Albert "Sunny" Korfanta

Induction Year: 
Ski Pioneer

Albert F. Korfanta (1915 - 2009)

Albert F. “Sunny” Korfanta personified a ski-area pioneer. His foresight, hands-on hard work, tenacity, and gentle, unselfish manner were the building blocks of White Pine Ski Area near Pinedale, Wyoming. Those attributes were paramount in June 1930, when the U.S. Forest Service partnered with the Pinedale Commercial Club to start planning Surveyor Park Ski Area.

On January 5, 1940 the ski area opened for weekend skiing, offering a cable tow 200 meters (656 feet) long and capable of pulling three skiers at a time. Korfanta, a Pinedale pharmacist, and his wife Fanny were asked to serve as area managers, volunteer posts they held for decades. Serving skiers from numerous nearby towns, Surveyor Park sold a day pass for $1 and kids skied free. World War II activities forced the closure of the site from 1943 until 1946.

Subsequent years saw numerous enhancements to the enclave with Korfanta at the helm. All the while, he continued to encourage, coach and drive young skiers to competitions in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and the Junior Nationals.  He even served as an officer of the Intermountain Division of the U.S. Ski Association. Although a local winter sports company assumed management of the area in the late 1990s and renamed it White Pine Ski Area, Sunny Korfanta’s contributions and pioneering spirit continue to be recognized as the driving force behind the area’s early development.