(MONARCH MOUNTAIN, Colo.) — Monarch Mountain is one of the last ski areas where you’ll only ride on natural snow. Their motto: “We don’t make snow, Mother Nature does.”

And so far, so good! Monarch Mountain just opened for the season, thanks to early-season snow helping turn the lifts sooner than last year.

Monarch is hosting Demo Days this weekend, Dec. 10-11. Demo Days is a special event for people to come out and check out new gear that’s available at local ski shops.

There will be around a dozen vendors at Demo Day, along with lifts and ski/snowboard school running as usual at Monarch.

New this season is an art display recycling Monarch’s old rental snowboards.

“We put an announcement out to our local artists saying that we would provide the boards free of charge for them to be creative with and make these works of art,” said Kathryn Wadsworth, Monarch Mountain Event Manager.

The snowboards are on sale and on display in Monarch’s main lodge near the Java Stop. This Sunday, from 1-3 PM, there will be an event featuring all the artists who created these colorful snowboard creations.

“The majority of them are from Salida but we have artists out of Colorado Springs, Cañon City and Pueblo,” said Wadsworth. “In a partnership with with the Salida Council for the Arts, Monarch is hosting this show just as a benefit to our local art community. And so all of the proceeds go right back to the artists.”

The kid-friendly, Safari Lift opens this weekend. The tubing hill is also expected to open soon.

The crew at Monarch says they have added several new members and their team is excited to welcome everyone to the mountain.

“I give a lot of high fives, a lot of stickers. The kids can’t wait to see me. I’ve watched a whole generation grow up on this mountain and it’s just been the most wonderful experience to see,” said Robert Clarkson, Monarch Mountain Lift Operations Supervisor.

Click here for information on ski and snowboard school, rentals and upcoming events.

“We make it a personal experience here at Monarch. We have watched so many people come out here not knowing how to ski, learn how to ski, and now they just continue to come back. That is the absolute best part of Monarch,” said Clarkson.