Powderhorn opening stalls; golf courses reap rewards

Melody Putz of Grand Junction chips onto the No. 9 hole at the Lincoln Park Golf Course on Monday afternoon. The course was packed with golfers getting in a round during the unseasonably warm weather.

Just about the time Powderhorn Ski Resort announced Tuesday that its much-awaited Thursday opening has been delayed, Lincoln Park golf pro Robert O’Hara saw his 50th golf player of the day out the door.

The continuing stretch of warm weather that forced Powderhorn to postpone indefinitely its 44th year of operation has disappointed skiers but has been good to local golfers.

“We had about 50 golfers today, and I think Tiara Rado (Golf Course) had more than 100,” O’Hara said. “For this time of the year, it’s been pretty nice.”

Nice if you wear shoes with spikes, not so nice if you wear ski boots.

“We were hoping we’d get open this week, but after assessing the conditions, we decided we just couldn’t provide the experience we want,” Powderhorn spokeswoman Sarah Allen said. “It is of utmost importance to us that we open with a safe, quality product.”

There’s not much you can do when your season depends on Mother Nature, except be patient.

“Last year we had the leading snowpack in the state for a good part of the winter,” Powderhorn owner Steve Bailey said. “And this year, well, it’s been very interesting.”

There’s no word yet on when Powderhorn will open, but Bailey said it won’t take long to get the lifts running once it snows.

“We’re 100 percent ready to open,” he said.

Bailey, who spent most of Tuesday answering the phone, said it’s not the first time snow didn’t fall until the last minute.

“A couple or three years ago we were in a staff meeting, and it was so dry outside you had to spit on your shoes to get wet,” he said. “I told the folks there to do a snow dance or sing or do something to make it snow, and the next morning we had 4 feet of snow.

“We were renting every piece of equipment we could find to get all that snow moved.”

You can’t plan for these times, Bailey said, but you can be ready when the opportunity finally comes.

“There’s only so much you put in the budgeting process,” he said. “You plan for the anomaly and hope for normalcy.”

The resort will post updates on its website, http://www.powderhorn.com, and on its blog and social media sites.


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