American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style, Experience by Margaret Supplee Smith
Arts & Photography | Architecture
American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style, Experience
Margaret Supplee Smith
University of Oklahoma Press; 1St Edition edition (July 25, 2013)
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Focusing on destination ski resorts in New England, the Rocky Mountains, the Far West, and southern Canada, Smith examines the architecture of recreational skiing from the 1930s to 1990, showing how small, family-operated businesses evolved into the massive, theme-oriented, multipurpose ski establishments of today. The narrative begins with the origins of the American winter recreation industry—surprisingly, in the midst of the Great Depression. She then shows how American ski resorts challenged the supremacy of the European Alps and explains the role that architecture played in this shift.
According to Smith, skiing is an archetypical American experience, reflecting our common tendency toward swift ascent, overreaching ambition, and thudding downfall—followed by picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and starting all over again. As the ski industry today faces problems of exclusivity, climate change, a vulnerable economy, and an aging skier demographic, it must itself seek new ways to start all over again—with ski resort architecture continuing to define that reinvention.