New Year's Eve at Monarch Mountain

Back in 1939, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Project Administration workers installed the first rope tow at Monarch Mountain, skiers were pulled up under the power of a Chevy engine. Once they got to the top, they came down much the same way skiers and snowboarders still do today: by pointing their toes straight down a run dubbed, appropriately enough, Gunbarrel. Actual turning would come later, as would some of the other comforts of modern skiing — like Monarch’s first chairlift, which wasn’t installed until 1960, and its first double chairlift, added in 1968 — as well as more recent developments, like the opening of the hike-to terrain in Mirkwood Basin a decade ago and the expansion of the base lodge last season.

“We’re very excited to be celebrating our 75th anniversary this season,” says Monarch spokeswoman Jesse Smith. “It’s a nice big number for a great ski area backed by such a tremendous community.”

Smith says the ski area will be marking the anniversary with live music, food specials and Elevation Beer Company drink specials after the lifts close at 4 p.m. A torchlight parade will come down the mountain at 6:15 (sign up at the season-pass desk to participate). “It’ll be the perfect place to leave 2014 behind with a bang,” Smith says. “We’ve doubled up on our usual New Year’s Eve fire-works display for the occasion.” Visit skimonarch.com for all the details.
Wed., Dec. 31, 4 p.m., 2014

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