Willy’s Run opened up today, giving Park City Mountain Resort skiers and riders a fast and exciting black diamond run to conquer. But did you ever stop to think about where this Signature Run’s name came from before you dropped in?
Well, here is your Park City Mountain Resort history lesson for the day:
The Origin of Willy’s Run
Willy’s Run is affectionately named for Willy Schaeffler, the German-American skiing champion, coach and resort development expert. Throughout a career that spanned over 40 years, he was largely responsible for the evolution of alpine skiing course design, namely through his work as the Director of Ski Events at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games where he developed each of the alpine courses. He also coached several medal-winning ski teams, including serving as the head coach at the 1972 Winter Olympics for the U.S. team.
His career as “America’s Most Successful Ski Coach” inevitably changed the face of Park City Mountain Resort. In 1974, he moved the U.S. National Ski Team to Park City, where it remains located to this day. He also established the first national ski training center here in Park City, designing large parts of the ski training area at PCMR, known as the “Ski Team Ridge.” This ridge features not only Willy’s Run, but also several of Park City’s more famous ski racing runs, like Picabo’s.
So make sure you savor that little bit of history the next time you bomb down Willy’s Run, and try to find the commemorative plaque for Willy Schaeffler, located on Legacy Lodge.
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.