Craig Badami (1952 – 1989)
The legacy of Craig Badami is extensive. So was his vision. As part owner and VP for marketing at Park City Resort, Badami upended the status quo of the European racing establishment by staging the first alpine World Cup race in Utah in 1985, a spectacle enjoyed by a record 12,000 high-spirited spectators.
F.I.S. officials took notice and, for the next four years, Park City started the season’s World Cup circuit with competitions labeled “America’s Opening.” Those extravaganzas put the world on notice that Utah was capable of staging international winter sports competitions, a critical component of the state’s successful bid to host the 2002 Olympics.
A harmonica-playing native of New Jersey, Badami’s flamboyant approach to ski marketing resonated through numerous arenas. He was a major fund-raiser for the U.S. Ski Team, the Utah Winter Games and Utah Ski Ball. He also served on numerous industry boards.
After staging the 1989 America’s Opening, Badami was killed in a helicopter accident near the base of Park City Ski Area. Soon thereafter, the resort brought to life one of his visions: A permanent ski racing complex whose main run was named “C.B.’s” in his honor.
While his initials are on a mountainside, the footprint of Craig Badami is prominently encased in Utah’s Olympic legacy, which he helped forge.