“Flying under the radar” from an unassuming industrial park in 1990 in Denver, Colorado, Dave Kelly revolutionized the ski industry and ski areas and made life a lot easier and less terrifying for beginning skiers. Dave had been involved in the industrial conveyor systems business since the early 1970’s and in 1982 started the Rocky Mountain Conveyor and Equipment Company, helping companies move goods and components. His wife Jennifer describes him as a marketing major with a mechanical brain. In 1990 he was approached by the Kinderhut day care center in Breckenridge, Colorado to see if he could adapt his conveyor system to transport young skiers up a small hill. As a skier, Dave watched beginning skiers toil by walking uphill on unfamiliar leg accessories (skis) or crashing and burning trying to grab hold of a moving rope tow. He was inspired to design and patent a conveyor belt that would eliminate their angst and transport them effortlessly uphill. Thus, the Magic Carpet© ski lift was born. Apparently Dave didn’t quite know what he had in his invention, whimsically named after the magical conveyance in Disney’s “Aladdin.” It was two years later that Vail Resorts asked him to build three units for their ski area when he realized that he might be able to sell a few of these. “We were probably the worst marketers around“, Dave said laughing. By 1996, with a redesigned, lighter, less expensive modular unit, Magic Carpet Ski Lifts © spun off from the parent company and became an international sensation with 600-1000 lifts (they’ve lost count) installed in 10 countries; a list which is a veritable who’s-who of ski resorts. Other uses of their lift, half-pipe and tubing hill transportation to name a few, soon followed. In later years, dropping “Ski” from their name, the company adapted their technology to transporting visitors on rides at amusement parks, moving kayaks and boats for water sports applications and even controlling whitewater rafting courses. These days you can see their conveyor principle applied by other manufacturers. The next time you’re loading a certain high-speed quad and are effortlessly deposited onto the chair from a belt, you can probably thank Dave for that. Dave and Jennifer live in Denver and still sample skiing the Rockies.
Bo Adams of Maine has lived and breathed skiing for most of his years and in several major ways, is attached at the hip. Bo grew up in a skiing family in Connecticut, attended Nasson College in Maine where he raced on their alpine team, two of those years as captain. His grandfather, Carl Shumway, an early member of the Dartmouth College Outing Club, with 2 friends accompanying him, made the first winter ascent on skis of frigid and dangerous Mt. Washington in New Hampshire in 1913. Bo started a tradition of retracing some of his grandfather’s pioneering ski tracks to Tuckerman Ravine and the eastern slopes every spring, going strong after 55+ years without fail. After graduation, he continued to coach his college team and decided to enter the business of insuring ski areas. His company, Mountain Guard, founded in 1962, is the largest ski area underwriter in North America and he is senior vice-president for the East, Midwest and Eastern Canada, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Bo is proud of the work they do in risk management and believes that skiing is much safer for it. In his travels, he developed an interest in the history of skiing in the U.S. and the East and joined the board of directors of the New England Ski Museum in 1999, becoming its president in 2007 and continuing to this day. The museum is empowered to collect, preserve, analyze and explain artifacts and documents related to eastern skiing and keeping track of obscure anniversaries and minutiae. During his 13-year tenure, the museum has rapidly expanded its collection in its Franconia Notch, NH location and just recently added a second museum location in North Conway, supported by a donations campaign that raised $1.7 million. Under his guidance, the museum was awarded a sizeable federal grant in 2011 that allowed them to create a permanent exhibit chronicling the sport of skiing and its effect on the economy of New England. In 2017, he was bestowed with the Whitney Award for outstanding contributions to skiing and snowboarding in New Hampshire. In 2018, he was given on behalf of the museum, the International Skiing History Association’s Steward of Skiing award, honoring the museum’s contributions to the skiing world. His tireless work for the ski industry and skiing history has earned the respect and gratitude of his peers. Bo lives in York, Maine with his wife Cindy and enjoys fishing, hunting, anything outdoors, and of course skiing. Son Wyatt works for Telluride Ski Resort and daughter Courtney is a talent manager in Hollywood, CA.