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Destination Nevada County

Premium visitors magazine for Nevada County produced by the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce

1938 The First Steps In

1938 The First Steps In October, the Sugar Bowl Corporation was formed when the land was purchased for $6,750 by Hannes Schroll, an Austrian who had previously been the director of the Badger Pass ski school near Yosemite. Schroll's funds were tied up when the war began, so he borrowed money from local realtor Hamilton McGaughey, and ice skating champion George Stiles. Schroll sought other investors to help build a slopeside village and ski resort modeled after those in hi hometown of Kitsbuhel, Austria. Walt Disney invested $2,500, and in return, Schroll renamed Hemlock Peak "Mr. Disney," where the first chairlift would be installed. Photo credit: Walt Disney Family Museum Disney’s first Mountain Photo credit: Walt Disney Family Museum 1941 The Art of Skiing Sugar Bowl was featured in the 1941 Disney cartoon “The Art of Skiing” where Goofy goes to Sugar Bowl to learn how to ski. 172 DESTINATION Nevada County Photo credit: Video.Disney.Com

December 15, 1939 A Resort is Born The Disney lift was constructed and completed in time for the resort's planned December 15 opening. It marked the first chairlift to be installed in California. Designed by Henry Howard, the left was 3,200 feet long, had a 1,000-foot vertical rise, and consisted of 13 steel towers and terminals that could be raised as needed to compensate for the snow depth. The cost was $0.25 for a ride up or $2.00 if you wanted to ski down. Photo credit: www.sugarbowl.com/history In the late 1930s, Walt Disney met Austrian skiing champion Hanness Schroll. Walt became acquainted with Schroll while vacationing at Badger Pass, where Schroll was the head of the Yosemite Ski School. The two became good friends. In 1938, Schroll and business partners purchased land with the intention of building a ski resort in the east Sierras, near Donner's Summit and the small town of Truckee. The land encompassed an area around two mountains—Hemlock Peak and Mount Lincoln. www.waltdisney.org/blog/new-heights-mount-disney-and-sugar-bowl January 4, 1940 Sugar Bowl’s First Powder Day On January 4, a blizzard struck Sugar Bowl and the skiing at Sugar Bowl officially began, with train load after train load of skiers coming in unexpected numbers. Toward the end of the season, in April, Schroll held the inaugural Silver Belt race, which was won by Gretchen Fraser and Freidl Pfeifer. Prior to the international World Cup ski competition, the Silver Belt race was one of the most challenging of that era and often attracted the top European and American skiers. Photo credit: www.sugarbowl.com/history Photo credit: Tau Zero, WordPress.com DESTINATION Nevada County 173