Swain Ski Slopes

With Our Four Hands article in the Crooked Lake Review:

article about David and Bina Robinson – founders of Swain Ski resort

Establishing a Ski area at Swain by David Robinson


(From the Nunda News, Thursday, Jan. 1, 1953)


Swain Ski Slope Open to Fans

Only “Safe Skiers” can ski at Swain, close to Nunda.

According to resort owner Dave Robinson, a “Safe Skier” is one who has read the Swain Safety Code and signed a pledge to support it. Upon signing, he receives free of charge a Swain Safe Skier button.

“The code covers every possible cause of accident we could think of,” explains Robinson.  “The purpose is to make skiers more safety-conscious.  Like motorists and industrial workers, skiers grow a little careless at times, and we hope that the buttons will serve as a reminder both at Swain and other ski areas.”

New developments at Swain this year include 80 Acre Slope, replacing the old trail of the same name, and Mile Sweep, a relatively gentle trail 5100 feet long.

There is also a new ski shop located near the base of the main tow.  It has facilities enabling skiers to wax and repair their won skis.  A new drive unit has been installed on the main town to furnish smoother power, and the highest tow has been extended another 100 feet farther uphill, increasing the combined length of all tows to 3100 feet.

The Swain lodge has new built-in furniture and a larger heating unit supplementing the open-earth fireplace.  The sun terrace has new benches equipped with seats that fold back when not in use so that they are always free from snow.

The area operates week ends.

(From The Nunda News, Thursday, Feb. 26, 1959)

Memorial Erected At Swain Ski Slopes

CANASERAGA, Feb. 24. – That interesting new edifice at the swain Ski Slopes is a memorial to Ski Patrolman Dick Clark, who died of a heart attack just a year ago after making a final trail sweep at Swain.  Dick’s last words were it was one of the best days of skiing he had ever had.

His many friends at the Swain Slopes contributed to build the new redwood building that is a combined toboggan shelter, first aid supply center and resting place for tired skiers.  The memorial was dedicated recently with a ceremony that attracted on of the largest crowds Swain has had this season.

Dick Tardif, a fellow ski patrolman, did most of the construction work on the memorial.  He was helped also by Ski Patrolmen Cliff Champion, Harry Stoneham, Don Page and Bernie Newmark.

Mrs. Clark has noted that she and the children are very appreciative for this thoughtful memorial and that one of the slopes at Swain will be known henceforth as the “Dick Clark Slope.”

(From The Nunda News, Thursday, Feb. 14, 1963)

Swain Ski Slopes Has Woman Doctor To Render First Aid to Injured Skiers

Dr. Anne Harrison, Scottsville’s young woman doctor, is a member of the Swain Ski Patrol, giving first aid to the injured, helping to fill in pot holes on the slopes and keeping traffic moving sanely.

Within a stone’s throw from Nunda, the Swain Ski Slopes draw crowds to enjoy the sport, which is bringing increased fame to this immediate area.

Dr. Harrison says she likes skiing because it takes you outside and puts you more or less on your own.

(From The Nunda News, Thursday, February 13, 1964)


By W.B.S.

Less than 30 minutes drive from my office in Nunda is located Swain Ski Slopes, said by its owners to be the “least expensive large T bar ski area in New York state,” where hundreds of people of all ages enjoy the winter sport among the friendliest group of skiers to be found anywhere, many skiers from Buffalo and Rochester coming for the week ends, checking in at the close by far-famed Genesee Falls Hotel in Portageville.

Covering 80 acres, the Swain resort is 11 miles south of Nunda on Route 406, 56 miles from Rochester and 67 miles from Buffalo.  The cafeteria at the Ski Barn specializes in serving good food at moderate prices.  Wide windows frame a view of the slopes, making a comfortable place for skiers and spectators to watch the activities outside.

Located in one of the colder temperature zones in the state, and having an average snowfall of more than 8 feet, one T-Bar slope alone has a base elevation of 1650 feet above sea level, affording one of the most thrilling “slide-down-hill” sights in Western New York.

Swain operates (snow permitting) Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and Christmas and New Year’s week, except for Christmas day.  It does not normally operate Monday thru Friday, being more interested in good skiing that it is in prestige.  Weekdays are spent in improving and conserving the surface so that the best possible skiing conditions exist for the week end.

Not so many years ago skiing was rated as a sport only for the rich.  Today men, women and young people of modest means have found Swain Slopes, designed and owned by Mr. and Mrs. David Robinson, afford winter recreation at low cost, adult all-day tickets for Saturday and Sunday selling for $4.25 and Junior (15 or under) tickets at $3.50, which seems to justify the slogan of the owners: “More skiing for your dollar at Swain,” where a ski school is directed by Bill DeWolfe, with 14 instructors, giving lessons at morning and afternoon sessions.

Ably managed by its owners, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, Swain Slopes are attracting as many as 500 skiers on week ends, bringing into this area for the first time many strangers, to all of whom is extended a friendly welcome.