The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 71

The first chairlift built
in Utah, the Collins chair,
opened at Alta Ski Area for
the1938-39 ski season. Rides
were 25 cents and a day pass
cost $1.50. This chairlift was
only superceded by the one
built at Sun Valley.
photo courtesy of the University of Utah
J. Willard Marriott Library Special
Collections
1968 - Park West (Wolf Mountain, Canyons and
ultimately Park City Canyons) opens
1971 - Snowbird opens
1972 - Powder Mountain, east of Ogden, opens
(limits lift passes to 1,500/day - originally opened with
rope town service in 1959)
1974 - U.S. Ski Team moves headquarters to Park
City
skier/jumper and U.S. Forest Service advisor on winter recreational sites, cranked up the lift for the first
time and watched it as it hauled skiers uphill in red single-seat chairs hanging from droopy cables strung
from wooden framed towers. The fee: 25 cents a ride.
Little did Quinney and Engen realize they had started something much greater than a chairlift at
Alta that today garners high accolades from skiers worldwide for its storied powder runs, its skiers-only
policy notwithstanding? For that storied lift start-up and for pioneering skiing techniques that followed,
Quinney has been bestowed the name of " The Father of Utah Skiing " and Engen as " The Father of Powder
Skiing " .
There's more. Lots more.
Enter Utah's five efforts to host the Olympic winter games, a campaign begun in the 1960s primarily
to generate and garner publicity for the fledging skiing industry. The state's fifth try won the day in 1995
when Samaranch made his monumental announcement to the world that Salt Lake City would host the
2002 games.
Enter Utah's $1 billion-plus ski/ride industry of today, touted worldwide by the stalwart efforts of
the Ski Utah, the industry's promotional arm.
Enter 15 ski/ride areas and resorts, many within an hour's drive of sparkling new $4.1 billion-plus
Salt Lake City's international airport. The ski and board emporiums range from up-scale Deer Valley
(can you say $200-plus day pass during the holidays?) to Beaver Mountain, a low-key, hideaway in northern
Utah's Logan Canyon, operated since its opening in 1949 by the Harry Seeholzer family, longest such
ownership in the country.
Enter Snowbird. It gets the credit for putting Utah skiing on the international ski scene when it
opened in 1971, thanks to its 120-passenger gondola and hitherto rare contemporary commodious lodging
offerings.
Enter the behemoth Park City Resort, carrying the name of its hometown - another mining townturned
winter sports haven. This resort opened in 1963 as Treasure Mountain. It drew ohs and ahas for
offering skiers two double-chairlifts, the longest gondola in the country and a 3-mile long mine tunnel
tramway with a 1,800 ft. vertical hoist, which originally ferried miners. Over the ridge, Park City West
(later named Canyons) opened in 1968. It was morphed into Park City Mountain in 2015 when Vail Resorts
bought Park City Resort to form the largest ski resort in the U.S., serving shredders and skiers with 41
chairlifts.
Enter Deer Valley, adjacent to the bustling town of Park City and neighbor to mega-million dollar
homes, lodges and hotels. This gem etched its name on Utah's resort map in 1981. Despite its skiers-only
edict, it draws huzzahs, not for its size, but for its limited skier counts, its meticulous slope grooming, exceptional
dining, white glove service and five-star accommodations. Its cream d' la cream niche resonates
throughout the world, as evidenced by its perennial perch high - or atop - winter resort rankings in
surveys by national publications.
And, enter the 1985 launching of the Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure that affords advanced/expert
skiers the opportunity to take a guided trek for up to 25 miles and visit as many as six resorts - Alta,
Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain - in one day!
Indeed, one can select which is his or her most important point in history and which area was the
first or the best and there would be no wrong answers. Each has its rightful place in Utah's winter recreation
lore.
While the origins of skiing in the state are open for discussion, there's one thing Utah skiers and
riders know for certain: There's lot of skiing and sliding going on in Utah's " Greatest Snow on Earth " . n
About the Author:
Mike Korologos has been writing about skiing for more than 60 years. His articles have appeared in publications
worldwide. He was communications director for both the Bid and Organizing Committees for the Salt Lake Organizing
Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002. He is a member of the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame, recipient
of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Ski History Association and recipient of Ski Utah's Ski Journalist
of the Year Award. He is an honorary member of the Alta Ski School and the PRSA/Intermountain. He lives, writes,
skis and golfs in or near his hometown of Salt Lake City.
2002 - Salt Lake City and adjacent venues host
Olympic/Paralympic Winter Games of 2002
2002 - Alf Engen Ski Museum opens in the
S. J. " Joe " Quinney Winter Sports Center at Utah
Olympic Park, showcasing history of skiing in
Intermountain West
2015 - Cherry Hills Resort opens, east of
Richmond, Utah, near the Idaho border
2015 - Vail Resorts buys Park City Resort and
obtains Canyons, merges them into Park City
Mountain, largest resort in U.S.
2019 - Woodward Park City opens (year-round
action sports facility at base of Parleys Canyon summit,
site of the one-time Gorgoza tubing area.)
2019 - University of Utah ski teams win
12th NCAA skiing championships. Previous
National Championships won by Utah were in
1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1996,
1997, 2003, and 2017.
FWSA 90th Anniversary Booklet / 1930 - 2020 71
1975 - The state's various skiing promotional
efforts are combined and begin being coordinated
by Ski Utah
1981 - Deer Valley opens
1988 - Dr. Greg Thompson, Associate Dean for
Special Collections at the library and Sue Raemer,
a library staffer, launch the Utah Ski Archives
at the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott
Library. Today it is one of the country's largest
collections of skiing history
1993 - Utah Olympic Park opens at Bear Hollow -
site of luge, skeleton, bobsled, and ski jumping
venues for 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Public
rides/tours are available; athlete training site for
jumping, freestyle, luge/bobsled
1999 - Alf Engen, ski jumper, ski instructor at Alta
and powder skiing legend, is named Utah Athlete
of the Century by The Salt Lake Tribune

The Far West Ski Association Turns 90

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Far West Ski Association Turns 90

Index
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Cover1
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The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 1
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