Park City Museum’s Silver Queen Ball will honor Stein Eriksen
November 22, 2013
In the past three years, the Park City Museum, a nonprofit organization, has hosted the Silver Queen Ball.
The gala, a fundraiser for the museum that is held in December, was named in honor of Park City’s own Silver Queen — Susanna Bransford Emery Holmes Delitch Engalitcheff — who became a millionaire thanks to her investments in the Silver King mine in town.
"She lived in Park City 100 years ago and did everything in style," said Sandra Morrison, the museum’s executive director. "At the turn of this past century, she was worth an estimated $100 million, because the mine was incredibly successful."
This year’s Silver Queen Ball, which will be held Saturday, Dec. 28, is dubbed "Mining to Stein: A tribute to Stein Eriksen." Tickets are on sale at http://www.parkcityhistory.org or at the museum, 528 Main St.
Morrison said making the Silver Queen Ball a tribute to Eriksen, who was an Olympic gold medalist in the 1950s, was an obvious decision.
"We’re doing this because of all the things he has accomplished in Park City," Morrison said. "He’ll actually be in attendance and will speak to us at the ball."
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Eriksen is synonymous with skiing in Park City.
In 1970, Edgar B. Stern bought the Treasure Mountain Resort, which later became the Park City Ski Area and then Park City Mountain Resort, Morrison said.
"Edgar knew Stein in Aspen, Colorado, and invited him to Park City to be the director of skiing at the fledgling resort," she explained. "The mine company had opened the resort in 1963 and, as with most mine companies, didn’t know a lot about running a ski resort. But Edgar had overseen many developments in Aspen."
Stern’s vision was to create a ski resort that offered the same services and amenities that are found in a fine hotel.
"So people wouldn’t just have great skiing, but also good food and accommodations," Morrison said.
Park City Mountain Resort was a struggle for Stern, primarily because of all the upgrades and other real estate developments he was involved in at the time.
"This was during the 1970s oil crisis that caused inflation across the nation, which pushed interest rates up," Morrison said. "The market across the country took a huge hit at that point."
Eriksen worked at the Park City Mountain Resort until 1981, when Stern, who had sold Park City Mountain Resort in 1975, opened Deer Valley Resort and asked Eriksen to work for him again.
"So to have Stein come and speak at the ball is a big honor for us, because, as the Museum and Historical Society, we recognize his history here," Morrison said. "It’s lovely he is allowing us to honor him."
The night, catered by Stein Eriksen Lodge, will also feature a live auction featuring items donated from businesses from all around town, and live music by the Surf City All Stars, which includes original Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks.
"We always try to bring a fun band to entertain us at the Silver Queen Ball to end out the night with a really celebratory flair so everyone can get up and dance," Morrison said. "The first year, we featured Air Supply and last year we had Otis Day and the Knights."
One of the museum’s board members discovered the Surf City All Stars last summer.
"She emailed me about the fabulous evening and how everyone in attendance from the 20-year-olds to the 70-year-olds recognized the music and danced all night long," Morrison said. "We found the band was available and booked them."
Individual tickets for the Silver Queen Ball are $300 per person, of which, $200, is tax-deductible.
"The money will benefit programs such as free field trips that we offer the Park City School District," Morrison said. "We are also expanding that to all Summit County schools."
The Park City Museum’s field-trip program grows every year.
"This past year we had all the fifth graders come, which hasn’t happened before," Morrison said. "Sometimes parents come with them and they learn something as well.
"This is important to connect the students and their parents to Park City’s history," she said, "The main reason is because many of the people who live here, weren’t born here and don’t know all of the town’s rich history. So as they learn something, it makes the town more homey to them."
The Park City Museum will host its annual Silver Queen Ball Fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 28, at Deer Valley’s Stein Eriksen Lodge at 6 p.m. Tickets are $300, and tables for 10 are also available. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityhistory.org or by visiting the museum at 528 Main St. Proceeds will benefit the Park City Museum. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityhistory.org.