Last week’s article on Park City ski runs and lifts focused on names inspired by Park City’s mining past, such as Sampson, Red Fox, Hawkeye, Hidden Splendor, Webster, Shamus, Liberty, and Seldom Seen, all from old claims on or near the land that is now the resort. Many runs and lifts, however, were named after people and honor the movers and shakers who shaped local skiing history.
Mel Fletcher, an early Park City ski jumper, Ski School Director at Snow Park in the 1940s and ‘50s and head of the ski patrol at Treasure Mountains, is the namesake for Mel’s Alley.
In 1974, the United States Ski Team moved its headquarters to Park City and racers lived in the old Silver King Mine boarding houses. There was once a Ski Team Lift honoring their presence.
Willy’s Run was known by old timers as Ladies’ GS and was renamed for Willy Schaeffler, long-time supporter of the U.S. Ski Team. The story I heard at the time was that a men’s Giant Slalom race was to be held on the Ladies’ GS run, but the European men who were to race had such macho egos they didn’t want to race on a “ladies’ run” so the name had to be changed.
The old Men’s GS on Ski Team Ridge is now calledErika’s Gold and was renamed for Erika Hess when she won six gold medals in World Cup Competitions.
McConkey’s Bowl for many years has honored Jim McConkey, “father of extreme skiing” who once headed the Ski School at Park City.
In 1974, Nick Badami purchased Park City Ski Resort. His son, Craig Badami was Vice President of Marketing. Craig was killed in a helicopter accident while clearing temporary structures from a World Cup event. Eagle Lift and Eagle Race Arena recall Craig’s vision in bringing the excitement of World Cup ski racing to Park City. CB’s Run is the race hill that was once called Gotcha Run and the z-shaped Gotcha Cutoff is the easier way down.
Jonesey’s is affectionately named for Phil Jones who came to Park City as a ski instructor in the early days, was 1971 National Ski Instructor of the Year, and became President and General Manager of Park City Ski Area.
Hot Spot gets its name not from a person but from an usual development when the King Con runs were constructed. The vegetation debris was bulldozed into the canyon and covered with a shallow layer of soil. As the vegetation decomposed, it created heat that melted the snow and caused trouble. There was no spontaneous Combustion, but that nearby run’s name recalls the difficulty.
As you ski Park City this winter, remember that the name of nearly every run and lift has a story behind it. Have fun on the slopes!