Cummings lauded for philanthropy
Park City’s former three-term Mayor Brad Olch says most people don’t realize how much John Cumming, the CEO of Powdr Corp, and his wife, Kristi, have contributed to the community.
On Thursday, following the announcement that Powdr had sold Park City Mountain Resort to Vail Resorts, Olch said that while the outcome may not have been what the Cummings hoped for, "they had a great run and they have left a great legacy."
According to Olch, during their 20-year tenure at the helm of PCMR, the Cummings put millions of dollars worth of improvements on the mountain. They also followed up on the previous owners’ commitment to bringing the Winter Olympics to Utah.
"John (Cumming) took up Nick and Craig Badami’s cause of bringing World Cup racing to Park City, which was instrumental in winning the bid to host the 2002 Olympic Winter Games." And once the Salt Lake and Park City were chosen as Olympic venues, Olch said, "he made sure the mountain was up to those standards."
Olch added that, under Cumming’s leadership, the resort has embraced the new winter sports like snowboarding and freestyle, and supported many of the young, up-and-coming athletes in those disciplines. Several of those PCMR-supported athletes ended up on Olympic podiums in Sochi last winter, bringing additional positive attention to Park City.
But beyond their contributions to the resort, Olch said, few residents realize how much John and Kristi Cumming have contributed to the community’s nonprofits.
"In the last 20 years, I can’t think of anybody who has been more philanthropic than John Cumming. He is a quiet guy, he just does things he believes in."
Cumming, for instance, is one of the founders of the Park City Community Foundation, an organization that raises funds and helps to distribute grants to more than 100 nonprofit groups in Park City and Summit County.
"John deserves more kudos than he gets. He is a very private guy who doesn’t go after the publicity. Privately, John and Kristi have given substantial amounts to every nonprofit in the community," Olch said.
"People need to realize how lucky we have been to have them running the resort and being part of our community."
Park City’s current mayor, Jack Thomas, also praised the Cummings for their positive contributions to the town. "I am sincerely touched by everything Jenni (Smith, PCMR president) and John (Cumming) and their predecessors have done. They are very much a part of our community and had a huge impact on getting the Olympics here."
Thomas noted that the recent legal dispute between Talisker and PCMR had been emotional and the outcome, the Cummings’ decision to give up ownership of the resort, is bittersweet.
"Obviously, for some of us, it is a moment of sadness to see them leave."
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