February 27, 2018

Alta, so many things to love

Alta Ski Area - Connie Marshall - Alta, UtahWhat brought you to Alta?

I grew up in a small town in Ohio and graduated from Alma College in Michigan. With a dream of joining the Peace Corps upon graduation not coming to fruition, and with strong encouragement from my father to “go do something adventurous before you settle down,”  I descended on Alta in November of 1974.

What made you stay in Alta?

That first season at Alta was an exciting one. I worked for Carmen Nichol as one of four seasonal ticket sellers. The friendships made that winter have lasted a lifetime.

Not sure about returning, I went back to Ohio and took some courses at Ohio State in art. By mid-summer it seemed like a great idea to contact Carmen about a second season. That season led to a third, and a critical one for becoming a “lifer.” Carmen and her husband Nic (who was in management at the ski school) decided to move to the Salt Lake Valley to raise their 3 young children, with Nic becoming a commuter. I was offered the management of the ticket office- which I joyfully accepted.

Somehow 17 years in the ticket office passed, I met my husband George (a fellow employee from the lifts department) and we had a daughter, Maxine. With the exciting news that we were to expect twins in 1991, I became uncertain about how I could work 6 days/week and raise three small children in the company housing we were living in above the ticket office.

We did decide to try to stay working with the ski area. We chose to move down to Sandy at the base of the canyon and I resigned from the ticket office and worked with Alta’s group sales, bus tours and a host of other smaller projects. By 1992 Onno Wieringa (our GM from 1988-2017) and I decided to create Alta’s first full-time marketing and public relations efforts. It was an amazing time for me, and pretty much has been all the years since.

I will transition from Alta this summer to pursue some part-time work in the valley, serve on a number of boards and spend time with family near and far. It is a bittersweet decision to leave this place that has so shaped my life, but I intend to be grateful and graceful about embracing what’s ahead.

Why do you love Alta?Alta Ski Area - Connie Marshall - Alta, Utah

How do you answer this question? For me, it has encompassed the past 44 years and has defined who I am. I love the alpine environment and of course the skiing. What I may appreciate and care for even more is the lifestyle it afforded me. So many special people, such a beautiful place, an incredible spiritual journey, a culture rich in history and adventure….so many things to love.

What is your can’t miss Alta experience?

There isn’t just one that I can call out. Early morning time spent on those winter days watching the sun rise as I ran a few miles before work, cross country skiing by moonlight after a chili party in a cabin in the Albion Basin,  gliding through powder all alone off some busy trail- these all add up. Raising our children on the mountain may be the one best answer if I had to be singular.

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