At the 2015 Annual Meeting of the North American Snowsports Journalist Association I had the honor of presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Al Fletcher, founder of Nashoba Valley ski area in Massachusetts.
Al, 82, is credited as one of the first ski area owners to employ grooming and snowmaking. Nashoba Valley opened for just three weeks in its inaugural year in 1964. The following year, Fletcher bought a tiller to be pulled behind the area’s snowcats. Up until then, slope grooming was done by ski area staff boot-packing trails with their skis.
Fletcher was also an early adopter of snowmaking, ensuring that his ski area would thrive as a popular destination for Boston and Rhode Island skiers. Fletcher’s daughter Pam, a champion World Cup and Olympic skier, introduced her father at the awards reception.