Resort manager, NSAA official, author

Passing Date: 
Saturday, May 7, 2016

John M. Christie, former general manager of Sugarloaf and Mount Snow, died on May 7. He was 79.

Christie grew up in Camden, Maine and learned to ski at Camden Snow Bowl. As a member of the Bowdoin College ski team, he won the state downhill championship in 1958, and graduated with a degree in English in 1959. After spending two years studying Icelandic literature in Stockholm, he joined the ski patrol at Sugarloaf, and was named general manager in 1965, succeeding founder Amos Winter. He supervised construction of the Sugarloaf gondola, and served as president of the Sugarloaf Ski Club, the Maine Ski Council and the Ski Maine Association.

In 1968, Christie was named vice president and general manager of Mount Snow Development Corporation. He was elected president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association in 1970 and director of the National Ski Areas Association in 1971.

In 1972 he purchased Saddleback Mountain and returned to Maine. He sold the mountain in 1976 and launched a career in newspapers, as owner and publisher of the Maine Business Monthly Group. He wrote a regular column on outdoor sports, and stayed active until his death in skiing, hiking and kayaking throughout Maine.

In 2002, Christie joined the board of directors of the newly formed Ski Museum of Maine and served as the museum’s president in 2005. He played a key role in forming the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, and was elected to the Hall in 2007.

Christie won an ISHA Skade Award for his 2008 book The Story of Sugarloaf.  With his son Josh he co-authored the upcoming guidebook Skiing Maine. In recent years he has worked at Camden Hills State Park and was active in redeveloping Ragged Mountain.

He is survived by his wife Margaret and twin sons Jason and Joshua, his ex-wife Jill and two sons from his marriage to Jill, James Bradford ("JB") and Flint.


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