Steamboat Stories — John Fetcher
Co-Founder & President Mt. Werner Ski Corporation (1962 -71)

John Fetcher, a Steamboat founder, developer, and some would say “renaissance man” narrates about the early development of Mt. Werner, back in a time when skiing from the top of the mountain was just a longing shared with Buddy Werner.

After John had driven to California to pick up two 12′ chairlift bull-wheels perched at an angle on the bed of his ranch truck, mechanics would work through the night to open the Christie I lift to 12 guests on a bitter -50º day on January 12, 1963 (Later the lift was renamed Christie III in 1965, and formally retired in 2021.)

John would go on to supervise the construction of the Christie, Thunderhead, Four Points, Burgess Creek, and Headwall lifts, as well as negotiating the purchase and overseeing the installation of a 90-car, 6-person Bell gondola from Lucerne, Switzerland installed in 1970. John Fetcher once said, ‘We went out on a limb to build the gondola that ended up building Steamboat.”

The Bell gondola identified by its 3 towers and blue and yellow cabins, was named the “Stagecoach Gondola” and ran for 17 years before being replaced with the “Silver Bullet Gondola” in 1987.

To help celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Steamboat Resort, we have complied stories of people who have shaped the mountain from its humble beginnings to the resort of today, sharing their deep roots, traditions, and memories.

If you would like to add your own stories and memories of Steamboat, please tag your social media posts with #steamboat60.