Hogadon Ski Area outside Casper, Wyo., celebrates its 50th anniversary this winter. The ski hill on Casper Mountain, which first launched in 1958, still survives while many of Wyoming's smaller ski hills are dying off.
The Casper Mountain Ski Club launched Hogadon in 1958 with a temporary rope tow, a T-bar, and four runs, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. Skiers paid about $3 for a lift ticket. The club, needing to raise capital to develop permanent facilities for skiing, formed the Central Wyoming Ski Corporation two years later and sold 72,000 shares for $1 each. The corporation ran the ski hill until 1975 when the City of Casper acquired it.
Two double chairlifts replaced the old rope tow and T-bar, and a poma was added. Snowmaking was installed in 1984 to beef up the snow base and extend the season. The ski hill also evolved by adding a professional ski school and ski patrol, and local racers started the Casper Mountain Racers in 1976.
Today the City of Casper maintains the lifts, a day lodge, 24 named trails, and a terrain park - all funded by local taxes and lift ticket sales. Volunteers show up at the annual Tune Up Day in September to clean up the resort and prep it for winter.
Casper skiers celebrated the anniversary this winter by making a float to ride in the annual Casper Christmas parade. Hogadon plans to runs its lifts this year through Apr. 5.