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September 2022

60 Defining Moments

In honor of our 60th birthday, SAM looks back at 60 moments that have defined the mountain resort industry.

Written by A Staff Report | 0 comment

The past 60 years have seen tremendous growth, innovation, and upheaval in the mountain resort world. Here, SAM attempts to identify the 60 events, people, and inventions that have shaped our industry since this magazine was founded in 1962. If you’ve been reading SAM for more than a decade, you may remember items 1-49 of this list from the 50th anniversary issue (September 2012). Many from that list have been updated with changes that have occurred since. 

The timeline we’ve compiled is a fascinating look back that illustrates a menagerie of changemakers—from innovations in equipment and business practices to impactful global events and game-changing ideas. 

It also shows how quickly things can evolve. The past 10 years, especially, have been a whirlwind of disruption and adaptation—for better or worse. 

One thing that hasn’t changed in the past 60 years, though, is the mountain resort industry’s resilience, made possible by the problem solvers, innovators, and hard workers who wear ski area name tags.

Another thing that hasn’t changed since the first SAM magazine ran off the printing press in September 1962 is the publication’s role in fostering that resilience by helping you, ski area operators, be forward thinking; by putting difficult topics at the fore and asking difficult questions;  and by recognizing our industry’s strengths and inspiring you to resolve its weaknesses. 

The following timeline is a snapshot of the industry’s evolution—all of which has been, and will continue to be, discussed here in the pages of SAM. Are there other defining moments not included here? Surely there are. Let us know: email   


Click on the small box above and slide left and right to move through the decades. Or, click on any year to jump around