Snowstar Ski Area History
In 1979 the President and the Vice-President / General Manager of Sundown Ski Area in Dubuque, Iowa spearheaded the forming of Snowstar Corporation. In conjunction with 8 other local businessmen, their purpose was to develop a new ski area in the Quad Cities.
The 10 owners were selected for their planning, construction, and management capabilities as well as their ability to financially stand behind the project. In addition, many of them are or were in ski related businesses and/or active skiers.
A 70 acre tract of land was purchased near Andalusia and by the winter of 1981-82 Snowstar was in its first year of operations. During the first year about 6 acres of terrain was skiable. Trails included Comet(advanced), North Star(intermediate), and Milky Way(beginner). The day lodge included a cafeteria, lounge, ticket office, ski school, ski patrol, rental and gift shop. The hills were serviced by a quad chair lift, a cable tow, full snowmaking coverage, grooming tractors, and lighting for night skiing. Typical season ran from early December thru early March. Hours were from 9am to 10pm daily except for closing at 4pm on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas. Year one saw good ski weather with good snowfall and excellent attendance. Skier count was 23,512 over a 76 day season running from December 18 through March 10.
In the summer of 1982, optimism led to the widening of Comet and the addition of another intermediate run (Big Dipper) bringing the skiable terrain to about 11 acres. Another quad chairlift was added also.
Snowstar was designed to teach beginners and provide experienced snow enthusiasts a pleasant safe environment to enjoy winter. Our goal is to provide our area’s youth and families, with a fun recreation alternative that can be shared for a lifetime with family and friends. From this humble beginning Snowstar has grown into a 28 acre winter sports park which includes snow tubing, snowboarding and skiing.