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Claim to Fame:
A diehard monoboarder who lives “197 steps” from the base of Chair 3 at Alyeska, Merrigan is the resort’s lead bartender. He’s also a rising star of the draught-pouring business. Last year he was named the number one food and beverage employee in Alaska. One reason for the praise might be his willingness to take on any task that comes his way: “Complete strangers once asked me to watch their kids while they went skiing. I guess it takes all kinds.”
He Did What
Each year, during Alyeska Resort’s Spring Carnival, Merrigan arrives as “Big Wave Dave,” the most feared competitor in the Slush Cup, an annual pond-skimming event that draws thousands of spectators. At the end of his runs, the imposing 240-pound redhead is known to carve sweeping right-hand turns mid slush pond, dousing the crowd with 33-degree water. “One year a photographer who was standing directly in the wet zone had a few choice words for me,” says Merrigan. “And I could not help but think, “What part of Big Wave Dave don”t you get?”
What’s in a Name
“Big Wave” isn”t the only handle Merrigan has picked up over the years. Various friends call him “Blueberry” (from skiing in a blue poncho), “Sasquatch” (for his habit of forgoing footwear), and Mono Man Merrigan, for his stubborn single-ski dedication. His motto? “One Man, One World, One Ski.”