Ski Industry trailblazer Jerry Simon dies at 79

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 26, 2010 3:49 pm

Jerold Stanton Simon, 79, a trailblazer in the promotion and development of snow skiing for more than 30 years, passed away at his Las Vegas home on July 24.

In 1964, Simon began co-producing consumer ski shows in major U.S. cities, featuring such superstars as Olympic medalists Stein Eriksen, Jean-Claude Killy, and Billy Kidd. The shows introduced thousands to skiing each winter. For this, Simon and partner Harry Leonard were acknowledged as “Founders of Skiing USA,” alongside the originators of ski lifts, equipment, and area development.

In the 1970s, Simon developed the Skiing Mechanics and Managers Workshops training program for ski shops, as well as the International Ski Film Festival that showcased work by filmmakers from around the world, and Ski Group, a ski travel sales tour. Ski Group grew into a 30-city selling blitz, which thrived for 25 years as a very productive group sales venue for ski resorts worldwide. It was so valuable to Austrian resorts that Simon was awarded the Order of the Eagle by the Austrian National Tourist Board.

Simon’s ski industry accolades include the BEWI Award for “outstanding contributions to the sport of skiing,” the NASJA ski writers’ Golden Quill Award, and, along with Leonard, the Far West Ski Assn.’s first Snowsports Builder award. He and wife Barbara Alley, a longtime ski fashion editor, are the only husband and wife to have won BEWIs.

The Simons have lived in both New York City and Las Vegas. He is survived by Barbara and a son, Jordan, of NYC. Donations in his memory may be made to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 191, Ishpeming, MI 49849.