Breaking news: Testimony of Trustee Alan Christian before the Placer County Board of Supervisors regarding the Squaw Valley Museum
Placer County Board of Supervisors
175 Fuller Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603
July 16, 2015
I represent the Far West Ski Association and the Far West Ski Foundation which is the fund raising arm of the Association. I am President of Christian Power Equipment, Inc., past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of FWSA, past FIS representative for the US Ski Team, and past Vice President of the US Ski Association. In the mid-80s my company, Recreational Sports Marketing, was instrumental in introducing snowboarding to ski areas and their insurers. We conducted over 100 events which lead to the opening of 40 ski areas to this fledgling sport. The first demonstration day was just over the ridge at Alpine Meadows here in Placer County. I am fortunate to have been in a position to observe the development of ski sport over the past 50 years.
For more than 100 years before I joined this great sport, Placer County has played an important role in the development of skiing. Starting with races in gold mining camps, Snowshoe Thompson crisscrossing the Sierras thru Placer County delivering mail to snow bound camps, Wendell Robie orchestrating state funding for snow removal on Placer County roads and then hosting the 1931 National Championships to the Squaw Valley Olympics your county has been in the center of this sport.
There continues to be a fertile development ground of international champions right here in our back yard including such names as Jimmie Heuga, the Poulsen family, Tamara McKinney, Shane McConkey, Julia Mancuso, Daron Rahlves, Jonny Moseley…the list is so long it’s unfair to name just a few. Royal Gorge and the Auburn Ski Club stand near the top of the Nordic ski industry. Some rightfully contend that Squaw Valley is the best big mountain off-piste ski area in the lower 48.
Now Placer County has an opportunity to step forward, share an existing park and establish a center dedicated to the past glories of this great sport as well as educate future generations of high country enthusiasts with the ski legacy that is so rich here in the West. The proposed location will attract visitors, the key artifacts are largely collected and experienced leadership is ready. As Wendell Robie oft stated in his memoir, “the world was young and anything was possible”…I believe anything is still possible and we need Placer County to join in the effort to get this project sited and moving forward.