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Jack Kurlander, 76
New Jersey’s resort pioneer
Jack Kurlander, 76, founder of the Great Gorge and Hidden Valley resorts
in New Jersey, suffered a fatal heart attack on April 24.
Kurlander, a successful real estate developer, also launched several golf
courses and the Crystal Springs Spa.
His wife Peg Kurlander told the New Jersey Herald, "He would see
a piece of property and he would know exactly what to do with it.”
John Kurlander was born in Providence, R.I. and grew up in Nutley, N.J.,
where he became the high school state tennis champ. With his partner John
Fitzgerald, he manufactured the first nylon tennis nets, then invented
a ski-waxing machine, which he built and sold out of Bennington, Vt.
Back in New Jersey, Kurlander worked as a lumber salesman while looking
for a site to build ski lifts. He opened Great Gorge in 1965, and merged
with neighboring Vernon Vally in 1974. The resort is now owned by Intrawest
Corp. and has been renamed Mountain Creek.
In 1975, Kurlander and his partners opened the Hidden Valley resort. He
suffered his first heart attack in 1977 and retired briefly. He opened
the Crystal Springs Swim and Tennis Club in 1982, and expanded it to include
a golf course and residential community. Later he built Black Bear Golf
Course, the Spa at Great Gorge, Ballyowen Golf Course and Wild Turkey
Golf Course, all in Sussex County, N.J.
At the time of his death Kurlander was working on a new housing development.
Kurlander is survived by his son John and daughter-in-law Ginny, of Morristown;
by daughter Jamie (a US Ski Team alumna) and son-in-law Dean Peters, of
Park City, Utah; daughter Judy and son-in-law Randolph Pierce of Taos,
N.M.; his brother, Bob Kurlander and wife, Marlene, of Jupiter, Fla.;
and five grandchildren, Max, Tosh and Natalie Peters, Jake Kurlander and
Evan Pierce, as well as many nephews, nieces and friends.
OF ISHA, THE INTERNATIONAL SKIING HISTORY ASSOCIATION The
International Skiing History Association is a not-for-profit corporation,
whose mission is to preserve and advance the knowledge of ski history
and to increase public awareness of the sport's heritage.
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