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William Tanler

Hall of Fame Class of 1998

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by John Fry, Founding Editor, Snow Country and Warren Miller, Founder, Warren Miller Productions.

Bill Tanler developed a half dozen new periodicals about the sport of skiing in a 40-year span. A quiet, low-key editor, Tanler began his ski publishing career in Seattle as a sports writer, reporting on activities at the growing resorts in the Cascades. Sensing a need for more information, he started Northwest Skier, a weekly publication about the region.

A graduate of the University of Colorado and the University of Washington, William Tanler began his ski publishing career in Seattle as a sports writer focusing on ski activities. Shortly after, he began a regional ski publication, Northwest Skier.

In the mid-1960s, Bill Tanler was the executive director of SKI Magazine and editor of both Ski Business and Ski Area Management. Over the years, he wrote on almost every aspect of the sport with unerring insight and often with subtle humor. He punched holes in the hypocrisy surrounding under-the-table payments to ski racers and deplored the money-wasting superfluity of trade shows in the ski business. He criticized the hi-tech equipment snobbery that confused ski consumers. “One of the ski industry’s biggest problems,” he wrote, “is its inability to understand what it is like to be in the shoes of the average skier.” A journalist devoted to ski racing, he covered 142 individual World Cup competitions.

Following the 1968 Winter Olympics and the excitement generated by Jean-Claude Killy, Tanler created the first successful national newspaper, Ski Racing, for competitors and fans. Ski Racing still exists as the only national publication covering competitive skiing and snowboarding in the United States.

In 1979, he launched “The Ski Industry Letter,” a semi-monthly newsletter for the ski industry. Ski Tech was created in 1986 and Winterport Business in 1996, shortly before his death. He also founded the Jackson Hole Villager and was the editor of Warren Miller’s Ski World and the New Mexico Skier’s Guide.

Bill Tanler left a remarkable legacy of ski publications which he founded and which continue to exert a profound influence on the sport. He died in January, 1997 at the age of 67.

Bill Tanler was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1998.

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