Hilltop Ski Area Celebrates 30 Years of Operation
Downhill recreation spot is right in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - What started as a rope tow on the hillside is now a bustling ski resort. This year Hilltop Ski Area celebrates 30 years of business.
For many parents it's a place where their kids don't have to go far to have fun. "I have three boys, all learned to ski and snowboard here. They took their first lessons here. We come several times a winter and we have a great time as a family," said Cathy Opinsky.
Skiing at Hilltop has always been a family affair for her, even when she was just a kid.
"It was a lot different then; the chalet was much smaller, but always a fun time," said Opinsky.
Her 11-year-old son Jack said he likes the resort's close proximity to town. "In Girdwood you have to have a 45 minute drive and you have to have your iPod. Here you can just chill out and it's like a 10 minute drive."
After three decades of operations, business is stronger than ever.
"When we first built the ski area they didn't envision we were going to put so many people to work. We employ about 100 people every year and put a fair amount of money back in the economy through wages. A lot of our employees it's their first time job ever," said C.E.O. Steve Remme.
Raymond Wonders is one of those lucky enough to get paid to hang out at Hilltop. He learned to ski on those slopes; now he patrols them.
"I remember skiing here when it was just a couple buildings and the lift. Seeing the chalet, we've got the Aid Room and it's grown tremendously and I do believe they've given back to the community," said Wonders.
Even during a year with little snowfall, outdoor enthusiasts are still eager to get out and about, ensuring Hilltop will be around for generations to come.