Blue Mountain Resort hosted an anniversary dinner Tuesday for employees with 25 years or more of service.

Jack Sturm, director of business development, welcomed those in attendance.

After dinner, a beautifully decorated anniversary cake was wheeled out for all to see. Owners Barbara Green and Bruce Ebert then cut the cake.

A statement was read on behalf of state Rep. Doyle Heffley, who was unable to attend the function.

In it, Heffley praised the ski resort and its employees, and noted that it's a true honor to work for the same company for 25 years.

Several employees shared some of their memories of the ski area in a video. Photos of employees on the ski slopes from years gone by.

Sturm said, "It takes a lot of hard work to take a dream and run with it. As a young entrepreneur who had the insight and the engineering ability to see this as a potential ski mountain, Ray Tuthill had a vision."

The mountain was a great location, faced in the right direction, and had the highest elevation, Sturm said. He added that Tuthill started with about 500 acres, and the then Little Gap Ski Area was open in the 1977-78 winter season.

"Even through many trying times of very little snowfall, Ray kept expanding, continuing to add on new buildings, equipment and updating snowmaking," he said. "Safety was high on his list, always realizing the need for a first class Ski Patrol."

Sturm noted that Tuthill's wife, Diane, "worked right along with him on this journey to make it happen and keep it a family resort."

"May we all carry on with his dream to make it happen," he said. "From Little Gap to the present Blue Mountain Resort."

Green then expressed her gratitude, and added that the success of the resort would not be if not for them, as well as those employees who came before them.

"I just wanted to thank everybody; we couldn't have done it without you," Green said. "It's wonderful to be a part of."

Jim Dailey, general manager, began the service award portion of the event.

Diane Tuthill, one of the recipients hugged Green, her daughter.

"I want to thank all of you; we couldn't have done it without you," Tuthill said. "You're a great group of people."

At that, employees from 1977, all the way up through 1989, were recognized and received small gifts.

"It's an honor to celebrate your service," Dailey said. "You people are just as important as the brick and mortar holding this place together."