Showdown is Montana’s oldest ski area. This winter, the ski area is celebrating its 75th anniversary and rolling out deals for January and February.

The ski area, located south of Great Falls, opened in 1936 as Kings Hill with skiers hiking for turns. By the next year, it added a rope tow powered by a car engine and operated by the Great Falls Ski Club. The club charged for lift tickets — 50 cents for members and $1 for non-members.

Showdown now has four lifts, one of which goes to the 8,200-foot summit of Prophyry Peak. The ski area, which is open Wednesdays through Mondays, serves a booming terrain park community with frequent Terrain Park League events.

The anniversary celebration officially kicks off Jan. 28. Special anniversary events are scheduled for Feb. 4, 11, and 18.

Check out a quick time lapse of Showdown’s New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight parade. In honor of the anniversary, the torchlight parade lit up with a “75” visible to start. Be sure to enlarge the video to full screen to see it.

In February, lift tickets for Showdown are discounted every Wednesday. You can get in a full day of skiing or riding for $20.

Showdown is also participating in the January Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Beginner skiers who are at least seven years old can get a two-hour group lesson, rental gear, and a beginner lift ticket for $25. The first timer snowboard learning package, which is available to anyone at least 11 years old, costs $35.

Showdown Montana

Beginner skiers and riders start at Showdown on the conveyor carpet. Photo by Becky Lomax.

The resort is also offering a three-time lesson, lift, and rental package for beginners for $110. The three days each include use of rental equipment, a group lesson, and a lift ticket. The lift ticket is for the beginner lift the first two days, but the third day graduates participants to an all mountain lift ticket. Those who complete all three lesson days receive three lift tickets good until April 7, 2012.

Find more information here: Showdown calendar of events, lesson programs.