Ski bum touring the country in 16-year-old ‘Maui Ski Bus’
December 22, 2016
The Maui Ski Bus has seen a lot of changes in its lifetime. A retired airport shuttle bus, the Maui Ski Bus now travels around the continent with its owner, Steve Fisher.
Fisher, an avid skier and longtime adventure seeker, bought the nearly 16-year-old bus in Hawaii. The bus underwent a color change, from green to bright yellow, and now features a small kitchen area and can sleep up to four comfortably.
During the 2011-12 ski season, Fisher managed to take the Maui Ski Bus to 104 ski resorts in Canada and the United States. This season, Fisher is touring around various ski resorts again, although this time with no serious goal as to how many resorts he can visit.
In an interview with Fisher, the Summit Daily asked about his adventures on the road and what this next adventure holds.
Summit Daily News: How did you come up with the idea for a traveling ski bus?
Steve Fisher: I'm a ski bum, living on a tropical island. Combine the two and I become a tropical ski bum.
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SDN: What does the Maui Ski Bus look like?
SF: I've done a lot of sailing and boat rebuilding work. I built the interior myself. It has a small kitchen area, table, seating area and two beds, one of which is lofted. There is a storage unit on top, as well as a dance floor and yoga deck with speakers.
SDN: How long did it take you to get to all those resorts during the 2011-12 season?
SF: It was the whole season. I started in November and finished in April. It worked really well with the resorts. I was able to get a day pass at each resort. We contacted each resort and let them know it was a unique adventure. The ski resorts liked it because it is classy looking and painted bright yellow. I approached them with a positive marketing outlook. I have handed out around 8,000 pieces of stickers, pins, T-shirts and hats.
SDN: Why did you decide to take the bus on the road again this season?
SF: The first year I did this my goal was to do 100 (resorts), the second was to do 50. I accomplished 38. Adventure three is currently happening. I haven't set a real serious goal, just letting things flow. No accidents and no injuries. That's the goal this time. I couldn't think of any goals to make on this trip except to make people smile and spread the aloha.
SDN: What does the rest of your third tour look like?
SF: I will visit Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January. The Maui Ski Bus will be there. Then in February I head to Wyoming for Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee. In mid-March I will be in Aspen for the FIS World Cup Finals, a stepping-stone for the 2018 Olympics in Korea. April I head to Telluride and Silverton ski areas. Then I head west to Mammoth Mountain, finishing in the Squaw Valley area of California. I store the bus during the summer outside of Lake Tahoe.
SDN: How much longer do you think you will take this bus around the country?
SF: I don't know about another winter adventure, but I definitely want to do a summer adventure. The Maui Ski Bus is also a mountain bike and yoga bus. The Maui Mountain Bike and Maui Yoga Bus. In 2015, I took the bus to 52 yoga studios. In the summer I want to go to the different ski resorts and mountain bike with my parrot. I have a parrot that I mountain bike with named Hiilani. He sits on my shoulder while I ride.
SDN: What are some of your favorite memories or favorite people you've met along the journey with the bus?
SF: Up in Steamboat, I skied the afternoon with Billy Kidd. At a small resort in Idaho, a 5-year-old girl named Emily thought the ski bus was so cool. This kid gave me ski lessons on the bunny slopes. I've helped ski patrollers do sweeps and rescues on different mountains. Giving out the stickers is a lot of fun too.
SDN: How much longer will you and the bus be in Summit County?
SF: I will be leaving for Michigan to see family for Christmas, but I will be back in Summit after the holiday for about another week.