As Northern Arizona anticipates the first big snow of the season, officials at Arizona Snowbowl are preparing for a memorable ski season. In addition to celebrating the newly added snowmaking process, the ski resort north of Flagstaff was selected as a top 10 Ski Destination by the Phoenix Business Journal and voted Best Flagstaff Attraction by readers of the Arizona Daily Sun Best of Flagstaff 2012 awards. To celebrate Snowbowl’s 75th season, festivities are planned for February 1-10, 2013.
Snowbowl’s 75th birthday candles will dance down the mountain as the celebration begins with a free Torchlight Parade at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1. Seasoned Snowbowl employees will carry flares from the top of the Sunset Lift to the Hart Prairie Lodge. “This will be an amazing event for the whole family, outdoor enthusiasts and returning Snowbowl alumni as we’ll watch the light zigzag down the mountain! We’ll have heaters, live music and food available for everyone to Celebrate Winter!” said Snowbowl Marketing and Sales Director Dave Smith.
The 10-day celebration includes sunset skiing and snowboarding, costume parties on the slopes, a fireside chat with Snowbowl’s famous skiers, a snowman building contest, raffles, and downtown special events, with the excitement snowballing to the Arizona Snowbowl 75th Anniversary SnowDown, Friday, Feb. 8 at the High Country Conference Center featuring live entertainment from Flagstaff favorite Mogollon! Tickets are $38 a person commemorating Snowbowl’s first season in 1938.
“This is our opportunity to recognize Snowbowl’s history as one of the longest running established ski areas in the country, as well as celebrate our northland community for years of support and outdoor recreational enjoyment on the Peaks!” said Arizona Snowbowl owner Eric Borowsky. “This season will usher in a new era for Flagstaff’s economy as we are now able to guarantee a ski season!”
In 1934 college students made plans to host the first winter sports carnival on the San Francisco Peaks, unfortunately it turned out to be the driest winter on record since 1901. The Coconino Sun ran a front-page photo of Snow Queen Lucretia Butler along with the concern that she would be a queen without a domain. “We intend for this never to happen again! We can plan on winter!” said Smith.
After a busy summer of construction that created 30 new jobs, culminating with the completion of the most intensive project ever undertaken at the ski resort, Arizona Snowbowl is about to unveil the result of its $12 million investment. Snowmaking will blanket 60 percent of the trails including the Agassiz Lift up to Midway and down Volcano, Wild Turkey and Roundup runs. All beginning and intermediate trails at Hart Prairie and Sunset will have snowmaking.
Arizona Snowbowl plans to open by the Christmas holiday. “We’re vigilantly watching the weather and gearing up for a season like no other!” said General Manager J.R. Murray.
Recent infrastructure improvements and new equipment will contribute to a more rewarding experience for guests. Two conveyor belts are designed to shorten lift lines and make skiing easier for those who may be intimidated by the process of getting on and off chairlifts. Another snowcat has been added to the fleet improving Snowbowl’s efficiency and ability to groom trails. In addition, the ski resort is now the first in the world to offer all new top-of-the-line Never Summer rocker-style snowboard equipment for rent or purchase.
“No one will want to miss out on Snowbowl’s glistening diamond anniversary celebration, so mark your calendar for Feb. 1 -10, think snow and Celebrate Winter!” said Smith.
For more information log onto www.ArizonaSnowbowl.com.