Circa 1948, Corcoran raced on the Tecumseh Trail for the first time.
Corcoran graduated from Dartmouth College in 1954 and later from Harvard Business School. Upon leaving Dartmouth, Corcoran headed to Aspen.
Corcoran represented the United States in the 1956 and 1960 Winter Olympics, nearly winning a medal in the 1960 Giant Slalom at Squaw Valley.
In 1965, Corcoran left Aspen and started the Waterville Company, Inc., purchasing most of the privately owned land in the town of Waterville Valley. During the planning and initial construction phases, Corcoran continued to ski race. Corcoran allegedly received help in obtaining Federal permits and loans from friend Robert Kennedy.
Waterville Valley ski area opened on Mt. Tecumseh for the 1966-67 season with four double chairlifts and a J-Bar, while nearby Snow's Mountain remained operational with two T-Bars. With the new lifts being Stadeli, Corcoran would become a United States seller of the brand.
Also in the late 1960s, Corcoran was involved in starting the NASTAR racing organization.
In 1970, Corcoran was involved in initial planning for a ski area on Mt. Tom in Crawford Notch.
Waterville became a popular ski destination for racers and celebrities alike. Through the years, Corcoran joined popular figures such as the then-President Carter's daughter Amy, as well as the Kennedys, on the slopes. Bobby's Run was named in honor of late Senator Robert Kennedy.
The ski area underwent a massive expansion project in 1977-78 with financing from Manchester Bank. In addition to the installation of a top to bottom snowmaking system, the area expanded its main lodge and added a triple chairlift. Also that year, Corcoran ramped up the area's cross country ski operations after a visit to Mte. St. Anne in Quebec.
In the fall of 1979, Corcoran led a group of investors that bought out the assets of Bobcat ski area, later known as Crotched West. Crotched West would soon be merged with Crotched East, forming a united Crotched Mountain. Corcoran would sell his ownership stake in the 1980s.
Waterville's first high speed detachable chairlift was installed for the 1988-89 season, initially serving the entire area. The lift would later be truncated due to wind issues.
Swamped with $6 million in debt (much of it held by the FDIC after two bank failures), the Waterville Company, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 1994. The company emerged from bankruptcy later that year, when it sold the ski area and conference center to S-K-I Ltd. for $10 million. The area would soon be sold to Booth Creek and would see years of declining skier visit numbers.
In addition to serving as a selectman for Waterville Valley for over three decades, Corcoran was also president of the Eastern Ski Areas Association and chairman of the National Ski Areas Association. He is a member of the United States Ski Hall of Fame.
Corocoran stepped down from every day management of the Waterville Company, Inc. in 1999. As of 2010, Corcoran continues to serve as chairman of the company, which still has numerous holdings in Waterville Valley.
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Last updated: April 27, 2011
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