Tim Flanagan grew up in a small, ranching community in Colorado so he knows all about small town ways. He was a high school ski racer and went to college on a skiing scholarship. Skiing has always been a part of his life. He bought out his parent’s ski shop business but the Wyoming mountains were calling. So, he sold the business and moved his family to Jackson Hole where he currently resides. He is a volunteer ski coach for the Jackson Broncs.
Four years ago his daughter was passing through Cokeville and decided to check out Pine Creek Ski Area. She called her dad and told him he just had to try it out. He and his wife decided to make the trek from Jackson Hole to Pine Creek and fell in love. Flanagan said he’s skied all over the world and was shocked at how great Pine Creek was.
With his background in skiing and his love for kids and coaching, he approached the ski area, at that time, about forming a ski team. Fred Roberts reached out to Flanagan recently in hopes of rekindling the idea of getting a ski team for the area.
Flanagan’s passion for the sport goes beyond being a great skier. Through coaching, he has encouraged kids to see beyond the sport itself. There are so many job opportunities awaiting in the ski industry from engineering to management, diesel mechanics, accounting, sales rep, marketing and irrigation to name a few. The ski industry is important enough to Wyoming’s economy that the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading the mountain resort, which has become one of the most famous ski resorts in the world.
The ski industry is unique in that internships are available while a student is still in school in these different areas. Flanagan believes that a high school ski team is a way to introduce kids to this world. He wants to keep the sport alive and believes it is viable for athletes in this area to team up for one team. Flanagan stated: “I owe everything to the sport of skiing.”
He was the head coach at the Air Force Academy where he met his wife and he went to college because of skiing.
There are currently six teams in Wyoming: Cody, Laramie, Kelly Walsh, Natrona County, Pinedale and Jackson. They would love to add Lincoln County to the list, which would also give them more opportunities to compete. The possibilities are out there but it takes money and sponsorship. Private ski racing programs such as ski clubs, run about $15,000-$21,000 per athlete, per season. High school racing runs approximately $25,000 for a team of 25-30 athletes per season. This is a sport that gives kids the opportunity in an industry with so many opportunities.
If you are interested in participating, contact Pine Creek Ski Area. The next step is funding and Flanagan is currently working on a plan to assist in funding a program for this area. Cody Hansen, head coach of the Jackson Broncs’ ski team, and Flanagan donated gates and special drills for drilling in snow to set up race courses at Pine Creek Ski Area.