If you’re a skier in Michigan, chances are you’ve heard the name of Everett Kircher. Boyne Resorts history page says that this Detroit native moved to northern Michigan in 1947 to build a ski resort, buying the land for what has become Boyne Mountain for just one dollar. In addition to founding one of the world’s largest ski empires in Michigan, Kircher (who passed away in 2002) was one of the ski industry’s leading innovators:
Kircher had many firsts including the world’s first triple chair installed in 1964 at Boyne Highlands Resort, and the world’s first four-person chair, installed in 1969 at Boyne Mountain. In 1990 Kircher installed Michigan’s first high-speed detachable quad chairlift at Boyne Highlands Resort. And in 1992, Boyne Mountain unveiled America’s first 6-seat high-speed chairlift.
Kircher’s ski innovation also included the introduction of snowmaking. He invented the Boyne Snowmaker, the first efficient snowmaker widely accepted as the standard for marginal temperature snowmaking. It combines small amounts of air and electricity with large quantities of water to provide a high efficiency snowmaking system with energy savings, and minimum noise level. He also pioneered the design of much of the snow grooming equipment and techniques in use today.
Be sure to take a moment to watch this 2001 interview of Everett Kircher by Michigan Skier TV’s Jim Neff about the growth of Boyne, snowmaking and the ski industry.