History of Mad River Mountain
Mad River is over 50 years old
Here's our story.
1959 - The IDEA:
During the late spring of 1959 someone came up with the idea of “why would you waste this valuable mountain for a sugar camp. Let’s turn it into a ski area.”
That person was Fred McPeck. Fred, an avid skier, became one of the earlier inspirations encouraging us to pursue the idea. Fred, at the time was an assistant sales manager for Miller-Meteor Divco Wayne Corporation and a Bellefontaine resident. He became a stockholder of Ohio Resorts, Inc. and served as a director, as President and later became General Manager of Valley High for a few years.
Mad River Mountain owes some gratitude and respect to Boyne Mountain as that mountain provided the inspiration to start a ski resort in Ohio. At the time Michigan had 94 ski areas! Ohio had zero. What Michigan didn't have that the attractive area of where Mad River currently sits is the proximity to daily commuters. A study indicated that a ski resort developed here would be within 2 hours of 8 million people. Daily commuters from the major cities around; Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, etc. Still accurate today!
Not only did the location have a northern exposure with lots of trees for protection of the snow, plenty of water for making snow, an excellent coast out area (which a lot of resorts do not have), a large enough area for parking and easy access, but it also happened to be the highest Mountain in the state. Campbell Hill in Bellefontaine has always been considered Ohio’s highest point, however, across the valley to the south and east was the location and many consider this point very close to Ohio's highest point.
SUMMER 2015 - THE FIRE - An Icon is Lost
During the late summer of 2015 a devistating fire destroyed the Mad River Mountain base lodge and the iconic A frame that was the Loft. The fire which still to this day has no cause engulfed the lodge quickly and become one of the biggest news stories in Ohio.
Fire fighters and equipment from 15 different companies from across the state battled the blaze which sent flames high into the air and smoke could be seen from as far as Dublin, Ohio.
The lodge would be demolished later that fall and a temporary structure put in place for the upcoming season. STORY FROM THE DISPATCH
DECEMBER 2016 - A 6.2 Million Dollar Facility Opens
After a winter of utilizing specialty tents & temporary plumbing and kitchen facilities Peak Resorts, Inc. enters into an agreement with Bellefontaine company Thomas & Marker to build a mulit-purpose base lodge to house all ski related resources with the exception of rentals within one building.
Immediately after the ski season ended in 2016 the temporary structures were taken down and the base lodge was built over the summer months. Two adjacent buildings that housed administrative offices, ticketing, and a ski school locker room were also removed. The Lodge opened in December or 2016.