Peek’n Peak Resort is saddened to learn that Peek’n Peak Founder, Phil Gravink passed away yesterday.
Without his vision or determination, Peek’n Peak would simply not exist. Throughout his career, he shaped the ski industry across the eastern US. His contributions to the ski industry earned him a spot in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 1963, he first shared his dream of bringing skiing to the southwest corner of New York. He recognized the area’s potential, noting the natural mixture of hot and cold that brings more than 210” of snow to the mountains each Winter.
As a skier in college at Cornell, shared his plan with George Boozel who owned some land on Pekin Hill. Myrl Babcock, Jim Caflisch and Jack Dean pooled their money together and landed some investors to create Western Chautauqua Recreation, Inc.
In 1964, Phil and his team opened Peek’n Peak Ski Area with two lifts (a J-Bar and a T-Bar) and six slopes and trails. At that time, lift tickets were sold out of an old school bus on Olde Road and tickets were just $4.50 on weekends.
Phil served as Peek’n Peak’s chairman and general manager for 13 years. He continued to shape the ski industry at large for decades after. He served as director of the National Ski Areas Association board from 1970-1987, serving as president from 1979-1981.
In the decades since he first envisioned Peek’n Peak, Phil’s vision grew and grew. His son, Brad Gravink, would eventually take lead of the resort’s operations for several decades thereafter.
“We are happy to carry on the vision and legacy of such an influential man in the ski industry” shares The Scott Family, the current owners and operators of Peek’n Peak. “Millions of visitors have been able to enjoy the beautiful resort which Phil Gravink created 55 years ago. We are grateful for his vision, contributions to the ski industry and the impact his ideas have had on the local community.”