Herman Dupré - Snowmaking and Seven Springs Resort Pioneer
Herman Kress Dupré, the visionary behind HKD Snowmakers and Seven Springs Resort, Pennsylvania, died April 25 at his Seven Springs home. He was 87.
Herman assumed management of Seven Springs resort at the age of 23 upon the death of his father. He transformed modest rope-tow hill into one of the busiest resorts in the Mid-Atlantic. In 1956, a year into overseeing the resort, he added a Poma lift for increased capacity. He charged $1.50 per day, which included access to the 20- and 30-meter jumps. He soon added lights and music for night skiing.
Herman held 34 patents for devices related to snowmaking. Beginning in the early 1970s, he built one of the most efficient snowmaking systems in the world at that time. His innovations formed the basis of HKD Snowmakers, founded in 1990
Herman envisioned Seven Springs as a purpose-built year-round community, in addition to a destination resort. He planned and helped build the necessary infrastructure, including a municipal water system, golf course, hotels, and residential housing. Seven Springs remains one of the largest employers in the county.
The son of two Bavarian immigrants, Herman was born in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, he served in Alaska from 1953-1955, and then returned to Pennsylvania to run Seven Springs. He married Mary “Sis” McSwigan in 1957, and they had nine daughters together.
In recognition of his contributions to the ski industry, from resort development to snowmaking innovations, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Ski Areas Association. (what year?)
Herman was an engineer, an inventor, and a dedicated naturalist, who always sought out advice from the frontlines of his resort. From his obituary: “During his lifetime, Herman planted over a million trees, and he probably spoke to nearly that many people. He could be found in all corners of Seven Springs asking visitors and staff, ‘How can we be doing things better around here?’”