Did you know that Southern California used to have a year-round ski slope? Earlier this month, Thomas Ryan Real Estate broke down the story of Ski Villa, with help from the California Ski Library.
Opening back on June 25, 1966, the $750,000 project in Chino Hills became the largest synthetic ski slope on the planet. The project got its inspiration from similar slopes in Japan, with it using plastic bristle tiles rather than snow.
The hill featured three rope tows, a lodge, a rental shop, a restaurant, and a ski patrol building. Activities for those who didn’t want to ski included swimming pools, a skating rink, mini golf, shuffleboard, and horseback riding.
After the initial publicity and crowds, the buzz behind Ski Villa faded away quickly. The synthetic slope led to bruises and lacerations, leading to many bringing gloves and parkas to protect themselves.
The hill closed in 1967, just one year after opening. The summit became part of a real estate development, while the synthetic slope slowly eroded. Some hikers have been able to find some of the square plastic bristle-covered tiles decades after it closed.
The video from Thomas Ryan Real Estate is below.
Image/Video Credits: Thomas Ryan Real Estate, California Ski Library