Powderhorn freezes lift ticket prices

Temperatures may be soaring in the Grand Valley, but it’s freezing at Powderhorn Resort.

The popular ski resort on the north edge of Grand Mesa announced this week that lift ticket prices for next winter will be frozen at last winter’s levels.

Other ski resorts have made similar pledges after hearing from the guests that the economy is hurting their recreation budgets.

“It’s really a combination of many factors, the economy obviously being the most important one,” Powderhorn Resort spokeswoman Sarah Allen said. “Our costs have stabilized a little, and all our departments are cutting their budgets by 10 percent in an effort to contain our costs and keep our prices level.”

Snow came early and hard last winter, but the massive December snowfall was a false promise. Much of the winter brought average or below average snowfall, and skiers often base their visits on who gets the most snow.

Although statewide skier visits for last year haven’t yet been released by Colorado Ski Country USA, a skiing trade group, most areas, including Powderhorn, are reporting lower-than-expected visitations.

The mostly uneventful snow year was reflected in mostly uneventful skier and snowboarder visits as numbers at Powderhorn fell to 69,760 skier visits, down 16 percent from the 2007-08 winter’s record tally of 83,013.

“I think everyone saw a similar drop in business, reflective of the snow year and the economy,” Allen said. “Even at that level we were right at our 20-year average for skier visits. Of course, we’d like to have an 83,000-skier year every year, but there are so many variables.”

Freezing ticket prices might not offset the lack of snow, but it will allow families to plan their winter recreation budgets, Powderhorn Resort CEO Steve Bailey said.

“We understand the worry that our guests are experiencing, and we want to make our offerings as economical as possible,” Bailey said when announcing the freeze in pricing.

“It’s much easier for guests to budget if they’re aware of the cost well beforehand.”

Adult one-day lift tickets will cost $53 while a youth ticket (ages 7-18) will be $43.

More information on lift ticket prices can be found at http://www.powderhorn.com.


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