Co-founder of Appalachian Ski Mountain

Passing Date: 
Sunday, April 8, 2018

Grady Moretz, the co-founder, owner and operator of Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, passed away April 8, 2018 at his home in Boone. He was 88 years old.

In 1968, Moretz and five partners bought Blowing Rock Ski Lodge in foreclosure, and over the years invested millions of dollars in the ski area, helping to develop the Southeast region as a ski market. The ski area also helped to transform the Blowing Rock and Boone communities into year-round tourism destinations.

A noted civic leader, Mr. Moretz was involved in numerous community and professional organizations. He served on the county school board, founded an education foundation, and was a longtime hospital trustee and chairman. He was a member of the Boone Tourism Development Authority soon after its inception, and was a founding member of Appalachian State University’s Appalachian Summer Festival.

Moretz was an organizing member and president of the North Carolina Ski Areas Association, and was instrumental in creating the 1981 North Carolina Skier Safety Act legislation. He was president of the Southeastern Ski Areas Association and represented the Southeast  on the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Board of Directors, serving as an officer and member of numerous committees. In 2005, he was the sole North American recipient of the NSAA Lifetime Achievement Award. Grady’s wife, son and daughter, their spouses and his grandchildren are all involved in operating the family-owned ski area. —Brenda Moretz Speckmann

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