Founding Publisher of SAM Magazine, David Rowan, Died on June 8

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Publish Date

06/10/2005

SAM Magazine--June 10, 2005--David Rowan, founder of the industry's trade publication Ski Area Management (SAM Magazine) died on Wednesday, June 8, from a rare cancer, mesothelioma.

Rowan started his industry career in 1949 when he joined Ski Magazine as editor, interim publisher and ad salesperson. Rowan stayed with Ski until 1961 when the magazine was sold to a New York publisher. By 1962, Rowan, along with Otis Ridge Ski Area owner David Judson, organized the first national association of ski area operators, the National Ski Areas Association, and launched Ski Area Management, the industry's first trade publication devoted to the owners and operators of of ski areas, both large and small, in North America.

In 1964, Rowan rejoined Ski Magazine as publisher, all the while ensuring that SAM continue to grow. In 1973, Rowan rejoined the world of independent publishing and in the last 32 years has overseen the growth of SAM. Rowan stepped outside his role as publisher many times as a tireless advocate of the suppliers. Over the years, Rowan's editorials have shaped the debate over almost every controversial subject in our industry. He never feared championing unpopular causes if he thought they were right. He also organized conferences, and with his daughters, created the SAMMY Awards, Cutters Camp and ensured that the editorial content of the magazine challenge, help and, above all, be true to its original mission statement: "Ski Area Management intends to be a forum for the exchange of constructive ideas between area operators."

Because of his efforts, Rowan was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1996 as a Ski Sport Builder. Rowan was also the recipient of the NSAA Lifetime Achievement Award.

"Our father was a pioneer and we are so very proud and honored to continue to pursue the high standards that he set forth in SAM," say Olivia and Jennifer Rowan, publishers of SAM. "His writing, his style, his grace, his wit and his wisdom were rare and we are fortunate as an industry to have benefited from his years of devotion and hard work."

In David's own final words to his family he said, "My one over-riding thought seems so banal as I write it, but perhaps truth is banal. It seems to me "decency" is a human quality that should be pursued above all others. maybe it smacks a little of elitism, but I don't care. If people measured their actions against a standard of "what is the decent thing to do?" the world would be a much better place. Such a standard forces you to reach down into your innermost self and measure your action against your own innermost standard of right and wrong. No expediency allowed. Yes, an unsophisticated concept, but it has been a core one with me ever since I learned it as a little English schoolboy."


SAM Magazine will honor David in its September issue and a memorial service will be planned in the coming weeks. Outside of his passion for winter, David Rowan was an avid gardener and his love for the theater was fulfilled with many roles in local productions.

"Our father's gardens are brimming with beautiful blooms," say the Rowans. "We ask that in lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to his local theater.

Theatre Works, 5 Brookside Avenue, New Milford, CT 06776, (860) 350-6863.