Remembering John Christie
Thursday, May 12, 2016
In 1968 John Christie became the general manager of Mount Snow. Prior to Mount Snow he was the GM at Sugarloaf. He was at Mount Snow until 1972, when he left to purchase Saddleback.
Walt Schoenknecht introducing John Christie to Mount Snow 1968. photo credit: Alan Seymour
John passed away this week and anyone who knew him already misses his presence. I only had the pleasure to spend time with John on a few occasions. Right away I became enamored with his stories. I will share my favorite from one of my blogs in 2011. John was here for the Grand opening of the Bluebird Express. We were all gathereed at the bottom of the Bluebird Express. John told the story of when he left Mount Snow and "happened" to take one of the bubble chairs (yes, Mount Snow had bubble chairs back then!) and brought it to the ski area he had just purchased, Saddleback. At Saddleback he put the bubble chair on a beginner lift and quickly had to organize two lift lines so the kids could wait for the bubble to come around. John said he knew back then that these bubble chairs were special. Of course, he told this story much better than I can, with excitement in his voice, like he was there watching the scene unfold.
If you remember the day we launched the Bluebird Express, you will recall the heavy fog, eating away what little snow we had scraped together. We arrived at the summit and started down Long John. John was a very good skier at 70+ years. Somewhere around Deer Run we stopped and John, with his signature Maine twang said, "not bad." I was thinking to myself, not great. But John was a real skier, out there everyday. If you consider the different conditions he has skied on in his lifetime, that particular day probably wasn't that bad. He was a very positive man.
Not only did John run ski areas but he was a ski writer and author and skied and stayed involved until the day he died. His contributions were massive and he was inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2006.
I often imagine running Mount Snow when fountain mountain and the air car were commonplace. John was here and he was at the helm when the summit lodge burnt down and when Sunbrook trails were cut and opened. Exciting times for our mountain.
I dedicate this blog to John and send our sincere condolences to John's family, friends and ski community. We greatly appreciate his contributions and stories - he was a superb role model.
John Christie 1937 - 2016
photo by Alan Seymour