Scandinavian miners brought skiing to Aspen, but commercial skiing did not begin until André Roche, a champion Swiss skier, proposed “a difficult course that will bring the world's greatest skiers to your door.” WPA funds and labor helped build Roche Run's first lift, consisting of old steel cable and frame tram towers from the Little Annie Mine. The cable was attached to a Model A Ford engine and an eight-passenger wooden toboggan tow that resembled a rowboat. When the lift opened in January 1938, lift tickets cost 10 cents a ride or 50 cents a day. The boat tow was followed in 1946 by Lift 1, then the world's longest lift (7,904 feet). At the top of the mountain is Herbert Bayer's octagonal sun deck (1946). Aspen Mountain began to set international standards for ski areas, a trend continued in 1986 with installation of the Silver Queen Gondola. One of the boat tows, antique wooden chair lifts and tram cables, and the base of Lift 1, now National Register relics, are on display in Willoughby Park, 700 South Aspen Street, at the base of Aspen Mountain.
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Aspen Mountain Ski Area
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