Go back in time at Telluride Ski Resort
A few days of 70 degrees and sunshine makes it easy to forget those subzero days of January.
Ditto that with the 2012-13 ski season, which is disappearing as quickly as the snowpack from which it grew.
Today is the final day of the season for Powderhorn Mountain Resort, Sunlight and Purgatory, with six more areas — Buttermilk, Crested Butte, Ski Cooper, Keystone, Telluride and Wolf Creek — closing their lifts April 7.
That means it’s time to start thinking about next year.
Powderhorn ends its on-mountain “Jump into 2013-14” preseason pass sale today, with next year’s adult passes on sale for $399.
However, once the ski resort shuts down for the spring, starting Monday you can get season passes online as well as for a limited time at two locations in Grand Junction.
Passes will be available April 6 at Summit Canyon Mountaineering, 461 Main St., and April 19–20 at the MOG (Manufacturers of Outdoor Gear) Fest.
The April 19 fest at the Mesa Theater and Club features the touring version of the Telluride Mountain Film Festival, while the April 20 MOG Fest equipment sale is at the Rockslide Brewery, 401 Main St.
Information about the MOG Fest is available at http://www.mogoutdoorfest.com.
The best deal in spring skiing might be Telluride’s offer of $40 lift tickets through closing day, including a one-day, throw-back-the-years, $12 ticket on Wednesday as celebration of that resort’s 40th anniversary.
If you’re in Telluride on Thursday, stick around for the evening’s special 40th anniversary historical celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Conference Center in the Mountain Village.
Spanning the years from 1968, when Chicago attorney Joe Zoline first set eyes on the future Telluride Ski Resort, to today’s winch-cat technology and No. 1 resort ranking in Conde Nast Traveler, there are plenty of stories and history to retell.
The evening is free and open to the public. Information: http://www.tellurideskiresort.com.
With the season end in sight, visitation to the state’s ski resorts isn’t likely to catch up to average levels after variable snow conditions contributed to a slow start to the season.
According to Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association representing 24 of the state’s resorts, by the end of February, a midwinter jump in snowfall helped skier visits rebound slightly from an early season deficit.
However, even that increase left skier/rider numbers down 4.2 percent from last year’s end-of-February figures.
Ever the optimist, CSCUSA president Melanie Mills reminded us recently the combination of spring break and Easter weekend offers hope to recover at least some skier visits.
“While season-to-date numbers haven’t caught up with last year yet, guests are visiting resorts and taking advantage of all they have to offer as resorts are seeing increased spending in restaurants, ski school, shops and other ancillary,” Mills said in a news release. “Spring-break business is encouraging, as are lodging numbers, and the Easter holiday is well-positioned for late-season visitors.”
Resorts can hope it’s not too late to salvage the season.