Arizona Snowbowl Celebrates Eighty Years — February Party & Concert Planned

Established in 1938, Arizona Snowbowl is one of the longest continually operating ski resorts in the country and this season marks Arizona Snowbowl’s 80th anniversary. To celebrate, Snowbowl is hosting an on-mountain party and a free concert in Downtown Flagstaff, February 23–24.

Friday, Feb. 23, Arizona Snowbowl will kick off 80th celebrations with a family-friendly, 80s-themed deck party at the Hart Prairie Lodge from 3 to 7pm. Enjoy delicious barbeque with a DJ spinning 80s music, food and drink specials, complete with a Torchlight Parade at dusk. Snowbowl staff members will traverse the mountain lighting up Hart Prairie with torchlights at every turn.

The festivities continue Saturday, February 24 in Downtown Flagstaff with a special free concert at the Orpheum Theater from 7 to 11pm by the band Mogollon. The Orpheum Theater will be transformed into a snow globe with an ice bar, photo booth with free photo strip takeaways, and more.

“We’re excited to celebrate Arizona Snowbowl’s 80th anniversary with all of our passholders, guests, partners, employees, alumni and the town of Flagstaff,” stated J.R. Murray, general manager of Arizona Snowbowl. “It’s a great opportunity for us to say thank you for your support over the past 80 years!”

Since 2012, the resort has experienced a complete transformation with more significant improvements at Snowbowl over the past six years than during the past 74.

“Snowbowl has certainly come a long way over the years, but even more so in recent history, which has really made an impact on the resort, our services and the product we offer our guests,” stated Murray. “Arizona Snowbowl has truly gone through a renaissance over these past six years with major improvements to the mountain that have significantly enhanced our guests’ experiences.”

Since 2012, Snowbowl has added snowmaking infrastructure, which revitalized the ski resort. Snowbowl now has more consistent slope conditions, and longer and more reliable seasons. Its state-of-the-art snowmaking system provides coverage of more than 65 percent of designated trails. Snowmaking has significantly improved the ski product and provides a solid base of snow throughout the entire season. Guests can plan winter trips, including spring break vacations in March and April with more confidence. Employees also have more consistent work throughout the season.

Snowmaking isn’t the only major improvement at the resort. Over the past three years, Snowbowl has added a new lift every year. In 2015, Snowbowl opened its first new chairlift in 30 years, the Humphrey’s Peak Quad, which serves popular intermediate trails, including Route 66 and Pluto. In 2016, Arizona Snowbowl installed its first high-speed lift — the only high-speed six-person lift in Arizona. The new Grand Canyon Express, named because you can see the Grand Canyon while riding the lift, transports skiers up the mountain in six minutes with access to more than 80 percent of the ski area. The top terminal is located on Ridge Trail at 10,900 feet in elevation. In 2017, Snowbowl’s old double Hart Prairie chairlift was replaced by a new quad chairlift with a loading conveyor, which makes loading the lift easier and more efficient, especially for beginners. The new lift’s capacity is 1,800 people per hour which is double the old two-person lift, reducing wait times for skiers and snowboarders.

Also new this winter, Snowbowl is opening a new 300-seat restaurant, doubling the dining capacity at the base area. A new pedestrian overpass now connects the Hart Prairie Lodge with the Grand Canyon Express and Sunset chairlifts, eliminating the previous crosswalk, and helping reduce traffic and improve flow up to the Agassiz Lodge. The Flagstaff ski resort also refreshed its brand and logo this season. The new logo incorporates a contemporary mountain design, which is integrated in Arizona Snowbowl’s new website which makes finding information and buying lift tickets, season passes, rental packages, ski and snowboard lessons much easier.

These enhancments are part of multi-mountain capital improvement projects totaling $35 million over three consecutive seasons from 2015 to 2018 across five mountains: Arizona Snowbowl, Purgatory Resort, Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, Pajarito Mountain, Hesperus Ski Area, plus Colorado’s largest snowcat skiing operation, Purgatory Snowcat Adventures.

“While Snowbowl celebrates its 80 year-long history, the resort continues to keep its eye on the future with a strong commitment to enhancing the overall guest experience,” stated Murray. “Our team continues to enhance our mountain master development plan and work with the Forest Service so we can provide mountain biking and other multi-seasonal activities at Snowbowl.”

Arizona Snowbowl is open daily with eight lifts turning from 9am to 4pm. For more information about Arizona Snowbowl, visit

Photos courtesy of Arizona Snowbowl

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