Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD
I haven't been to Sunlight in years. I just purchased a home down in Carbondale, so I guess I'll have to give it another try.
I do business with a very rich Mexican industrialist that owned Sunlight in the late 80's, early 90's that said "Most money I ever lost".
DO IT. The place is great. Heck, for 3 days of skiing at Aspen, you can buy a Sunlight pass. If I lived in Basalt, I'd probably still be buying a Sunlight pass. Hell, if I lived in Aspen, I'd probably still buy one in addition to my skico pass.
I don't doubt the "Most money I ever lost" comment. IIRC, the owner I think you are referring to is the one that bought the area, then spent A LOT of money buying the triple from skico (which has sold them 2 now, and I'm not sure how well Sunlight did on either purchase, as Segundo had to be mostly rebuilt by Riblet to even run) and relocating the lower terminal for Primo upmountain, and then shortly after washing his hands of the mountain after running deep in the red.
I've been skiing at Sunlight since the early 1990's (although only a pass holder last year- I used to live on the front range), and always have loved the place. Chairlifts are the same (and I have to wonder how much of their operating budget gets eaten up in keeping 50 year old chairlifts running), but they have cleared a lot of exceptional glade runs and the Ridge is a great place to ski.
I get the idea that the current ownership is pretty absentee. I don't think the area is running in the red, but I also think the ownership is more interested in taking the small profits year after year after year rather than make investments into things like newer lifts (or better yet, expansion into the area that they have been permitted to expand into for 50 years). There pretty much no advertising or much attempts to market the ski area- go an hour away from Glenwood and talk to skiers about Sunlight and chances are they 1) have never skied there 2) Have no idea where it is or 3) have never heard of it.
I'm comparing Sunlight's situation to Monarch, which was equally broke at the same time in the late 1980's, and really continued to struggle into the 2000's, when they were sold to a great bunch of local owners. Monarch's new owners have aggressively sunk a lot of profit into improvements, and have been rewarded with a lot higher skier visit numbers and more profit. I would love for a group like that to buy Sunlight. Hell, the Monarch owners should buy Sunlight. I can't think of anybody I'd rathe rhave own the area (aside from me), because I know they would improve the skiing, rather than screw the mountain up by building a bunch more condos at the base.