Year Inducted: 2014
Joe Cushing is a pioneer and proliferator of modern ski area planning and design. His contributions to skiing in the United States have significantly influenced what ski resorts are today and what skiers have come to expect from their favorite resorts.
In 1963, Cushing joined Sel Hannah, Hall of Fame Class of 1968, at Sno.engineering – a company that would become the preeminent international ski area planning and design firm. Joe had the ability to “read” a mountain and conjure a network of trails that catered to all skier ability levels. Hannah and Cushing developed techniques and standards that continue to guide ski area development today. Hannah was inducted into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1968.
In the 1980s, Cushing started mentoring junior planners that would carry forward his design legacy. These young protégés, including Tim Beck (vice president of Mountain Planning, Vail Resorts) and Cushing’s son Chris (mountain planning director, SE Group), continue to utilize the techniques developed by him.
Cushing worked on over 400 projects; of which, over 150 include some or all of his design influence. Many were built from scratch; others were existing ski areas renovated to modern standards and aesthetic designs that he brought to the industry. His influence can be seen at the majority of ski areas in the United States, where trails flow gracefully down the mountain, lift capacity is balanced with terrain capacity, and facilities are balanced to a comfortable carrying capacity. His lift layout and trail designs can be enjoyed at resorts including Loon Mtn. and Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; Sugarbush and Stratton, Vermont; Copper Mountain and Keystone, Colorado; and Deer Valley, Utah.
Career Highlights & Awards:
•2008 - Deer Valley names its mountain-top guest facility, Cushing’s Cabin, in his honor