Hyak founder, resort design consultant

Passing Date: 
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hyak founder, resort design consultant

Resort founder and design consultant Frederick (Skip) D. Voorhees, 92, died February 12, 2017. Raised in Connecticut and on his family’s ranch in Idaho, he graduated from the Hopkins School in 1942. He served as an Air Force flight instructor, then attended Rutgers University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He joined the marketing department of Winchester Arms and was on their marksman team.

In 1946, he joined the crew cutting new trails on Aspen Mountain, then became a builder in town. His bride Susan, whom he met skiing at Bromley, Vermont, joined the contracting business as designer. A few years later they sold the company and moved to Seattle, where in 1959 they built the Hyak Ski Area on the site of the old Milwaukee Ski Bowl. 

That experience led the Voorhees to launch Resort Management Consultants, offering feasibility, design, construction and management counsel to ski areas including Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole. In 1976 the couple founded Arctic Odysseys, pioneering the first organized cultural, wildlife and scenic group travel to the high Arctic and North Pole long before the term “adventure travel” was even coined.

Skip is survived by Susan, his wife of 61 years; sons Stephen C. Voorhees, John C. Voorhees (Courtney) and James A. Voorhees (Karen); and grandchildren, Galen, Liam, Blair, and Elise. —S.M.

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