Resorts stretching ski-lift hours

With winter waning and days getting longer, ski resorts across the state are stretching their hours and kicking back in the sun.

Powderhorn, Telluride and other resorts are taking advantage of spring’s longer days and warmer temperatures by opening later and running their lifts longer.

Now, the official start of spring skiing jumps ahead of the calendar and commences March 14 with the start of Daylight Savings Time.

Telluride, which tried this last year to the delight of its guests, will move operating hours to a 10 a.m. start with lifts running until 5 p.m.

“We find our guests like the extra hour at the end of the day,” said Dave Riley, chief executive officer of the resort. “The hour shift worked great last year, and après ski is a lot of fun soaking up the sun in the late afternoon hours.”

Powderhorn Resort, too, will shift March 14 to a 10 a.m.-to-5 p.m. ski day, spokeswoman Sarah Allen said. The move is aimed at giving that cold morning snowpack a bit longer to soften and offering skiers another hour of soaking up some much-needed rays after what’s been a snowy winter.

“It just makes sense, and it’s perfect for spring skiing,” Allen said.

Powderhorn hosts the second annual Great Mascot Race and Guest Appreciation Day on March 20, with deals on tickets, food and lessons along with live music. For more information, visit the resort’s Web site, http://www.powderhorn.com.

Durango Mountain Resort won’t just extend its hours, it’s extending its season.

Instead of closing March 28 as originally planned, starting April 2 and continuing through the month, the resort will open Fridays and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“With some of the best snow conditions we’ve had in years, we’re excited to offer our guests the opportunity to ski as late into the season as possible,” a resort spokesperson said.

March usually is the snowiest month of the winter, and Jen Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade and marketing organization representing 22 of the state’s resorts, said, “There’s really a lot going on at our member resorts. As you know, Colorado boasts one of the longest ski seasons, with many powder days occurring in the spring.”

Special deals on tickets, lodging and other vital parts of the ski experience can be found on the Ski Country Web site, http://www.skicolorado.com.

(This entry has been corrected to reflect the date of Powderhorn’s Guest Appreciation Day.)


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