Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, COVID, News, Outdoors

Eager early-season crowds are helping Colorado ski resorts fine tune operations before the holiday crush

Winter Park delayed its opening a couple weeks to early December and the pent-up demand almost overwhelmed the Grand County resort on its first Saturday.  Lines were long on Dec. 5 and, as skiers kicked off skis and snowboards to load up the base-area gondola, distancing faded. By midday, the resort had made changes. “We […]

Posted inCOVID, News, Outdoors, Transportation

Winter Park ski train won’t run this season because of coronavirus, set to return in 2022

By Thomas Peipert, The Associated Press A train that takes skiers and snowboarders from downtown Denver to Winter Park Resort won’t run this season because of the coronavirus pandemic, Amtrak and resort officials said Wednesday. “Amtrak and Winter Park Resort evaluated seating options on the Winter Park Express and agreed that with social distancing requirements, […]

Posted inBusiness, COVID, News

Hundreds of international workers at Colorado ski resorts are in limbo as countries close borders, airlines cancel flights

When Gov. Jared Polis ordered the state’s ski areas to close on March 14, he also launched Ana Panessi into a frantic race to get home. It was a race she did not win.  “So many people, they were able to run away very quickly. We did not have the same opportunity. So we are […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

Colorado liftmaker Leitner-Poma entering boom as ski industry battles heat up and cities seek to innovate

GRAND JUNCTION — Cody Wells lifts his welding helmet and takes a step back from the massive steel wheels dangling from the girders of the Leitner-Poma of America warehouse.  “It’s like a mad-scientist piece. There’s not another one like this anywhere,” he says. Wells is welding together two bullwheels — one on top of the […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

Snowy winter boosts Colorado ski towns to record-breaking sales tax revenues

It was yet another banner year for Colorado’s resort communities, with at least five ski towns boasting record sales tax revenue for the 2018-19 ski season A tally of taxable sales from December through March for Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Winter Park and Telluride reveals record spending in the towns. While skier visits to Colorado’s resorts […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

Hunger for uphill ski land has resorts, Forest Service looking at acres unused inside existing ski permits

As demand for uphill travel soars at ski areas across Colorado, business models like Bluebird Backcountry could find traction accessing the thousands of undeveloped acres inside Colorado ski area special-use permits issued by the Forest Service. It is way too early for resorts to begin talking about possibly allowing backcountry skiers to access trail-free terrain […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

Bluebird Backcountry hopes to tap the uphill skiing movement for a new resort model

On a late-season Saturday in Winter Park, a group of 25 volunteers go over last-minute plans for the day. It’s 8 a.m, and snow that fell the night before is already beginning to melt. Rachel Vermeal, a 43-year-old ski instructor with 20 years of backcountry experience, is dressed in golden tights and a Wonder Woman […]