Controversial 20-Foot Tall Statue of the Virgin Mary Going on the Top of the Mt. Shasta Ski Park

Mt. Shasta Ski Park is making headlines for a unique project that could completely change the look of the mountain. This summer, the ski park will work to construct a 20-foot-tall statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the Douglas Lift.

The announcement has been to surprising to many. Some are even trying to halt the project in its tracks.

While the ski park has seen several significant projects in recent years, including the installation of the Gray Butte lift, the Virgin Mary statue represents a more personal endeavor. The vision for this statue was a shared dream of the ski park’s owner, Robin Merlo, and her late husband and business partner, Ray Merlo.

According to Robin Merlo, the statue is not just a monumental installation – it’s a promise fulfilled and a profound representation of the commitment to family values that hold a special place within the ski park community. According to the ski park, the installation of the Virgin Mary statue is not intended to align with any specific religious affiliation. Instead, it aims to acknowledge and honor the intrinsic beauty and spiritual significance of the majestic Mount Shasta.

The announcement was met with a petition circulating online asking the owners and U.S. Forest Service to halt the project. The petition currently has nearly 700 signatures, with a goal of 1,000.

“We ask the owners of Mount Shasta Ski Park to cease and desist this construction project immediately,” read the petition on “We ask the US Forest Service, with whom the ski park holds use permits, to insist that Mount Shasta Ski Park discontinue this project. We suggest donating the money allocated for this project toward something that might actually benefit the community in a real way, such as a much needed homeless shelter or detox facility.”

The base of the statue will be seen by skiers this winter, with the goal of completing it by the end of summer 2024.

Do you agree with their choice of building a religious statue at the Mt. Shasta Ski Park?

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. I agree that if the owner wants that, then she can do that. I guess the question I have is where is the money coming from? I doubt it’s government money, so why should a homeless
    shelter or detox center be made? It sounds like the statue would be appreciated by the ski community that spends their money there.

    1. I wholeheartedly disagree with the building this obnoxious blight on the beautiful mountain. While this is a private business using their own money, they are proposing to build this religious statue on public land that they LEASE from the forest service. They are free to memorialize their loved one in a privately owned setting.

      1. Jules, What part do you not understand? It is NOT private property. It is as Robin Cee stated. PUBLIC LAND THAT IS LEASED. Once again, one persons religious beliefs being forced on everyone. I bet you would have a different opinion if it were a statue of Mahammad, etc.

      2. I entirely SUPPORT the statue!!!!
        People could similarly oppose the installation of ski lifts too!
        They have the lease, they can do whatever is granted by such!
        As for a homeless shelter or detox
        bwaaaahaaaahaaaa do ZERO to help the druggie mental case homeless scrubs other then laugh at them!

  2. I think it’s a great idea! I look forward to seeing this beautiful statute honored the Blessed Virgin Mary on Mt Shasta

  3. This land was originally occupied by the Shasta indigenous tribes. When the settlers stole it, they privatized a public resource that they’ve continued to monetize for the befit of a few for the past century. And now the owners want to put up a statue that represents the Catholic faith, a secular religion that is anti-LGBTQ and anti-women’s rights. This will be the last season I patron this resort. Too bad.

    1. The Virgin Mary only exists in the Catholic faith?Thats weird , I thought the Virgin Mary was Jesus mother. The Catholic Church welcomed my trans father with open arms, btw. Sorry you’ll be missing out on all the fun!

  4. If the ski park is leasing public land, this would seem to be a violation of the constitution in the same way other religious displays on public property (schools, city halls etc) have been found to be.

  5. I do not align with the catholic church at all but have absolutely no issues with a statue of Mary being placed on private property.

  6. Her private property. If she wants to honor her husband with a statue of the blessed virgin, that’s her business. She can put a 20 foot Sasquatch or a totem pole there too if she wants

  7. Whether or not one would like such a statue is not the point. Whether or not they have a right to put it there is not the point. To me, the real point is how does this fit in with the beauty of this natural setting? I cannot imagine a more out of place location for ANY kind of big statue in the middle of such natural surroundings.

  8. My condolences to the Merlo family. A promise is a promise, build the statue!
    It is my understanding (from what I have read) that a memorial statue would “deface the mountain?” The lights, ski lifts, structures, parking lots, leaking vehicles, dumpsters, porta-pottys, and septic tanks does not?
    California has the highest state taxes in the U.S. It would make more sense to ask the Governor for the homeless resources and detox centers. Good luck, love and respect.

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