Tremblant ski resort has a big birthday bash on its schedule.

Tremblant Ski Resort. They were masters of their universe. Averell Harriman, Union Pacific Railway (Sun Valley). Gianni Agnelli, Fiat (Sestriere). Fred  Pabst, Milwaukee beer  (Mont Saint Sauveur). Wealthy scions and self-made men, all. The world’s first ski area developers. Determined. Inventive. Ruthless. Whimsical. Sick with the love of skiing.

Perhaps the most eccentric of these scions was Joseph B. Ryan, heir of a Philadelphia fortune who, in 1939, was fixed on transforming Quebec’s fabulously far-out and frigid Mont Tremblant into a playground of snow. Ryan was spurred by broadcaster Lowell Thomas to string North America’s second chairlft (the first was Sun Valley’s) up the “trembling mountain’s” Flying Mile.

The rich and the famous  followed—among them the Dukes, the Rockefellers, the Kennedys, and the Skakels—riding the P’tit Train du Nord from Montreal, and sipping Les P’tit Caribou, a potent mix of port, vodka, crème de cassis, and maple syrup.

Joe Ryan lived life controversially, and died under strange circumstances in 1950… but that is another story. Joe’s wife, Mary Ryan, carried on with a will of steel. Then Intrawest purchased Tremblant ski resort in the 1990s and enlarged the Ryans’ vision. Tremblant ski resort expanded exponentially in the ensuing years, with a village of cobbled streets, buildings with candy-colored rooftops, a central square full of buskers and musicians, a bevy of  slopeside condos and boutique hotels, and an exhausting nightlife.

Expect an especially frenzied après-ski this season. Tremblant ski resort has a big birthday bash on its schedule. The ski area will officially celebrate on Februarya 12, 2014—75 years after its first official opening by scion Joe Ryan.

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Mont Tremblant Resort

Mont Tremblant Ski Resort is a year-round resort in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, Canada, about 130 km northwest of Montreal. It is best known as a ski destination, but also features Lake Tremblant suitable for swimming and two golf courses in the summer months. The name of the mountain, Mont Tremblant, was derived from the local Algonquin natives, who called it the “trembling mountain.” The summit is at an elevation of 875 metres, which makes it one of the tallest peaks in the Laurentians.