STOWE, VT— Preston Leete Smith, who as a 26-year-old envisioned a Vermont ski resort that included first of its kind snowmaking, surface grooming and learn to ski programs, will be inducted into the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum (VSSM) Hall of Fame this fall in recognition of his leadership to make those visions realities. Smith founded and built Killington into one of North America’s leading resorts and eventually acquired additional resorts as part of S-K-I, Ltd., a publically traded company. Joining Smith for induction will be Greg McClallen, Karen Huntoon Miller and John Morton.
“What a truly extraordinary group of individuals,” said Tom Sequist, VSSM Board Chair in announcing the 2011 Hall of Fame inductees. “Their contributions to skiing, Vermont and the impact of those contributions truly is immeasurable and continue to contribute to skiing and the winter sports industry to this very day.” They will be inducted during ceremonies October 23 at the Killington Grand in Killington. Tickets are available to the public.
Smith transformed Vermont’s second highest peak into the largest winter resort in the Eastern United States while pioneering snowmaking and grooming to assure consistent conditions regardless of natural snowfall. He also encouraged the development of learn to ski programs to bring new participants into the sport and was the first to recognize and encourage innovative marketing and sales programs to grow the sport of skiing in Vermont. Under his leadership, S-K-I eventually owned Mount Snow Resort in Vermont, Bear Mountain in California and Waterville Valley in New Hampshire.
Karen Huntoon, originally from Brandon and a graduate of Rutland High School, is a five-time World Mogul Skiing Champion and has appeared in a number of ski films, including Warren Miller’s classic “Ski In The Sun.” She is a member of the Women’s Freestyle Hall of Fame. She won Women’s World Mogul Championships in 1975, 1976 and 1977 and won the Colgate World Trophy Women’s Freestyle Championships in 1977.
John Morton skied four years on the Middlebury College ski team. There his aptitude for cross country emerged, first as Eastern Intercollegiate Champion in 1966 and ’68, then as runner up in the 1968 NCAA Championships. A four-year assignment to the U.S. Biathlon Training Center at Fort Richardson, Alaska, was interrupted by a tour of duty in South Vietnam. Upon release from active service in 1972, he taught and coached in Anchorage before returning to Vermont as head coach of men’s skiing at Dartmouth College in 1978. Since then, from his office in Thetford, Vermont, he has developed trails for private landowners, municipalities and schools, resorts, as well as competition venues for major international events such as the World University Games and Biathlon World Cups while writing and commentating on skiing and outdoor recreation. .
Greg McClallen, a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph’s High School in Rutland and St. Michael’s College, started his life long career as a teacher and coach in 1966. After six years at Otter Valley High School, where he organized the ski team, he moved to Rutland High School. Beginning in 1972, he taught English and coached cross-country running in the fall, skiing in the winter, and track and field in the spring. His ski team won 17 titles, and in 1976 the New England Championship for Nordic and Alpine combined. In 1987, McClallen received the National Coach of the Year Award for skiing.
The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame honors athletes, special contributors and pioneers of Vermont skiing and snowboarding. The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to collect, preserve and celebrate Vermont ski and snowboard history. The museum is located at the corner of Routes 100 and 108 at the Center of Stowe Village.
To purchase tickets to the October Hall of Fame dinner and cocktail reception or for additional information on VSSM, visit www.vtssm.com