Conniff served as general manager of Mt. Tom and president of the National Ski Areas Association.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Cal Conniff, longtime general manager of Mt. Tom and president of the National Ski Areas Association, has passed away earlier this month at the age of 90.
John "Cal" Conniff was born in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1930 and grew up in Vermont. After studying at American International College and serving in the US Army, Conniff became an on-air personality on Channel 22 in Springfield, Massachusetts while also serving as president of the Springfield Ski Club.
In the spring of 1961, Conniff was hired as manager of the recently opened Mt. Tom ski area in Holyoke, Massachusetts. At the time, the area was a small operation served by surface lifts. During Conniff's decade-plus tenure, Mt. Tom installed two chairlifts and became one of the most popular ski areas in New England, drawing visits from prominent politicians and celebrities of the era.
In the spring of 1973, Conniff was named the executive director of the National Ski Areas Association, a position he would hold until retiring in 1990. He was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame that year.
After retiring, Conniff was heavily involved with the New England Ski Museum, serving as president and board member for many years. The museum's grant program was named in his honor. He was awarded the Spirit of Skiing Award in 2015.
Services will be held on Saturday at Holy Spirit Parish/St. Mary’s Church in Wells, Maine.