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It's Time to Celebrate... Paoli Peaks Turns 40!


Posted on 1/14/2019 by Visit French Lick West Baden


Paoli Peaks is celebrating their 40th birthday…You know what they say, it’s all down hill from there!  Paoli Peaks opened in 1979 with 3 slopes and it’s been downhill since then, and that’s lucky for the rest of us! Paoli Peaks offers skiing, snowboarding, and arctic blast snow tubing in the heart of Southern Indiana!



When you think of Southern Indiana, I’m sure that a ski resort may not cross your mind, but it should! For 40 years patrons have graced the rolling hills to get their share of winter fun! After the winters in the 70’s (Blizzard of 1978 ring a bell?) Dr. Richard Graber thought adding slopes in Paoli was a great idea. He found investors, mostly other doctors to join in on the venture. Land was purchased from local farmers, and yes, the rumors are true… it used to be a hog farm! Felix and Margirt Kati originally from Switzerland were brought in to manage and build the slopes and lifts. The original lodge contained food services, rentals, and a ski school, while tickets had to be purchased from trailers outside the lodge. There was a lot more interest than originally thought. The 500 sets of skis available for rental, sold out quickly and people had to wait their turn to try out the slopes. Within the first year the lodge was built on to, to expand the dining and rental area, and the story continues to grow from there.



Of course, Southern Indiana is not known for astronomical snowfalls, so most of the snow at Paoli Peaks is made. When the ski resort first opened, they only had 6 fans to blow snow, today there are 110 fans that blow 6,000 gallons of water a minute! The lodge is now a 45,000 square foot facility including cafeteria style dining, a pizzeria, ski and snowboard rentals, a cozy ski bar, free Wi-Fi, pro shop, first aid station, group sales and ski and snowboard school. Paoli Peaks boasts 15 trails (as opposed to the 3 original), arctic blast tubing with up to 10 lanes around 700 feet each, and snowboarding!  All of the activities you need and more to enjoy some exciting winter fun, including two terrain parks for advanced and beginners, 8 lifts, natural hill with a 300-foot vertical drop! Sylvia Crick (director of marketing and administration) at Paoli Peaks says, “We offer a wonderful place for families to learn and begin their skiing and snowboarding with lessons available and a wide variety of beginner friendly terrain!” Don’t forget to ask about a membership to the Barn Bully Mug Club! Membership includes a 25 oz glass mug with this year’s 40th Anniversary logo!


Whether you’ve been visiting Paoli Peaks for the past 40 years or this is your first time, it’s the perfect place to find thrills and chills for all of your friends and family! Enjoy Paoli Peaks and more in #MyFrenchLick.  Paoli Peaks has plenty of events planned for this winter season, check out all of the exciting activities on our events page.