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The image of an orange butterfly can be seen floating above the city of Salida beginning Monday evening, June 17, for a very good reason. It marks the kickoff of a celebration that has been 80 years in the making.

This year Monarch Mountain marks 80 years of offering winter recreation. It will celebrate throughout 2019 with community events, parades and fun activities at the ski area during the coming winter season.

According to Monarch Vice President of Marketing Dan Bender, “The Monarch butterfly will alternate with the lighted S and Heart on Tenderfoot Mountain celebrating the importance of winter recreation to the community of Salida. Monarch Mountain has been Salida’s ski area for 80 years and we’re honored for Salida to celebrate winter recreation as part of its year-round economy.”

Much of Monarch Mountains history has been tied to the City of Salida – in fact, it owes its existence to the city. It was 1939 when the original operating permit for Monarch Mountain was issued by the U.S. Forest Service to the City of Salida to operate a ski resort on public land.

Salida was not the first or only Colorado city to own a ski resort. One of the oldest ski areas in the state of Colorado, Winter Park Resort also opened in the 1939-1940 ski season. It was owned and operated by the City and County of Denver until 2002.

In the case of Monarch Mountain, the City of Salida celebrated owning its own winter playground for nearly two decades, then sold the lease in 1955 to the Berry Family for the startling sum of $100. Monarch Mountain is operated now by PowderMonarch LLC.

The mountain operates under a U.S. Forest Service special use permit allowing for a ski area to offer winter recreation on public land.

For more information about Monarch Mountain, call 719-530-5000 or go to