Special Report

The Oldest Ski Area in Every State

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Skiing has been a popular winter sport and pastime in the United States for more than a century. It has been boosted by some important developments since then. The world’s first chairlift was installed in Sun Valley, Idaho in 1936 and chairlifts and gondolas are now ubiquitous – you wouldn’t think of hiking up to the top of your favorite slope five or six times in a day.

Skiing got a big lift after WWII, when veterans of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division created new ski areas and developed new ski technologies. (Bob Dole, the longtime Republican Senator who died recently, served in the 10th Mountain Division.) Also, when the war ended there was a surplus of ski equipment, which became available and affordable to many more people. (Here are some other commonly used products developed by the military.)

24/7 Wall St. has identified the oldest ski area in every state, using data compiled by the National Ski Areas Association.

The prize for the oldest goes to Howelsen Hill Ski Area in Colorado, which opened in 1915. Many states opened their first ski areas in the 1930s, including Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Alaska, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Nevada all opened ski areas in the 1940s, shortly after WWII. The most recent entrant on our list is Hidden Valley Ski Area in Missouri, which opened in 1982. (This is the best winter destination in every state.)

Click here to see the oldest ski area in every state

To identify the oldest ski area in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data compiled by the National Ski Areas Association, the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Only ski areas recognized by the NSAA were considered. Ski areas are ranked by their opening year. In states where two ski areas opened in the same year, both are listed as a tie. There are 13 states with no ski areas recognized by the NSAA. In states with only one ski area, the ski area listed is the oldest by default only.

Alabama
> Oldest ski area: Cloudmont Ski
> Opening year: 1971
> Total number of ski areas in state: 1

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Source: sarkophoto / iStock via Getty Images

Alaska
> Oldest ski area: Arctic Valley Ski Area
> Opening year: 1949
> Total number of ski areas in state: 8

Source: coconinonationalforest / Flickr

Arizona
> Oldest ski area: Arizona Snowbowl
> Opening year: 1938
> Total number of ski areas in state: 4

Arkansas
> Oldest ski area: None in state

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California
> Oldest ski area: Mountain High Resort
> Opening year: 1924
> Total number of ski areas in state: 28

Source: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

Colorado
> Oldest ski area: Howelsen Hill Ski Area
> Opening year: 1915
> Total number of ski areas in state: 29

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Source: Daniel Hanscom / Getty Images

Connecticut
> Oldest ski area: Mohawk Mountain Ski Area
> Opening year: 1947
> Total number of ski areas in state: 5

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

Delaware
> Oldest ski area: None in state

Source: Flavio Vallenari / iStock via Getty Images

Florida
> Oldest ski area: None in state

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Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

Georgia
> Oldest ski area: None in state

Source: sorincolac / iStock via Getty Images

Hawaii
> Oldest ski area: None in state

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Source: fsnorthernregion / Flickr

Idaho
> Oldest ski area: Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area
> Opening year: 1935
> Total number of ski areas in state: 14

Illinois
> Oldest ski area: Chestnut Mountain Resort
> Opening year: 1959
> Total number of ski areas in state: 3

Source: porkkala / iStock via Getty Images

Indiana
> Oldest ski area: Paoli Peaks, Inc
> Opening year: 1978
> Total number of ski areas in state: 2

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Iowa
> Oldest ski area: Mt Crescent Ski Area
> Opening year: 1961
> Total number of ski areas in state: 4

Kansas
> Oldest ski area: None in state

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Source: Mike Worley / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Kentucky
> Oldest ski area: None in state

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock via Getty Images

Louisiana
> Oldest ski area: None in state

Maine
> Oldest ski area: Shawnee Peak Ski Area
> Opening year: 1938
> Total number of ski areas in state: 9

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Maryland
> Oldest ski area: Wisp Resort
> Opening year: 1956
> Total number of ski areas in state: 1

Massachusetts
> Oldest ski area: Eaglebrook School
> Opening year: 1922
> Total number of ski areas in state: 10

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Michigan
> Oldest ski area: Mont Ripley Ski Area
> Opening year: 1933
> Total number of ski areas in state: 27

Minnesota
> Oldest ski area: Lutsen Mountains
> Opening year: 1948
> Total number of ski areas in state: 15

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Mississippi
> Oldest ski area: None in state

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Source: Lana2011 / iStock via Getty Images

Missouri
> Oldest ski area: Hidden Valley Ski Area
> Opening year: 1982
> Total number of ski areas in state: 2

Source: cathrinewalters / iStock via Getty Images

Montana
> Oldest ski area: Showdown Montana
> Opening year: 1936
> Total number of ski areas in state: 13

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Source: Davel5957 / iStock via Getty Images

Nebraska
> Oldest ski area: None in state

Source: robertcicchetti / Getty Images

Nevada
> Oldest ski area: Sky Tavern
> Opening year: 1945
> Total number of ski areas in state: 5

New Hampshire
> Oldest ski area: Storrs Hill Ski Area
> Opening year: 1923
> Total number of ski areas in state: 25

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Source: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

New Jersey
> Oldest ski area: Mountain Creek Resort
> Opening year: 1965
> Total number of ski areas in state: 4

Source: JannHuizenga / iStock via Getty Images

New Mexico
> Oldest ski area: Sandia Peak Ski Area
> Opening year: 1937
> Total number of ski areas in state: 10

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New York
> Oldest ski area: Gore Mountain
> Opening year: 1934
> Total number of ski areas in state: 29

North Carolina
> Oldest ski area: Cataloochee Ski Area
> Opening year: 1961
> Total number of ski areas in state: 7

North Dakota
> Oldest ski area: Frost Fire Park
> Opening year: 1976
> Total number of ski areas in state: 2

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Ohio
> Oldest ski area: Snow Trails
> Opening year: 1961
> Total number of ski areas in state: 4

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

Oklahoma
> Oldest ski area: None in state

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Source: Craig Mitchelldyer / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Oregon
> Oldest ski area: Tied: Mt Hood Skibowl & Summit Ski Area
> Opening year: 1927
> Total number of ski areas in state: 10

Source: Brett Carlsen / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Pennsylvania
> Oldest ski area: Seven Springs Mountain Resort
> Opening year: 1932
> Total number of ski areas in state: 23

Rhode Island
> Oldest ski area: Yawgoo Valley Ski Area & Waterpark
> Opening year: 1965
> Total number of ski areas in state: 1

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Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

South Carolina
> Oldest ski area: None in state

Source: studioimagen / Getty Images

South Dakota
> Oldest ski area: Terry Peak Ski Area
> Opening year: 1936
> Total number of ski areas in state: 3

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Tennessee
> Oldest ski area: Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area
> Opening year: 1962
> Total number of ski areas in state: 1

Source: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Texas:
> Oldest ski area: None in state

Utah
> Oldest ski area: Brighton Ski Resort
> Opening year: 1936
> Total number of ski areas in state: 16

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Vermont
> Oldest ski area: Tied: Stowe Mountain Resort & Pico Mountain
> Opening year: 1934
> Total number of ski areas in state: 19

Source: Jacqueline Nix / iStock via Getty Images

Virginia
> Oldest ski area: Bryce Resort
> Opening year: 1965
> Total number of ski areas in state: 4

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Washington
> Oldest ski area: Tied: The Summit At Snoqualmie & Stevens Pass
> Opening year: 1937
> Total number of ski areas in state: 11

West Virginia
> Oldest ski area: Oglebay Resort
> Opening year: 1952
> Total number of ski areas in state: 5

Source: deerez / iStock via Getty Images

Wisconsin
> Oldest ski area: Heiliger Huegel Ski Club
> Opening year: 1935
> Total number of ski areas in state: 20

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Source: AnastasiiaL / Getty Images

Wyoming
> Oldest ski area: Sleeping Giant Ski Area
> Opening year: 1936
> Total number of ski areas in state: 9

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