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Family ties run deep on these slopes

Maple Ski Ridge to host 50th anniversary celebration

Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam is celebrating a half-century on the slopes this year. This photograph shows a skier hitting the slopes around the 1970's,

Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam is celebrating a half-century on the slopes this year. This photograph shows a skier hitting the slopes around the 1970's, Submitted photo

— The family already used the land for a completely different business when it ran a dairy farm where snowboards now carve through the hills.

In the ‘60s the cows were dropped after it became unprofitable to run a dairy farm “unless you went big,” Michner said. The original barn is still by the entrance to the ski area, but a different family now owns it.

It’s not just one family that has connections back to the early days of the Ridge, though. Frederica Anderson, director of the Schenectady Ski School, started teaching friends and their children who to ski in 1950, and it quickly grew into a budding club.

Anderson was giving lessons at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, but when she heard about a family in Rotterdam that installed a rope tow on their farming land she contacted the Mulycas. Since 1967, she’s held the ski school there on her original verbal agreement.

“It is extremely important to introduce families and young children into the sport,” Anderson said. “The industry has adapted to making the equipment much more user friendly.”

Anderson said she had fond memories of William Mulyca, the original owner, and has continued a good relationship with future generation of owners.

“We have always had a very friendly cooperative relationship,” Anderson said. “It is honestly one of the best managed snowmaking ski areas I could ever hope to ski upon.”

Michner said the business is something that “gets into your blood” and she hopes Maple Ski Ridge will make people smile for many yeas to come.

“We are just like everybody else, another small business trying to survive,” Michner said.

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