Cottonwood Restaurant, a premier spot for mountain cuisine in Truckee, is known for incredible views of Historic Downtown from its hilltop deck. Back at the turn of the century, this was the site of a small ski area with several rope tows and a Poma lift rising 700 vertical feet. Charles F. McGlashan, the owner and one of Truckee’s most prominent citizens, spearheaded the creation of a Winter Carnival with ice skating, sleigh rides, skiing, ski jumping, and tobogganing, putting Truckee on the map at a winter destination.
Years later, Sugar Bowl Resort opened in 1939, with the help of a $2500 investment from Walt Disney. It opened with the Disney lift, the first chairlift in California - 3,200 feet long, with a 1,000-foot vertical rise, 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.
Later that season in 1940, the inaugural Silver Belt race was held, one of the most challenging ski events before the international World Cup ski competition, attracting top European and American skiers.
Keep Reading: Rise of the lift: The story of California’s first chairlift, Tahoe Daily Tribune