Pink Panther Ski Area

Artifacts

Media References

Return to Pink Panther in 2006

Stories about the Hill

 

  For about 20 years in the 60s, 70s and 80s, there was a fun little ski hill called "The Pink Panther" located in De Pere, just south of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  They had day and night skiing.  You could buy a lift ticket or season pass and spend your entire winter out there.  It was a different time and our parents would just drop us off when the hill opened and pick us up at closing time.  This web page is a little marker and remembrance of the ski hill where we had so much fun.

For the 1964-65 ski season, brothers Roy and Don Cain opened a ski hill that they called "The Pink Panther" on some land that they had skied with their family for a few years before that.  This was a very small hill with 3 runs.  The "Bunny Hill" and the "Headwall" were served by rope tows, and the "T-bar Hill" was served (quite obviously) by a small t-bar.  The 3 runs were arranged in a rough triangle, and the "Headwall" had some trails off to one side.  A satellite view of the land in 2008 gives a rough idea of the layout.  There is a pond in this picture that was not there when the hill was in operation, just a creek that ran through a culvert.

There were also trails to the east of the headwall where you could ski through the trees and end up at the headwall's rope tow.  The K2 Stingers at the right represent the kind of technology we were riding on back then.  Straight skis with bindings that didn't always release, ski straps instead of brakes, but every 7th-grader in 1979 was dying for a pair of them!

If you learned to ski in the Sixties, Seventies or Eighties in Green Bay, you probably did it here.  The Green Bay Press Gazette had a ski school each year where you learned in big group lessons over the course of two Saturdays.  Then you could have a relaxing ski on the Bunny or T-Bar hills or challenge yourself on the headwall.  And goodness knows what was going on in the trails!

Here's a video that my Dad took of my 12 year old self skiing on the bunny hill.  Thanks for capturing The Pink Panther on 8mm film, Dad, it's the only picture/video I have of the hill in operation so far.

 
 

 

Artifacts

Media References

Return to Pink Panther in 2006

Stories about the Hill

 

 

 

In the beginning of The Pink Panther's operation, there was a small A-Frame building that served as the lodge, office and bar.  Later on they built another structure that was mostly underground, called the Rathskeller.  During the ski season, this building was the lodge, office, ski rental and snack bar and the ski hill's bar was in the A-Frame.  But in the summer the Rathskeller operated as a bar and they'd bring in bands on the weekends.

For the 1979-80 season, they changed the name to Snowburst, but we still all called it Pink Panther.  It continued operations until the mid-eighties and then reverted back to the land.  This web page began in 2006 after my then-8-year-old son took a ride out to see if we could find it.  You can see how it looked in 2006 - 20 years after it stopped being a ski hill - on the Return to Pink Panther page.

In 2012, Mark and Jeff Cain, sons of one of the owners, found the site and I exchanged quite a few e-mails with Mark.  He was kind enought to fill me in on the parts of the story that I did not know.  So I am re-doing the page and leaving it out here as an ode to a little ski hill where a lot of us had a blast growing up.  If you have any photos or other Pink Panther stories or memorabilia you'd be willing to share, I'd love to add it to this site.  Take a picture, a scan or just shoot me an e-mail to elfner.web (at) gmail.com.

Eric Elfner
February 2012

 

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