On December 29th, on the verge of the new decade, the skiing industry lost a legend. Bill Levitt, long-time mayor of Alta, Utah, and owner of the Alta Lodge, passed away after collapsing in the ski area's dining room. He was 92.
It was in the Alta Lodge, where he often held court, that I was fortunate to meet Levitt many years ago. I was in Utah on a press junket and meeting the amiable mayor of Alta was, of course, part of the agenda. Two things were obvious: Levitt loved skiing and loved Alta.
Levitt also fought to keep Alta small and quaint (read: out of the hands of developers) and to establish it as a true, hardcore skier's ski area--something that snowboarders like myself envy but that most everyone familiar with the area and its aesthetic respects. So while I'm rather late in offering a tribute to Levitt and condolences to his family and the Alta community (I just learned of his passing), I do so now.
Do you have memories of Levitt or comments about Alta (which Outside rated North America's best ski area in 2008) that you'd like to share? Please, share away...
--Mary Catherine O'Connor is a freelance writer, covering the environment, sustainability and outdoor recreation. The Good Route, her blog for Outside Online, is focused on the places where the active life and sustainability merge.