Snow or no snow a mixer will be held at Snow Valley Mountain Resort on Friday, Feb. 20. The fun event, where you can meet new friends and business associates in the community, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. and if you attend you can munch your way through pizza, salad and non-alcoholic beverages.
This fun get-together is open to mountain residents and businesses owners and staff as well as visitors and it will be held in WR’s Smokehouse Restaurant which is located adjacent to the Last Run Lounge at the longtime ski area on Hwy. 18.
For information call the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce at (909)
Come meet new friends (or bring longtime ones) and enjoy the camraderie and the alpine atmosphere.
For further information contact the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce at (909) 867-2411. If no one is available to take your call leave a message and your call will be returned.
Come enjoy historic Snow Valley. The great ski area is located about five miles east of Running Springs on Hwy. 18. For further information call (909) 867-2751.
Snow Valley has a fascinating history and as the oldest of all the local ski areas it’s fun to look back. My parents came up to the mountains in the 1930s and I have some old photos of them skiing on skis that had to be at least seven or eight feet long. Naturally they were made of wood and they look about as long as the Golden Gate Bridge compared to today’s shorter skis.
Before jack Northrup (aviation designer) built the first sling life in the local mountains people had to clomp up the hills in order to “shoosh” down. At this time skis were very heavy (try about 20 pounds) and they were about eight feet long so huffing and puffing all the time back up the hill must have been exhausting. For some reason the ski area became known as Fish Camp because there was a pond near the top of what is now chair #5.
Just a few years later, in 1937, “Fish Camp” was opened as a commercial ski area. Owner Sevrre Engen from Norway, received his “ski permit” from the Forest Service.A year later the fabulous Arrowhead Springs Hotel took over the site intending to offer their guests winter skiing possibilities and swimming and tennis in the summer. Unfortunately two years later the Arrowhead Springs Hotel went into bankruptcy but another Norwegian ski jumper, John Elvrum purchased the lease to “Fish Camp” for $5,000. At that point the name of the facility was changed to Snow Valley.
In 1948 Snow Valleye was incorporated and the following year the first chair lift was installed.. Two years later the base lodge construction was completed and nine years later the first double chair lift was built.
In 1971 the principal owner and operator, John Elvrum, sold his interest to the parent company, Snow Valley, Incorporated. A lot of us “old timers” will remember the first general manager, Jack Rindal, who had been John Elvrum’s longtime assistant.
In 1974 W.R. Sauey became the owner of Snow Valley and all these years later he still owns the facility. By 1988 Austrian-born Benno Nager assumed the role of general manager but the following year the areas base facilities burned to the ground and as a longtime reporter I remember the three-alarm fire and going up there the following morning. The fire had burned so fiercely that there was hardly anything left of the building except smoldering black pieces of wood. I’ll never forget that sight and I’ll never forget looking at Jack Rindal and Benno and I still remember the horrified looks on their faces, the fire engines that were still there making sure the fire was completely out, and the black, charred timber that was left from that disasster. It was, to put it mildly, heart-breaking.
At this time, and previously for all the years, there was no snowmaking equipment at the site (and I doubt much of it had not even been invented yet!). I remember when snowmaking came in about 1996. It was “magic”….there simply was no other word to explain it. The facility no longer had to rely totally on Mother Nature to bring snow and while unbelievably expensive it could be made.” The advent of snowmaking was an amazing thing and it continues today, of course. The famous phrase from the outstanding Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams “If you build it they will come” couldn’t be more true when it comes to making snow for happy skiers who flock to areas where it’s available if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. It truly has, in many ways, revolutionized the ski industry.
Fast forward to 2002 when Snow Valley made big enhances to its snow play area and the following year the Crestline-Lake Arrowhead Water Agency and Snow Valley came to an agreement that added a larger water pipeline to the area which helped the facility be able to, among other thing, have more water to make snow. That same year four large new snow blowing machines were added. In 2003 local Kevin Somes joined the team as marketing manager. Kevin is now general manager of the sit and he continues his enormous commitment to the communities. In addition to his work at Snow Valley Kevin is, and has been the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce president and he spends an inordinate amount of time promoting the local community and helping on many, many different events.
Throughout the years Snow Valley has been an exciting venue for a variety of events including the totally insane “Tough Mudder” event. Several decades ago outdoor concerts were held at the site that featured John Denver, the Beach Boys, Reba McIntire and the Statler Brothers. Those of us who attended those great events remember them fondly and miss the fact that they can no longer be held at the site due to a variety of reasons, including environmental issues.
Ever since it was built this ski area has held its own in the small area and many people love it because of its small-town “flavor.” While there are many larger areas to ski in California Snow Valley remains a family-friendly, local, easy-to-get to ski resort with great amenities in the small communities near Running Springs, Green Valley Lake and Arrowbear Lake. Located right on Hwy. 18 it has been, and remains, a great place to ski and snowboard for locals and skiers from all over southern California (and sometimes beyond!)
Come to the mixer and meet new friends, breathe the fresh clean air in the local mountains and find out more about what’s available in the Running Springs, Arrowbear Lake and Green Valley Lake business communities. Our communities may be small but there’s something really great about that!
See you there!