Vermont Business Magazine The who's who of Vermont's ski and snowboarding world will gather at Timberline Lodge at Bolton Valley Resort on Saturday, September 24th to celebrate the Induction of the class of 2022 into the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. The event, hosted by the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe, will also honor the recipients of the Paul Robbins Journalism Award and Bill McCollom Community Award. One of the highlights of the event will be the premier of short biographical films created for each inductee shown before their acceptance speeches.
This year's Hall of Fame inductees include Bolton Valley Resort's founder Ralph DesLauriers, Olympic ski jumper, entrepreneur, and Norwich native, Jim Holland, Olympian, TV announcer, and movie star from Rutland, Rip McManus, and Mad River Glen ski area visionary, Betsy Pratt. The Paul Robbins Journalism Award is going to ski writer and author, Greg Morrill, of Stowe. The Bill McCollom Community Award will be presented to the Catamount Trail Association.
Since 2002, the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame has recognized more than 78 people who have made snowsports history in our state. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor athletes, special contributors, and pioneers of Vermont skiing and riding who promoted and/or contributed to the sports in Vermont; to document the histories of Inductees in the Museum's collection, and to recognize their accomplishments through the Induction Ceremony. The Hall of Fame committee looks at candidates in three categories: Athletes, Pioneers, and Special Contributors.
All are welcome to join the Inductees and fellow ski and snowboard history buffs at a reception and Induction Ceremony on September 24th at 5:00 PM. Hearty appetizers and hors d'oeuvres will be served accompanied by live music. Vermont beers and signature cocktails will be available at a cash bar. A 2022/23 Bolton Valley Season Pass will be raffled. Tickets are limited and usually sell out. For tickets and more information about the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, visit www.vtssm.org. Sponsors include Casella Resource Solutions, Bolton Valley Resort, and Windows and Doors by Brownell.
Ralph may very well be the last ski area founder alive today who still owns and operates the resort they built, demonstrating an incredible life-long commitment to the Vermont ski industry. Bolton Valley debuted on Christmas Eve of 1966. Three double chairlifts served 9 trails and 3 slopes spanning 963 vertical feet. Adding to the resort's atmosphere there was night skiing and a hotel that could sleep 144 people.
Ralph continued to expand and improve the resort he founded and loved until 1997 when the resort changed ownership. In 2017 Ralph re-purchased Bolton Valley with his children, Lindsay, Evan, and Adam who now follow in his footsteps and run the resort. Bolton is one of the few independently run ski areas in Vermont.
Though two-time Olympic ski jumper Jim Holland was inducted last February at Brattleboro’s Harris Hill Ski Jump’s 100th Anniversary, he will be honored again with the rest of the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 in September. Jim got his start jumping at the Dartmouth ski jump across the river from his home in Norwich. He went on the win six National Championships and to compete at the Albertville, France (1992) and Lillehammer, Norway (1994) Olympic Games.
After retiring from competition and graduating from University of Vermont, he moved to Park City, Utah where he and his childhood friend John Bresee founded the online retail giant, Backcountry.com.
In 2007, when the U.S. Ski Team abandoned ski jumping, Jim stepped in as the sport was unraveling. With no National Team, Jim helped start and fund USA Nordic Sports, a nonprofit in Park City that runs men’s and women’s national jumping and Nordic combined programs, keeping the sport alive.
No stranger to confronting challenges head on, Jim now faces his toughest yet. With a Parkinson’s diagnosis, Jim is determined to fight back, and is putting resources toward research to find a cure. Someday, he’ll tell us all he had Parkinson’s. Jim continues to mountain bike and downhill ski.
Rip McManus got his start skiing at Pico Peak in the Junior Ski Program and racing for the Pico Ski Club. He went on to compete on the European circuit before enrolling at, and racing for, Denver University. Enlisting in the U.S. Army, Rip raced within the International Military Sports Council. He was named to the 1963-64 U.S. Ski Team after winning the American National Championships and represented the U.S. at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
He went on to work for performance based ski companies such as Head Skis, Lange Boots, Olin ski testing, and ran his own ski racing mail order business. At the 1968 Grenoble, France Winter Olympics he worked as an announcer in the sound booth with Jim McKay. He was a cast member and ski race double for Robert Redford in the 1969 American sports film drama "Downhill Racer." Rip’s life was cut short by a traffic accident in 1982.
Betsy Pratt first discovered Mad River Glen on a ski trip in 1954 where she met Trux Pratt. They soon married, and while on their honeymoon bought a ski house in North Fayston, VT. Eventually Trux bought Mad River Glen and when he passed away in 1975, Betsy took the reigns. Through the years she carefully preserved its unique character and expanded the mountain’s conservationist ethos. She fought to preserve and protect the mountain in its original state. She and marketing expert and MRG skier, Gerry Muro, developed the now infamous “Mad River Glen, Ski it if You Can” marketing campaign. In 1995 she transferred ownership of the ski area to the Mad River Co-op, the first and only cooperatively owned ski area in the country.
Betsy retired in 2012 and now lives in North Carolina where she enjoys watching skiers, hikers, and snowshoers on Mad River Glen’s live webcams.
Greg Morrill - Paul Robbins Journalism Award
Greg Morrill grew up and began skiing in the Eastern Slope region of New Hampshire. In 1968 he took a job at the IBM Burlington facility, in large part due to the easy proximity to skiing. Thirty-one years later he retired, only to begin an eleven-year stint teaching computer science at St. Michael’s College.
After he permanently retired he began writing about skiing history and nostalgia in a weekly Stowe Reporter newspaper column during the ski season. His Retro-Ski column is built around weekly trivia questions, which test reader’s knowledge of skiing history. Greg maintains a blog at Retro-Skiing.com which contains all his trivia and related columns. His 2014 book “Retro-Ski: A Nostalgic Look Back at Skiing” follows his trivia format where each chapter asks and answers a skiing history related question. Greg logs in around 80 days of skiing each season, splitting his time between Vermont and Utah.
Catamount Trail Association – Bill McCollom Community Award
This award recognizes a group or organization within the skiing and riding community that is making a significant and unique contribution to further Vermont’s place in skiing and snowboarding history.
The 300+ mile Catamount Trail began with a dream three adventurous young Vermont men, Steve Bushey, Paul Jarris, and Ben Rose had in 1982 of skiing the length of Vermont. Thanks to the tireless work of countless volunteers and supporters, the Catamount Trail was completed in 2002, and is the longest backcountry ski trail in North America. Today the CTA untiringly works to maintain 300+ miles of backcountry ski trails while continuing their ongoing efforts to permanently protect the entire trail and provide access to mountain lands that support backcountry recreation.
The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum thrives by collecting, preserving, and celebrating Vermont's skiing and snowboarding history. The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum is a 501c3 non-profit organization that welcomes visitors from around the world to share, reminisce, and enjoy the collections and their stories. The museum creates visually stimulating and historically in-depth exhibits, along with year-round educational programming and statewide community events.
8.17.2022. Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum. Stowe www.vtssm.org