Ted Johnson

Induction Year: 
Ski Pioneer

Ted Johnson (1926 - 2018)

As the visionary and founder behind Snowbird, Ted Johnson forever altered the recreational landscape of Utah. The one-time beach enthusiast in his native California and later a do-it-all employee at Alta Ski Area, in 1965 Ted put his foresight and fortitude into a dream of establishing a resort with the purchase of the Blackjack mining claims, the catalyst to an 800-acre parcel abutting Wasatch National Forest lands in storied Little Cottonwood Canyon.

After persevering through five years of study and setbacks, heartbreak and breakthroughs, and orchestrating the construction of a canyon-long sewer line, Snowbird welcomed its first skiers in 1971. The resort’s environmentally friendly sod-covered roofs, internationally acclaimed ski runs, hotels and cuisine, and a skier/boarder/tourist conveyance system that included a 120-passenger tram and a skier tunnel, stand as a legacy to the wily “Silver Fox,” an entrepreneur whose quest was not to be denied.