Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado’s independent ski areas are thriving in the shadow of dueling, consolidating resort giants

In the shadow of battling behemoths, smaller, independent ski areas are thriving.  “It’s not just that the big areas are crowded and skiers want to escape crowds,” said Bob Nicolls, the owner of Monarch ski area, which saw record visitation in 2021-22, with income for the ski area climbing 20% above the previous season. “I […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors, Outsider

Snow may not be piling up at Colorado ski resorts this season, but anxiety sure is

It wasn’t that long ago that ski resort operators lost sleep over snowfall. Then they had to fret over once-in-a-lifetime protocols to limit the spread of contagion at their ski areas.  Now, the worries are stacked even deeper, with affordable housing, dwindling numbers of workers and ever-lengthening lift lines joining the perennial fretting over snow […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Powdr’s Fast Tracks offers $49+ chance to skip the lift line at Copper Mountain, triggering a skier backlash

Powdr, the owner of Copper Mountain, Eldora and nine other resorts, likely thought its Fast Tracks program unveiled this week would be a defining perk in the increasingly competitive resort industry.  The so-called “premium experience” program offers fast-access, beat-the-crowds lift lanes at Copper, Utah’s Snowbird, Oregon’s Mount Bachelor and Vermont’s Killington to skiers who pay […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

Arapahoe Basin’s effort to avoid overcrowding by leaving the Epic Pass may be working too well

Alan Henceroth wanted about 100,000 fewer skier visits at his Arapahoe Basin ski area when he left the Epic Pass last year, citing overflowing parking lots and crowds that threatened to degrade the 1,400-acre resort’s ski experience. He got it. And more.  After 10 years with the Epic Pass, spearheaded by Vail Resorts, and a […]

Posted inOutdoors

Not sure which season ski pass to buy? Here are 10 questions to help guide your decision.

It’s the time of year to ponder passes.  Season ski pass prices start climbing around Labor Day and today’s resort operators offer discounts for skiers who commit early. Remember: resorts punish poor planners with exorbitant prices for day lift tickets.  Here’s a guide for the 2019-20 ski season in Colorado, which is ground zero for […]