Mel Fletcher, pioneering skier and longtime Parkite, dies at 92 years old |

Mel Fletcher, pioneering skier and longtime Parkite, dies at 92 years old

By Jay Hamburger, Of the Record staff

A Park City man known for his pioneering days as a skier decades ago, indeed a figure in local lore, died early Monday morning.

Mel Fletcher was 92 years old. His family said he died in his sleep at 4:30 a.m. Fletcher was born and raised in Park City, and he saw the city through the stunning shift from a withering silver-mining town to an elite mountain resort.

Services are scheduled for Sunday, but details had not been finalized by Monday morning.

Fletcher was a crucial figure in Park City’s early days of skiing, jumping at the famous Ecker Hill ski jump during its heyday and becoming a renowned ski instructor. In honoring Fletcher in 2003, the Utah Ski Archives said, "ask anyone who knows anything about Utah ski history and the name Mel Fletcher will be recognized as one who has ‘been there’ and ‘done that.’"

Fletcher obtained his ski-instructor certification in the early 1950s and spent 12 years as the director of the Snow Park Ski School in the 1950s and 1960s after founding the school, according to a biographical snapshot of Fletcher written by the Ski Archives. He later served as the director of the ski patrol at Park City Ski Area in the 1960s and 1970s, the Ski Archives snapshot says.

"He was a legend. Everybody knows that," Richard Martinez, a lifelong Parkite who knew Fletcher for years, said on Monday. "I think of what he accomplished in the skiing part of (his life) is what made him a legend in Park City."