Snow Trails Reflects On The Life Of Legendary Warren Miller

  • 2/2/2018 6:16:56 PM
  • Jesse Smith
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - After passing away on January 24th, 2018, fans of legendary filmmaker Warren Miller paid their respects to the famed director all over the nation, talking about his directing style and vision. We sat down with Snow Trails Ski Resort owner Dave Carto who spoke to us about Miller's involvement with Snow Trails and how he helped popularize skiing in over 700 credited movies throughout his career.

"He was a 'ski bum' in the truest sense of the word," Carto recalled, citing Miller's eclectic lifestyle. "He had a trailer that he lived in that was about 6' by 6', and he was about 6'3" or so. He had a hard time fitting into it, but he managed. That's the way he lived. He did what he wanted to when he wanted to do it - he was very independent."

Beginning his film career in the 1950s, Warren Miller personally directed 55 skiing-related features - many of which influenced the general public into trying skiing as a past-time.

"In Mansfield, we attracted people to the Warren Miller movies who weren't skiers but were curious about skiing. I'm sure they came away impressed with the lifestyle and the challenges that were depicted in his movies," Carto said. "He was good at that."

Miller sometimes filmed at Mansfield's Snow Trails Ski Resort, and footage of the resort's annual "Bikini Race" soon made its way into theaters around the world, prompting the resort to label it as "World Famous." Several of these films were shown at the Ohio Theater, which still exists as a popular local entertainment staple to this day.

"We sponsored the movie locally at the Ohio Theater - which is now the Renaissance. We sold tickets and promoted Snow Trails, and so forth, and attracted skiers from all over north central Ohio," Carto explained. "It was a good relationship. The movies were pretty well done, and they were kind of fun. They had goofy skiers, racers, all kinds of stuff. The local skiers enjoyed it. It was a good thing to sponsor...natural, for us."

Carto feels that the films Miller created gave the sport more credibility in the eyes of the public, leading to a more diverse group of people coming to Snow Trails to enjoy what the resort had to offer.

"I was very proud that we were part of his movie," Carto said fondly. "I think it gave us some class that we wouldn't normally have - a little hill in Ohio, so... by being in a Warren Miller movie, we achieved a certain standing that I thought was very worthwhile."

For more information on Snow Trails Ski Resort, visit their website.

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