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University of Utah

1993 University of Utah Acknowledgement Award  | 1993 Ski Affair Photos

1993 Ski Archives Historical Achievement Award

  • Alta Ski Area
  • Beaver Mountain
  • Brighton
  • Magic Mountain
  • Snowbasin
  • Snow King
  • Sun Valley
  • Sundance

In the beginning...there was snow in the Rocky Mountains. Then came skiing...and ski area pioneers.

Alta,one of the nation's first and best ski areas, it is world renowned for its powder snow offerings. Romantic Alta! In 1938 a group of Salt Lake City businessmen formed the Salt Lake City Winter Sports Association to develop Alta and provide a place for the citizens of the Salt Lake Valley to ski. The Collins lift began operation in 1939, thus becoming only the second chair lift in the nation. "Alta is for skiers"-the slogan says it all.

Clip From Alta Photo Collection

Beaver Mountain began operation in the late 1930s as a collective effort between the Mt. Logan Ski Club and Logan City. In the early 1940s, Harold and Luella Seeholzer purchased the cable tow and entered the ski business. Together with their four children, the Seeholzers built a local area that continues to serve the residents of Cache Valley and the surrounding area. Although Harry Seeholzer died in 1968, the family continues to work together and fulfill Harry's dream-that of making Beaver Mountain a great place to ski.

Clip From Beaver Mountain Photo Collection

Brighton was born in 1943 when Zane Doyle borrowed money to purchase a cable tow at Brighton from K. Smith who was serving in the armed forces in Europe. For decades Zane worked other jobs while he and his family labored to make the Big Cottonwood ski area popular among the locals and known as "the place Salt Lake learned to ski." The operation was sold in 1987, but Zane's sons, Mike and Randy Doyle, continue to operate the ski area as an impressively expanded "local's reatreat."

Clip From Brighton Photo Collection

Magic Mountain is located thirty five miles south of Twin Falls, Idaho, Magic Mountain was built and operated by ski pioneer Claude Jones. Over the years Jones constructed a variety of lifts , including rope tows, a jig-back tow, and a jig-back t-bar. Eventually a Constam t-bar was added, as well as a Poma surface lift and a double chair. The day lodge that still warms chilled skiers is the original built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). Today the Magic Mountain enterprise is owned and operated by Marty and Sheri Jacobs.

Snowbasin was founded by Ogden City as a winter entertainment locale for its citizens, Snowbasin has its roots imbedded in 1939 rope tows on City Hill and Becker Hill. The first chair lift was installed there in 1948. Corey Engen was founding director of the ski school who hired Earl Miller as one of his instructors. Miller served as ski school director for many years until retiring. Snowbasin went into private hands in 1955 when Sam Huntington purchased the area. The area now is owned by the Sun Valley Company and is being touted as an Olympic venue should Utah be named host of the 2002 Winter Games.

Clip From Snowbasin Photo Collection

Snow King was operated by the local ski club during the mid-1930s. its uphill transportation in those days was the same as down-on skis! In 1939 the Jackson Hole Club asked for bids to construct an uphill facility for the hill, and Neil Rafferty, a member of the ski club, submitted the only plan that included a drawing. That so impressed the members of the Club, that he was selected to build the lift that hauled its first skiers during the winter of 1939-40.

Sun Valley is a world famous, luxurious winter playground is known as America's first destination ski resort. In the mid-1930s, the chairman of Union Pacific Railroad, Averell Harriman, sought a way to boost tourism and passenger travel, so he set out to develop an area on the railroad's western line that would serve up the alluring grandeur and seclusion of a European alpine resort. Sun Valley was born when its Proctor lift began operation in the closing days of the 1936 season. It was the first such chair lift in the country. Seclusion-bent movie stars and author/resident Ernest Hemingway helped make it famous in its early days.

Clip From Sun Valley Photo Collection

Sundance was known as Timp Haven in its early days. On terrain known as Stewart's Flat, Ray and Ava Stewart purchased a rope tow in 1944 for $125 and launched their foray into the ski business. To help keep the tow operating, Ray worked nights at the newly constructed Geneva Steel plant in nearby Orem. During the day Ray, Ava, and their children worked long, hard hours to provide a place for the residents of Utah Valley to ski. the first year of operation required skiers (and the Stewarts) to hike nearly a mile from parking to the rope tow. The rest, as they say, is history.

Clip From Sundance Photo Collection

1993 University of Utah Acknowledgement Award

  • Joe Quinney

Maybe it's their dogged determination or their incredible foresight, or their unbending spirit of adventure...whatever, pioneers seem to perpetuate dreams. Such is the case with the late S.J. Quinney. The prominent Salt Lake attorney was an original incorporator of the Salt Lake Winter Sports Association in 1938, which later became the Alta Ski Lifts Company. He and others set out to develop Alta after the Union Pacific Railroad selected Sun Valley for development instead of Alta, Brighton, or SnowBasin.

"Joe" was secretary-treasurer of the incorporating group from 1939 to 1958 and served as president of Alta Ski Lifts from 1958 to 1980. In 1967, he drafted Utah's Passenger Tramways Safety Bill that became law in 1969 and is regarded as one of the finest tramways laws in the country. A member of the Utah Ski Hall of Fame, Joe was born in Logan in 1892. He was graduated from Utah State University and served in the Army during World War 1. He was graduated in 1919 from Harvard University with a degree in law. While in school, he married Jessie Eccles and in 1919 passed the Utah Bar and opened his law practice in Salt Lake City. He served in the Utah House of Representatives in 1921. In 1967 he was the recipient of the Winter Sports Award of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. He died in November 1984 at the age of 92.

That was then, this is now: the S.J. and J.E. Quinney Foundation is the single largest contributor to the University of Utah Marriott Library Ski Archives Program, having given $85,000 since the fall of 1988. Funds from the foundation are providing the financial base necessary for the archives' many endeavors, including the oral history program, general collection development, and preservation of the archives.

The archives can always use more support and encourages DONATIONS to help process collections from around the region as well as pursue other material. Thank you for your support and hope to see you this coming season.