Paul Augustine, founder of Minnesota's Afton Alps and Mount Kato, and Titus Mountain in New York, was recently honored with the National Ski Areas Association's (NSAA) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Augustine began building the Alps in the fall of 1963.  It opened in December of that year to a crowd of 37 paid customers. By the mid-1970s, Afton Alps had 17 chairlifts, four chalets, and two rental shops. The ski area became known for its number of chairlifts, its ski school, and its fully-lit slopes.  The Alps had just one less chair than Vail, at. one time in the early 1990s.

Augustine purchased Ski Haven Ski Area in Mankato in 1977, rebuilt and expanded the area, and renamed it Mount Kato.  It now has 19 runs and eight chairlifts.

He purchased Moon Valley Ski Area in Malone, N.Y., in 1980 rebuilt that area, added several runs to the lower part of the mountain, and renamed it Titus Mountain. After a few more years the upper mountain also was expanded with more runs and lifts and a chalet was added.  Titus Mountain now has 27 runs, eight chairlifts, and two chalets.

Augustine served two terms on the NSAA Board of Directors, was president of the Midwest Ski Areas Association (MSAA) for three years, and was one of the founders of the Twin Cities Independent Ski Areas Association (TCISAA).

Located about a half-hour from St. Paul, Afton Alps has long been one of the more popular day-trip areas in the Heartland.  Kudos to Paul Augustine for a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.