Sugar Bowl Resort hits their 75th year of operation this winter, celebrating their official opening on December 15, 1939. In honor of this landmark year Sugar Bowl Resort is hosting events all season long to celebrate their history and success.
In 1937 an Austrian ski fanatic, Hans Schroll, fell in love with a mountain and began dreaming of an Austrian style resort. Schroll said, “When I saw the bowl at the foot of Mount Lincoln, I decided that was the place,” and immediately started recruiting investors. Schroll had taught many of California’s wealthiest and most influential families how to ski and one of his most famous clients, Walt Disney, was eager to invest. Disney’s $2500 investment was rewarded with his name stamped on the peak where California’s first chairlift would soon be built. In 1938 the Sugar Bowl Corporation was formed and plans to develop the 700 acre property were underway.
Sugar Bowl Resort built the first chairlift in California in the summer before their 1939 opening, and they’ve been successful ever since. The chairlift ride to the top of Mt. Disney originally took nearly seven minutes and cost skiers $2 to ride. Once the chairlift was built, the resort became a destination for Hollywood stars and passionate skiers because Sugar Bowl offered the ideal environment for great skiing and socializing in the new Bavarian lodge. The resort closed for three years due to a lack of staffing and railroad closures brought on by WWII, but after a hiatus the resort built the first gondola on the West Coast in 1953. This milestone was only the beginning, and Sugar Bowl Resort has continued to upgrade their facilities while maintaining the historical integrity of the original resort.
More recent developments in the growth of Sugar Bowl Resort include their deal to take over management of Royal Gorge, North America’s largest cross-country ski resort. In addition to that new responsibility, Sugar Bowl Resort unveiled a plan for $20 million in improvements. This project created a new ski-in, ski-out Sugar Bowl Academy campus and a new fitness, spa, and training facility called the Sporthaus. These improvements are great examples of how Sugar Bowl Resort has and continues to grow and stay in the competition of high-quality ski resorts.
In honor of Sugar Bowl Resort’s anniversary, the resort is starting the party in December and continuing the celebration through mid-April. Events include the Backcountry Ball on December 12, which is a benefit for the Sierra Avalanche Center, a Special Musical Act (TBD) performing December 16-28, and April 10-12 will be Shred the Love, a benefit for Boarding for Breast Cancer.
This celebration is sure to be a fun time, and many of the events are benefits for a good cause, which is a win-win in our book! For more information on Sugar Bowl Resort and an a calendar of events visit http://www.sugarbowl.com/events.