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Question on the length of Colorado's ski season

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I've lived in Colorado less than 2 years, and I've noticed that pretty much no ski area will stay open past the second or third week of April. I saw Loveland stay open until the first week of May last season, and A-Basin until June, but that's pretty much it.

 

What is the reasoning behind this? I know most resorts have at least some land leased from the national forest service, and I've heard a couple people say that the NFS doesn't want a late ski season to affect elk migration.

 

What's the criteria for determining when the ski area must shut down? I know last season as well, most areas were going to shut down right around April 15th, but due to a gift from Ullr they extended the closing date a week.

 

Do elk not pass through A-Basin? I know they are on NFS land as well

post #2 of 4
I think this has more to do with skier traffic than ecology. Once mid-April comes around, the casual skiers and vacationers just stop coming, and it doesn't make sense financially for resorts to keep the lifts running. As you mentioned, there are exceptions to this, but this likely has more to do with the type of clientele these resorts attract, A Basin being a good example of this.
post #3 of 4

It's 100% due to skier traffic.  Too many destination skiers are ignorant and won't fly anywhere to ski wide-open deep snowpacks in April, even though they will pay through the nose to ski in crappy Decembers like the past 2 seasons in many places.

 

Every ski area that stays open past mid-April has a metro area within driving distance, so the minority of dedicated skiers from that area can provide enough business.

 

Killington - Boston, New York

Mammoth - Los Angeles

Squaw/Alpine - San Francisco

Snowbird - Salt Lake

A-Basin - Denver

Whistler - Vancouver

Mt. Hood - Portland

Crystal - Seattle

Sunshine - Calgary

 

Places far from a metro area close first weekend of April, even if they have superb snow preservation, like Telluride and Taos.

 

In the places like Denver and Salt Lake local demand in spring is still low enough that only one area can be supported, not multiple areas.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

It's 100% due to skier traffic.  Too many destination skiers are ignorant and won't fly anywhere to ski wide-open deep snowpacks in April, even though they will pay through the nose to ski in crappy Decembers like the past 2 seasons in many places.

 

 

I've noticed that too, December skiing doesn't even compare to late season. Personally I've found the best skiing to be mid-March and beyond. Last year I skied A-Basin in May with it being 100% open. It's a damn shame lol

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Question on the length of Colorado's ski season