June 7 editorial | ParkRecord.com

June 7 editorial

Nick Badami's legacy looms large in Park City

Like Park City Mountain Resort?

Look forward to skiing in November, when snowfall might be scant?

Enjoyed the 2002 Winter Olympics?

For huge numbers of Parkites, the answers are yes.

That is the legacy of Nick Badami, a person whose career in Park City should be celebrated from the ski slopes to the shops and restaurants. Badami, who died at 87 years old on Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz., essentially bridged Park City’s two epic eras silver mining and skiing.

He was most responsible for what became modern-day Park City Mountain Resort, deftly guiding the ski resort through the critical period between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s. The resort was the undisputed anchor tenant in Park City for years, and it regularly ranks with the elite mountain resorts in North America.

PCMR, boasting a snow-making system that Badami championed, now stretches through terrain from McConkey’s to King Con, far larger than the resort Badami took over in the 1970s. It connects to Main Street via the Town Lift, has a bustling base area and, of course, it provides Parkites with ample chances to utter five words they love to say: ‘Jupiter on a powder day.’

Meanwhile, Badami saw his resort as a place for ski races, and his leadership in that field has been advantageous to World Cup-level skiers, young hopefuls and everyday Parkites who want to challenge themselves.

America’s Opening was for almost 20 years the start of the alpine World Cup circuit’s domestic stops, providing Parkites a weekend of thrills as they watched the best skiers blaze down the course. The resort’s successful races helped influence the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award the Games to Utah, with Park City hosting skiing and snowboarding events in 2002.

Badami in the last decade generally had a low-key presence in Park City, letting the ownership team to which he sold the resort be PCMR’s public face. Because of that, many Parkites probably know little of his accomplishments, which held significance throughout the ski industry. He was a legend in his field, but he was also a Parkite, and the community benefited.

When next winter arrives, the first turns should be done in Badami’s honor.

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