that started Mad River Glen, VT in 1947
Friedl Pfeifer and Walter Paepcke, 1897-1960, cofounded Aspen, CO in 1947
1941—Big Bromley opens under Fred Pabst in Vermont
Everett Kirchner - Boyne Mountain, MI 1948
Alex Cushing, 1913-2006, founded Squaw Valley, CA in 1949
Chuck Stone Buck Hill MN 1954
Walter Schoenknecht, ..-1987, founded Mt. Snow, VT in 1954
Dick Bass, 1930-, founded Snowbird, UT in 1971
Ernie Blake, founded Taos Ski Valley (with wife Rhoda Blake), NM in 1955
Dave McCoy, 1915-, founded Mammoth Mtn, CA in 1955
Helmuth (Ace) Heise, founded Wisp (Marsh Mtn), MD in 1955
Robert M. Barrett - Solitude, UT 1956
A group led by Harold Haynes and Perry Merrill started Jay Peak, VT in 1956
"local businessmen" founded Okemo in 1956
Smuggler's Notch, VT 1956
Group of investors including Gordon Smith started Burke Mtn, VT 1956
Walter Schoenknecht also goes with Mohawk Mtn. in CT
Brooks Dodge, George Macomber, Malcolm McLane and William Beal started Wildcat, NH 1958
Sugarbush 1958
Preston Smith, founded Killington, VT in 1958
Jim Temple, Steamboat, CO 1959
Orville and Israel Slutsky, founded (or built?) Hunter Mtn, NY in 1960
Pete Siebert, 1924-2002, founded Vail, CO in 1960
Hans Thorner - Magic 1960
Dave Judson started Otis Ridge, MA
Herbert 'Tink' Smith and Frank Snyder led the group that founded Stratton, VT in 1961
Tom Alexander opened Cataloochee, NC in 1961
? founded Crested Butte in 1961
Bill Rounds of Rounds Lumber founded Breckenridge in 1961
J.C. Blickensderfer - Loveland, CO
Irv Naylor founded Ski Roundtop, PA in 1964
Charlie Rist, Charnita/Ski Liberty 1965
Paul McCollister, 1915-1999 and Bruce Morley founded Jackson Hole, WY in 1967
Ralph Crowley, 1970? Wachusett Mtn, MA
Dick Bass and Ted Johnson opened Snowbird, UT in 1971
Chuck Lewis founded Copper Mountain in 1971
Jack Kurlander, founded Great Gorge NJ 1962 then Hidden Valley NJ 1975
Max Dercum founded Keystone (with wife Edna), CO in 1973
Jack Kurlander, founded Hidden Valley NJ 1975
Edgar Stern - Deer Valley 1981
Tim Blixseth founded the Yellowstone Club
Robert Redford, Sundance, UT
Tommy Corcoran, Waterville Valley, NH
Chet Huntley and Everett Kirchner , Big Sky, MT
Doc Brigham founded at least 1 resort in NC (Beech?) and then Snowshoe, WV
Hugh Killebrew-Heavenly Valley, CA/NV
Vern & Bobbie Sprock-Sierra Ski Ranch/Sierra-at-Tahoe, CA
Alvin Cobabe-Powder Mountain, UT
Willis Stoick - Alpine Valley, MI, and Devils Head, Wis.
James and Patricia Ganter--SugarLoaf, MI
Sam Hall - Tenney, NH
Charles Beebe - Temple, NH
Aaron Brill founded Silverton, CO in 2002
Lee Poole & Joe Vujovich founded Moonlight Basin in 2003 (ski operations started)
post #41 of 58
Big Mountain ( Now Whitefish Mountain Resort because of some marketing idiots.)

Great Falls businessmen Ed Schenck and George Prentice quickly recognized the area's potential and shortly after World War II, began efforts to develop a full-fledged ski resort on the mountain. Winter Sports, Inc. (WSI) was founded on March 31, 1947 and it was a community enterprise from the start with local people selling shares of stock to meet payrolls, donating labor, preparing the slopes, even giving up free time to help push through an all-weather mountain road. On the morning of December 14, 1947, Schenck, Prentice and a thousand townsfolk stood on the slopes of the newly christened Big Mountain resort to watch the brand new T-Bar lift bring their community vision to life.
post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by gfabbri View Post

Walter Schoenknecht of Mt. Snow & Mohawk (where I grew up) -- he was a heck of a guy -- I remember when I was 6 or 7, that whenever the lines got too long, he would be out in his sweater giving folks donuts & hot cider while they waited in the liftlines.  That was a guy who really "cared."


And also pioneered the indoor ice rink and outdoor pool at a ski area!.....  Heard that he once suggested at a board meeting to drop a nuclear bomb in the valley behind Mt Snow to create more vertical!
post #43 of 58
Interesting article on Dave McCoy, who's 94 years old now.

Quote:
I was born in 1915 and spent the first few years in El Segundo, California. When I was 6, my dad quit his job at Standard Oil and got into the paving business, helping to build some of California's main highways. My mother and I traveled around with him. If he was working near a town, we'd rent a house. If the location was more remote, we'd stay in tent camps. I didn't stay in any one school more than a few months.

In 1928, my mother took me to visit friends in Independence, on the eastern side of the Sierras. I'd never seen anything like it. I loved the snow: I started dreaming about it. I said, "This is where I am going to spend my life."

When I was in eighth grade, my folks separated. It was during the Depression, and so my mom and I got on a Greyhound bus and went to meet my father's parents in Wilkeson, Washington. We got acquainted, and she left me there. I stuck around for two and a half months, but I didn't like the rain, so I took my knapsack and headed back to California. I rode with the bums on the trains, ate at their campfires at night, and listened to their stories. It was the best possible education.

I kept hitchhiking between Washington and California. When I wasn't in school, I'd take jobs on pig farms or picking fruit. I made my first pair of skis in high school shop class. After graduation, I hitchhiked back to Independence and got a job at Jim's Place, a restaurant where my mom was working. I waited tables, washed dishes, and cleaned up after it closed. That's where I met Roma -- she and her friends were cheerleaders who came in one day. She meant everything to me then. Still does. We've been married 67 years. Six children. Eighteen grandchildren. Twenty great-grandchildren.

Skiing was getting really popular, and some friends and I built portable rope tows on the north side of Mammoth Mountain. I wasn't thinking about business. I did it because it was fun.....


Read all of it here.
 
post #44 of 58
At Mount Snow, Walt used to give out freshly baked chocolate chip cookies when the lines were long. He was such a lovely man and quite the visionary. He also knew most of the regulars by name, which is very unusual.
post #45 of 58
Mt. Reba/ Bear Valley, Calif

Maury Rasmussen (passed away 1980), Bruce Orvis, and Harry Schimke, opened the ski area for business in December,1967.

Maury's sons Dennis and Clayton took over as Gen Mgr and Mtn Mgr respectively, when he died of a heart attack at the bottom of the Kodiak lift in 1980. Maury's grandson Kyle is a former US Ski Team member and Olympian. Kyle's brothers are also ex- ski racers and accomplished ski coaches.

Harry's son Bob was the ski school manager for many years. I am proud to have known and skied with all of these individuals!

The ski area is currently owned and operated by Dundee Realty, USA (who also own and operate Arapahoe Basin in Colorado) 
post #46 of 58
What a great story on Dave McCoy.  They were an amazing generation in an astounding moment in history. 

Very little of what these visionaries accomplished could be duplicated here today.  Between the cost of money and government obstacles it just wouldn't happen anymore.  Tamarack is a sad example.

Thank you all the Dave McCoys' and  your contemporaries for what you gave us all.
post #47 of 58
Walter Stopa, Wilmot WI
Amos Winter and Sub Taylor, Sugarloaf Maine.
post #48 of 58
Cool thread. I can't name any that haven't been cited already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Boyne USA founder is Kircher (no n).

Chet Huntley founded Big Sky (a sort of home town dream for the Montana native) with Chrysler Corp. as his major partner, but it foundered, never made any money and Kircher was able to buy out the major investors just three years later. It was Boyne's investments in better lifts, the tram and other facilities that turned it around.
Younger readers might be interested to know that Chet Huntley was a network anchorman. The Huntley Brinkley Report, NBC's evening news show debuted in 1956 (on the day before I was born). It was the highest grossing TV news show in the sixties. CBS Evening News anchored by Walter Cronkite moved ahead of the NBC show in the ratings around the time of Huntley's retirement in 1970, after which he founded Big Sky.
post #49 of 58
 
post #50 of 58
Think Robert Redford bought an existing ski area and renamed it Sundance. 

He made masive improvements of course.
post #51 of 58
Bill Healy founded the Mt. Bachelor ski area near Bend, OR. Read more at www.billhealyfoundation.org/billhealy.html.
post #52 of 58
A 10th Mountain Division veteran named Ernie Baumann selected the location that has become Alyeska. But he was outbid for the property at a public auction in 1956 by a group of Girdwood families that formed the Alyeska Ski Corp. A 1300 foot rope tow was the first lift. http://www.amazon.com/Alaskas-Perfect-Mountain-Stories-Girdwood/dp/0974501417
post #53 of 58
Reno Ski Bowl was founded in 1953 by my grandfather Carl F. Fuetsch.  He organized a group of friends and investors in order to begin the venture and after it was up and running he handled the day to day management of the ski area.
It was later renamed Slide Mountain Ski Area.  In 1964 Mt. Rose ski area was formed on the north face of Slide Mountain and in 1987 the two areas were finally merged into one.
post #54 of 58
1938, Walter Stopa Wilmot Mountain, WI
post #55 of 58

The Birth of a "Huge Public Playground"
In 1938, ski pioneer and Forest Service recreation advisor Alf Engen and several other Forest Service employees hiked into Wheeler Basin and determined that it was an excellent location for a ski area. A contest was held to name the new ski area. Imagining a natural basin filled with winter snow that would melt into clean, pure drinking water, Geneveve Woods won the contest with her entry, "Snow Basin." Soon, Snow Basin had earned the reputation of, as one local reporter called it, "a huge public playground."
Snowbasin History — The 1940s brought many exciting and crowd drawing changes to "Snow Basin."

1940s — Excitement and Expansion
Snow Basin's first ski tow was in operation by 1939. As word of Snow Basin's pristine powder spread, the area began attracting more and more visitors. In 1940, Engen and the Forest Service supervised a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) crew in building an access road to the resort.

Snow Basin hosted its first ski race in December 1940, attracting 75 racers. The following year, Engen and the CCCs cut more ski runs, including the very steep run off of Mt. Ogden that is now part of the 2002 Olympic downhill course. Sverre and Corey Engen opened Snow Basin's first ski school in 1941.

Construction of the mile-long Wildcat chairlift began in 1941, but was halted with the advent of World War II. The Forest Service closed the ski area for the duration of the war and reopened it in 1945. The Wildcat chairlift was completed and dedicated in 1946.

post #56 of 58
Thread Starter 

Obit:  Marnie Jump; helped found Colorado ski resort; at 92

By Virginia Culver

Denver Post / June 30, 2011

 

 DENVER — Marnie Jump, who with her husband and two other men founded Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, died at her Denver home last Thursday. She was 92.

 

After serving as a communications instructor in the US Navy during World War II, Mrs. Jump came to Colorado “to be a ski bum,’’ said her son, McCleane “Mike’’ Jump of Orrville, Ohio.

 

Shortly after she arrived in Colorado, she met Laurence Jump; they, along with the two other men, Dick Durrance and Frederick Schauffler, started the ski corporation.

 

Marnie Jump was from a wealthy steel family, and she funded the venture, said her daughter, Alice of New York. Arapahoe Basin opened in the 1946-47 season with a rope tow.

 

Mrs. Jump taught her children to ski when they were as young as 3, Alice Jump said. Her mother still skied in her 80s.

 

Marjorie McCleane Brown was born in Pittsburgh. She graduated from Bennington College in Vermont. In 1942, she joined the WAVES and served in Florida, Massachusetts, and Hawaii.

 

Her husband died in 1989.

post #57 of 58

Leigh Nelson, Welch Village, 1965, Welch, MN

Dick Kessler, Coffeemill Ski Area, ?Year? the 70's, Wabasha, MN

post #58 of 58

Hi Mark, noted your message about the founder of Tenney Mountain. Was in the army with Son Steve Hall. He was the best man at my wedding (first wife). Would like to contact him.

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