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Mike Doyle

Orville Slutzky, Hunter Mountain Co-founder, 1917-2013

By April 21, 2013

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Orville A. Slutzky, age 96, the beloved co-founder of Hunter Mountain, passed away peacefully on April 18, 2013, in the company of loved ones. 

In 1958, Orville and Izzy let it be known through an article in the New York Herald Tribune that they would donate land that they owned with the stipulation that it would be transformed into a ski resort. The only stipulations were that the ski resort had to be called Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl and that it had to have snowmaking. 

Hunter Mountain opened to skiers on January 9, 1960 and the Slutzky brothers took over control of the ski area during the 1961-62 ski season. Orville assumed his position as General Manager of the day-to-day operation of Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl, where he remained for half a century until his retirement.

Orville was a tireless and a treasured employer, working 12 to 14 hour days, seven days a week, year-round. He believed that "you've got to keep your mind and body busy or the ghosts will carry you away."

In 2007, Orville and his brother Izzy were honored with NSAA's Lifetime Achievement Award for their extraordinary commitment to the ski industry.

The Slutzky family, the Hunter Mountain family, and the ski industry as a whole mourn the loss of an innovator, a philanthropist, an inspirational leader, a father, grandfather, and a beloved spirit.

Orville was born in Hunter on February 13, 1917 and raised on his parents' farm in Jewett, NY.  The son of the late Isaac and Ella (Miller) Slutzky, he is survived by three children (Carol Slutzky-Tenerowicz, Paul Slutzky and Gary Slutzky), in addition to numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life and funeral services will take place on Sunday, April 21, at 10 A.M. in the Colonel's Hall of the main base lodge at Hunter Mountain.


April 21, 2013 at 9:34 am
(1) Tara says:

Beautiful story! Love knowing the heart that went into a fun kick butt mountain!

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