S. Joseph Quinney

Induction Year: 
Ski Pioneer

Joe Quinney (1892 - 1983)

S. Joseph (Joe) Quinney is often referred to as the Father of Utah's Ski Industry and founder of Alta Ski Area. His contributions to the sport spanned five decades. He was president of the Utah Ski Club from 1935 to 1938. As an original incorporator of the Utah Winter Sports Association in 1938 (later becoming the Alta Ski Lifts Company), Quinney was instrumental in helping the ski area atop Little Cottonwood Canyon become the first in Utah to install a chairlift. He did all the legal work and served as secretary-treasurer of the organization from 1939 to 1958, when he became its president, a position he held for the next twenty-five years.

Quinney was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 1921 and drafted the Utah Passenger Tramway Act in 1969, regarded as one of the most important winter sports safety laws in the country. Joe Quinney was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1975.

A native of Logan, Utah, he was a modest man who shunned the spotlight, often claiming to be a little frog in the big puddle of skiing. History shows this generous community benefactor was quite the opposite. He was a founding partner in the distinguished Salt Lake City law firm of Ray Quinney & Nebeker, where he practiced until his passing at age 90.