Ski Roundtop Celebrates 40th Anniversary 5
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

From left: Bud Blakey, Board of Directors Founding Member; Irv Naylor, Founder and Owner; Sepp Gmuender, Former GM; Hans Geier, Former GM; and Myron Scharko, an original member of the Ski Roundtop Ski Patrol.
Some participants in Ski Roundtop’s 40th year anniversary dinner. From left: Bud Blakey, Board of Directors Founding Member; Irv Naylor, Founder and Owner; Sepp Gmuender, Former GM; Hans Geier, Former GM; and Myron Scharko, an original member of the Ski Roundtop Ski Patrol. Photo by Neal Palumbo, provided by Ski Roundtop.
“We are Family.”

That was the music and the message that greeted guests at an anniversary dinner at Ski Roundtop on Sunday evening, November 23rd, 2003. Roundtop has survived and thrived for 40 years! The early years were extremely difficult and survival was possible through the vision, hard work, and determination of its founder and President, Irvin S. Naylor. His company, “Snow Time, Inc.” now owns Pennsylvania resorts Ski Roundtop, Liberty Mountain Resort, and Whitetail Resort, along with New York’s Windham Mountain Resort. The first three are, as they say, “an easy ride from Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.”

The dinner was a warm and sumptuous occasion. Outside, the vivid lights of the ski area shone dramatically, and Roundtop is spiffy and modern inside. The runs look steeper without snow. All hope for an opening soon - in early December.

At the dinner, all of the guests were introduced and their history to the ski industry explained. Most were founders and managers of the four ski areas. Many of the original founders and supporters (even the bankers and CPAs!) looked fit and continue to thrive on snowsports. Gold medal Olympic champion Diann Roffe was also there - she will teach her special classes for all interested at Roundtop this winter. Diann is now competing to be on a second Olympic team - on horseback!

A 33-page book published by Snow Time was handed out at the event titled “Committed to Excellence - A Summary History of Ski Roundtop.” It contains fascinating histories of the early days, and the struggles of Irvin Naylor and his backers. At the end is a section filled with both heartbreak and hope. On April 17, 1999, Irvin Naylor was involved in a horse accident during a steeplechase in Butler, Maryland, leaving him partially paralyzed. Since then, he has made progress and become an advocate for stem cell research. Naylor encourages anyone interested in stem cell research to contact the Bedford Research Foundation (www.bedford-research.org).

To contrast the past with the present, original pamphlets were distributed from the opening season in 1964. The pamphlets listed some prices that seem like bargains today: Full day lift rates were $4 or $5 on weekends, and an entire family could get a season pass for about $100! Today’s rates are a bit different, but, with all the Snow Time resorts, the costs are cut quite a bit if you buy a season pass or a special rate “Advantage” card.

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About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

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Reader Comments

JimK
November 26, 2003
Connie, you've covered some nice local ski history here. I knew Irv Naylor was Snow Time boss, but I didn't know he started as founder of Roundtop way back when. Interesting how the little mtn with strong leadership eventually came to control a number of others. Do you know the rough timeline we he acquired Liberty, then Windham, then Whitetail? Thanks.
Connie Lawn
November 26, 2003
Thank you Jim for your nice message. I was blown away by everything I learned at the dinner. Try to get a copy of the booklet - it is really fascinating.There is a detailed history of all the purchases.Liberty was bought in 1974; Windham in 1981;and Whitetail in 1999. Some were bought in stages, over a period of years. Get the book! I can also share the video with you if you want, after they send it to me.
There is a great ski industry in our region! Yours, Connie
Kurt Weaver
November 26, 2003
I agree with Connie! I was also at the 40th anniversary dinner and what an incredible journey it has been for Irv Naylor and the folks at Ski Roundtop. They have been a pioneer in the industry and their staff is "top notch". Celebrating 40 years is a huge accomplishment...Congrats to SKI Roundtop...Here's to another 40!
Mary Jo Tarallo
November 26, 2003
Scott: Thanks for including Winter Feels Good on your Web site. I was at the Roundtop dinner the other night and it was a very nice event. If you were there, I'm sorry I didn;t get to meet you. Please get in touch at mjtarallo@thesnowtrade.org. I'm the director of PR and Education at SIA. Best...Mary Jo Tarallo
Connie Lawn
November 26, 2003
Thank you for your publication. Hope to use it in my reports. Sorry I didn't get to meet to, but I hope to soon. Yours, Connie

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