The U.S. Ski Team reached a peak. Tamara McKinney and Phil Mahre won the 1983 World Cup titles. The U.S. boasted the best national women’s team, winning SKI Magazine’s FIS Nations Cup. At the 1984 Olympics, the team won half of the alpine gold medals.
Slalom racing was revolutionized with the introduction of a gate pole that hinged at snow level. Super G became a World Cup and Olympic medal event. Ingemar Stenmark retired after 86 World Cup victories, a feat still not repeated.
Resorts introduced detachable four-seater chairlifts. Snowcats, suspended on winches, groomed the steepest slopes. Beaver Creek and Deer Valley were the last U.S. destination ski resorts built in the 20th century. As thousands moved to ski towns, 19 ski counties grew five times faster than the U.S. population. But visits to ski areas stagnated. Baby Boomers aged. The average lift-ticket price was almost five times more than 20 years earlier, outstripping the rate of inflation.
Ski areas banned the strange new tribe called snowboarders, who were a rebel force looking to rewrite the rules of the hill, much as hotdoggers did a generation before.