N.Y.’s Bristol Mountain Celebrates 50 Years This Winter
A number of eastern ski resorts will celebrate 50 years of lifts cranking, snow guns blowing, turns carving and chili serving during the 2013-2014 winter season.
Bristol Mountain will be one of those and so far it has been blessed with an early and bountiful start to the season.
“We held our ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening day which was Nov. 26. A big, gold bow is attached to chair number 50 on the Comet Express Lift,” Director of Marketing and spokesman Drew Broderick told SnoCountry.com.
Robert F. Kennedy was on the guest list for the 1963-64 opening season. “He was invited, but didn’t make it to opening day,” continued Broderick. “But he did make good on his promise to return, and he did, skiing with Bristol Mountain founder Fred Sarkis.”
The evolution of the Rochester area ski and ride facility parallels the improvements in snowmaking technology. Another fixture has been extended hours into night skiing. Bristol will operate until 10 p.m. beginning in mid-December. It’s the perfect set-up for Bristol’s avid core of recreational skiers and riders, as well as a very active corporate league.
The area is blessed with good weather in summer and ample snow in winter. That positioning has enabled it to produce world-class and Olympic athletes in the Summer and Winter Games.
Diann Roffe won alpine skiing gold and silver medals; Cathy Turner was a gold medalist in speed skating; and Abby Wambach, a double gold medal winner in soccer.
Broderick told us that Bristol hopes to continue that legacy with athletes that are in the mix for the Sochi Olympic team.
“Jonathon Lillis has been training for this day since he was 14 years old when he left home to move to Lake Placid to begin training,” said Broderick. “For the past several years he has been in Park City, Utah training for the U.S. (freestyle) Ski Team in aerials.
“Dylan Walczyk grew up skiing at Bristol Mountain then moved out to Colorado to train in hopes of one day making the U.S. Olympic Team. He is currently on the U.S. Ski Team competing in moguls competitions and also dreams of going to Sochi.”
Lillis and Walczyk are too young, but anyone producing all 50 season passes will win a Bristol Mountain blanket from Bristol Ski and Sport.
Bristol will host some 50th anniversary Informational forums during the season. Topics will include:”The Man with the Vision” - Bristol Mountain founder, Fred Sarkis (pending); “Bristol Mountain: Past, Present and Future” - Dan Fuller, President and General Manager; “50 Years: A Passholders Perspective”, and “The Magic of Snowmaking.”
Find out more about Bristol Mountain's commemorative events.
Photos: (Top) Tele-skier on Lower Rocket (Bristol Mountain); Robert F. Kennedy and Founder Fred Sarkis, 1967 (Bristol Mountain)