Cannonsburg Ski Area Founder Bill Goff Passes at Age 86

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 27, 2012 4:49 pm

The ski industry lost one of its pioneers today through the passing of Bill Goff, the founder of Cannonsburg Ski Area at age 86.

The resort was founded during the 1960s after Charles William “Bill” Goff returned home form a long weekend ski trip with his family. Being an avid skier, Goff often would travel up to Northern Michigan in order to get his mountain-fix, but he detested the long drive. He became inspired to create a ski area closer to his Grand Rapids area residence. Soon after this epiphany, using his savings and funds from a few investors he bought up some land previously owned by a motorcycle club and began to break ground on what is known as the Cannonsburg Ski Area.

Bill Goff operated the resort until 1977, and also served as a director in the Central Area Ski Association.. During this time he built up hills, installed lodge and lift systems to create 270 acres of slopes to ski and (later) snowboard on. He was always inclined to re-invest a significant amount of the resort’s profits to upgrade the ski area’s amenities.  Goff even developed his own load gate safety feature on the chair lifts to protect against injuries. The resort was a huge attraction for the local residents and allowed for greater access to winter sports.  In 1977 Cannonsburg Ski Area was sold to the Brown family, which was later sold again in 2010 when James Wynn bought the slopes northeast of Grand Rapids.

Goff is survived by his wife of 56 years Louise and son, Dr. Thomas Goff. He also leaves behind his sister, Jane Ferger, along with a number of grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

There is a memorial service planned to take place in May. In the meantime, the Goff family asks that donations be made to the American Heart Association.

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