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Echo Mountain To Be Auctioned

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Echo Mountain is on the auction block, but not because of the bad winter last year (skier days actually increased):
http://www.skisafety-blog.com/2012/07/echo_to_be_auctioned.html#more.

The area defined and serves an enthusiastic market, and it looks like it will continue to do so.
post #2 of 25

You buying it? 

That would be Epic! 

post #3 of 25

Sounds more like the owners just testing the waters?

 

I have friends in Evergreen with little kids and they love Echo!

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Are there investors reading this that want to buy a mountain? I can't buy it but would love to be part of a group that does.  After watching closely what the Canyons and a tiny resort in upstate NY have done, I have no doubts summertime activities can add revenue to any ski area close to a metropolitan area provided there is capital to build it.  I also have no doubts that building a terrific terrain park (that could be used for lift accessed MTBing in the summer) close to a metropolitan area can be profitable.   I'll wager that the right summertime activities will not only be profitable, but drive further winter business from the Denver metropolitan area. Build it  (zip line, miniture golf, concert area, MTB access, etc.) and they will come because the consumer gets "bang for the buck."  I think Echo first catering to the ski & snowboard park rats and then families was brilliant, because it defined a market it would serve well based upon its current terrain, location and pricing (currently $159 for a season pass). 

 

TC, any small resort like this should rip out a long trail exclusively for the most insane park and pipe facilities.  Why?  Because it is cheaper to rent a batting cage than renting an entire baseball stadium to practice  batting.  Why should a park rat or his/her parents pay $100 a day for a lift ticket to hang out at a terrain park when $159 for a seasons pass does it all?  The park rats will come if someone built it.  I'd also charge a nominal fee per day mid week for anyone wanting lessons.  Let the whole city of Denver come and use the hill as the inexpensive place for beginners to learn. 

 

post #5 of 25

I ride my bike regularly past the Echo Mountain entrance and have to chuckle every time at the signs there, the top one of which advertises the sale of season tickets, and the bottom of which advertises the upcoming auction sale of the ski area.  Echo Mountain needs to rethink its marketing strategy.  Seriously, though, its a nice little area to have within 25 miles of my house.  I have memories from 45-50 years ago of my father teaching me to ski there when it was known as Squaw Pass Ski Area.

post #6 of 25

Vail's estimates, iirc, were $25m in capital for things like zip lines etc and $15m in revenue for summer ops with an average spend of $55 per visitor. Britain's Merlin Group seems to have similar thinking about building up summer attractions. Personally I can't see the 'logic' - we go to the beach or go o/seas to ski. Cruise liners seem to be targeting the summer market too. 

post #7 of 25

^^

That's why I was curious about that blurb.  350,000 more visitors per summer is extremely optimistic?

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

^^

That's why I was curious about that blurb.  350,000 more visitors per summer is extremely optimistic?

Perhaps Vetran's $55 number is a visitor per day number, and not a total spend per visit?  It seems to just reflect revenue for the proposed additional facitilies and not ancillary services, like food, lodging, etc.   

post #9 of 25

It certainly fits a niche market...

post #10 of 25

So Echo has been sold to a group that is now making is a PRIVATE ski race facility.

 

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/08/echo_mountain_front_range_ski_club_auction.php

 

Personally, I think this sucks. Really, really sucks. I'm not a park rat and never will be. I don't board. But I still really liked this place and liked better what they were trying to do.

 

I went night skiing there several times- they had $5 nigh skiing Fridays at several points that were a lot of fun. The season passes were ridiculously cheap (like $150 or so), which allowed somebody who wanted to go catch some runs after work could do so whenever they wanted.

 

I caught a 20" powder day there last December- I was on the front range visiting family, and I have free passes, so I went there instead of Loveland and had a ball.

 

So, we are back to having no skiing closer than an hour from Denver, and no night skiing any closer than Keystone. :(

post #11 of 25

Too bad Arapahoe East is lacking in altitude, although with the low humidity and efficient snowmaking it could survive.

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by MidwestPete - 8/31/12 at 11:24am
post #12 of 25

Agree with you, Anachronism.  Unless the new owners cooperate, our local high school race team will lose its only logical, close-in training facility, and they'll have to shift over to Loveland, at considerable additional time and money expense and, more than likely, less training time.  This is really unfortunate.

 

And to your point, Midwest Peter, Arapahoe East gets so little natural snow that I can't imagine any amount of snowmaking could make up the deficiency.  Morever, the very wealthy family that owns a number of car dealerships in the Denver area, and whose mcmansion is visible at the top of Arapahoe East in your picture, can't be keen on the prospect of hoards of Denverites skiing in what amounts to their front yard.

post #13 of 25

What is arapahoe east?

post #14 of 25

There is a former ski area right along the interstate outside of Denver called Arapahoe East.

 

http://www.coloradoskihistory.com/lost/arap_east.html

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestPete View Post

There is a former ski area right along the interstate outside of Denver called Arapahoe East.

 

http://www.coloradoskihistory.com/lost/arap_east.html

I doubt that spots gets 75" of snow a year.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOCEVG View Post

Agree with you, Anachronism.  Unless the new owners cooperate, our local high school race team will lose its only logical, close-in training facility, and they'll have to shift over to Loveland, at considerable additional time and money expense and, more than likely, less training time.  This is really unfortunate.


I can't imagine the new owners being reluctant to include high school race teams among their visitors. The whole facility will be geared to racing.
post #17 of 25
Sold to become the first dedicated ski racing training facility in the US. Sarah Schlepper to be one of the coaches.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_21421750/echo-mountain-ski-area-bought-be-converted-into

Mike
post #18 of 25

And they let go all of their staff - my ex was the GM.

It will be interesting to see how well they do.

Pete

post #19 of 25

Got to say that I'm disappointed with what I've read so far about the new owners' plans. Even the justification of "I didn't want to have to move to Vail." seemed absurd to my middle-class ears.

 

For all of Echo Mountain's faults, it was the closest ski area to Denver proper; it was one of the cheapest local areas to ski; their product base, from tickets to food to rentals, was middle-class affordable.

 

Now we've got a 1%er (who else has that sort of scratch handy to spend on their kids?) closing the door to all except other 1%ers and their chosen peons. It doesn't bode well for skiing in the long run, IMHO.

 

Just my 2¢. I'd like to be wrong here, but I don't think I'll get my wish.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post


I can't imagine the new owners being reluctant to include high school race teams among their visitors. The whole facility will be geared to racing.

 

When you look at what they are talking about charging for a membership, I don't see it flying with school race teams. Honestly, I don't see it flying with a lot of racers, and have a hard time seeing that this will be anything but a money-sink for the new owners, but I certainly could be wrong.

 

I'm also pretty dissapointed in the sellers on this. I think they took a tremendous risk in reopening that ski area, and I am sorry it didn't pay out for them monetarily. I have nothing but respect for them having the guts to reopen a long-dormant ski area, and they did a great job of it- this coming from a guy with a blown-up knee that DOES NOT hit park features.

 

However, putting it up for auction with no preconditions of sale (that would keep this from happening, or from somebody bulldozing everything for a gaudy second-home development or something) makes it seem like a lot of their effort was wasted.

 

Here's to hoping that this all falls apart in a few years and the ski area goes back on the market and back public.  Maybe after the new owners install the 1500 vertical lift they mentioned they wanted...

post #21 of 25

what was skiing like at echo, besides park features?  i looked at the trail map, seemed like they have 1 black in the trees.

 

i browsed b/c i'll have kids skiing age in a few years and thought it could have been a fun place; too bad.

post #22 of 25

I can think of many mountains that would be a phenomenal training venue for racers. Echo is the near the bottom of that list.

 

It’s a pretty mellow grade with only 600’ of vertical, don’t understand what the appeals going to be….

post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

I can think of many mountains that would be a phenomenal training venue for racers. Echo is the near the bottom of that list.

 

It’s a pretty mellow grade with only 600’ of vertical, don’t understand what the appeals going to be….


The Denver Post article (see below) mentioned plans for 1500' of vertical plus  Super G training.  Anyhow, this could be the start of a trend where smaller areas that can't compete in the traditional sense (selling lots of lift tickets plus real estate and other sales) make money through specialization.  I opined above that a small area could do well catering to park rats and freestylers.  Obviously, the new owners think catering to another specialty, ski racing, will make money.  Who knows, perhaps they can add turf snow, zip lines, or whatever to make $ in the summer, too.  I'd rather see a small ski area cater to a fringe of the general ski population than go out of business.

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pykkonen plans to invest $5 million in coming seasons. She envisions developing beyond the area's 80 acres of developed ski terrain, delivering 1,500 vertical feet of skiing. Her team plans to build a Super G course, a mogul lane and a new restaurant. They will add snowmaking guns, create homework and tutoring stations and develop a shuttle system for students across the metro area.

Ski clubs with adult skiers will have access to Echo Mountain terrain on a rental basis.

Echo could be the country's only ski area dedicated solely to alpine race training.

"The coaches have been working 15 to 20 hours a day on the programs," Pykkonen said. "This is one of the biggest things to ever come to alpine racing in Colorado."

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post


The Denver Post article (see below) mentioned plans for 1500' of vertical plus  Super G training.  Anyhow, this could be the start of a trend where smaller areas that can't compete in the traditional sense (selling lots of lift tickets plus real estate and other sales) make money through specialization.  I opined above that a small area could do well catering to park rats and freestylers.  Obviously, the new owners think catering to another specialty, ski racing, will make money.  Who knows, perhaps they can add turf snow, zip lines, or whatever to make $ in the summer, too.  I'd rather see a small ski area cater to a fringe of the general ski population than go out of business.

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pykkonen plans to invest $5 million in coming seasons. She envisions developing beyond the area's 80 acres of developed ski terrain, delivering 1,500 vertical feet of skiing. Her team plans to build a Super G course, a mogul lane and a new restaurant. They will add snowmaking guns, create homework and tutoring stations and develop a shuttle system for students across the metro area.

Ski clubs with adult skiers will have access to Echo Mountain terrain on a rental basis.

Echo could be the country's only ski area dedicated solely to alpine race training.

"The coaches have been working 15 to 20 hours a day on the programs," Pykkonen said. "This is one of the biggest things to ever come to alpine racing in Colorado."

 

Thanks for pointing that out, 1500’ certainly opens up some possibilities.

 

It will be very interesting to see how things at Echo progress…

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

I'd rather see a small ski area cater to a fringe of the general ski population than go out of business.

 

Couldn't have said it better.

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