1 of 2
Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort
Snowbird founder Ted Johnson stands atop Snowbird's Hidden Peak. Johnson died Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, at 91, the resort said in a statement.

SALT LAKE CITY — One of Snowbird Ski Resort's founders died Monday, the resort said Tuesday.

Ted Johnson, 91, was critically injured when he was hit by a car in California, the resort said in a prepared statement.

Johnson had long sought to run a ski resort in Utah when he opened Snowbird in December 1971, the resort said. His death comes less than three years after that of co-founder Dick Bass, who died in 2015 at 85.

The two met by chance while sitting next to each other at lunch one day, and Bass took interest when Johnson pitched his plan for a resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Johnson had worked at neighboring Alta Ski Area in the 1960s, Snowbird said, and began buying mining claims and looking for investors to open his own resort nearby.

2 comments on this story

“Almost everything at Snowbird — from the tram to the village to the spirit of Snowbird’s first employees — started with Ted,” said Snowbird President and CEO Bob Bonar, who worked for Johnson before the resort opened.

Bonar said his former boss had vision, intellect, an endearing personality and persistence that "brought Snowbird to life.”

Bass bought out Johnson’s interest in Snowbird in 1974, but his mark still is there, with its Silver Fox run named for him.

Johnson is survived by his wife, Shirley, his children and grandchildren, the resort said.