42.8 F
Tahoe City, CA
Thursday, April 27, 2017

The club

I have never turned down the infrequent offer of a free ride in a private jet. Laurie and I were living in Vail and enjoying the good life of skiing every day, many of which were with our friends, Jack and Joanne Kemp. Jack had introduced me to someone with a wild idea to build a private ski resort in...

Take your kids skiing

“The good side of it is that you spent all of those great times skiing together until he started to find out about girls and snowboards, in that order.” I watched the heavily laden SUV with sagging springs park a few cars away and Mom, Dad and five kids started pulling out skis and stuff. The oldest kid had a...

Ice wagon

I am in the final stages of editing my biography after a 4-year struggle writing about the ups and downs through a lot of years: much fun, some pathos. Some parts of my life are probably only interesting to me, but I’ve put it all down, never the less. I have been privileged to live through a lot of changes...

Birth of a Ski Resort

I was lucky to witness the growth of skiing from less than 15 chairlifts in America to more than 400 ski resorts in America today. It is important to note, however, that less than 30 years ago, there were just more than 1,200 ski areas, but with insurance and federal regulations, many of them had to close. Those were the...

The Pursuit

The 20-foot Pursuit (my old camera boat) was loaded to the Plimsoll mark as we moved away from the launching ramp in Anacortes, Wash. I didn’t know it at the time, but this exploration of the San Juan Islands, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island in this small boat would change my life forever. I had no idea whatsoever that...

Art for sale

If I had to make a living with my artwork, I could do better with a cardboard sign and a beard at a boulevard stop somewhere. When I was only 10-years-old and living with my grandparents and my great uncle, I used to watch him make wonderful pen and ink drawings in his diary. I tried in my own crude...

Publications

The first of the season edition of Ski Magazine and The Ski Journal dropped into my post office box last week, but, unfortunately, it is still 105 long days until mid-December when many of America’s ski resorts advertise they will open. There are a few of them at oxygen-starvation altitudes that will open earlier and some that are in...

Pomona jumping

The many twists and turns of the Pasadena freeway were now behind me as I drove up to the front door or the five-star Huntington Hotel in my high mileage, 1950, fire-engine red Chevy panel delivery truck. I already had more than an hour of driving in Southern California traffic behind me, and my eyes were burning badly from...

Ambition

Stepper Hall, the son of some friends of ours in Montana, sent me the following e-mail, “I’m writing my senior thesis on small business in the ski industry and I’d like you to help me with the question: ‘How can a small ski business survive in the ski industry that is dominated by a few big companies?’ ” Most of...

Ski migration

I think migration to the far away, snow-covered mountains of the West really began in a railroad yard in Omaha, Neb., during the summer of 1936. It began immediately after Averill Harriman, whose father owned the Union Pacific Railroad, financed the construction of America’s first destination ski resort, Sun Valley, Idaho. Steve Hannagan, Averill’s public relations genius told him, “no...