Originally Posted by tball
Bummer for Durango that it seems unlikely both Wolf and DMR will ever be on the same pass. You'd think the money each charges for season passes you should get both anyway! Aspen became a much better place for skiers to visit and live with all the mountains on the same pass. Same would be true for Durango.
I don't know- some Aspen skiers still yearn for the days when Highlands was independent, cheaper, and even got Colorado Gems discounts...
I don't really need them both on the same pass. They are wildly different mountains to the extent that a skier who really likes one probably feels a lot more lukewarm about the other. Purg has more usable vert and much more in the way of consistent pitch (although still benchy), but utterly lacks alpine terrain and obviously gets a lot less snow. They have some great long bump runs off the front side, but they groom a ton of the mountain. The steepest stuff there isn't terribly steep and is benchy to boot.
Wolf obviously has the snowfall advantage, and the steep technical terrain advantage, but you can't ski anywhere without flats. Where Purg grooms too much, Wolf grooms very little, hell, Purg probably grooms more acreage each night than Wolf has cut trails.
The biggest benefit for me is that I expect reasonably priced tickets to Purg will start to become a thing. $80 window tickets for that mountain is more than locals are willing to pay, and while discounts exist, they are strictly limited (come ski for only $50 3 Tuesdays out of the year type stuff). The biggest thorn in the side of locals is Purg's practice of offering their best deals ONLY redeemable by people living out of the area.
They have done this for so long that Durango skiers in recent years have just given up. It has always puzzled me that mountain management accepted that status quo and pretended that local skiers had no other options. Instead of skiing the "local" mountain, local skiers grab turns off the rope-tow in town nights, fool around at Hesperus nights and weekends, hit Wolf on the $40 days, ski the very accessible BC off of 550, take a few days at Silverton, and spend their "real" money on day/weekend trips to Telluride. Meeting a Durango skier that is not in college and regularly skis Purg is a real rarity.
That should be an easy thing to change, and I expect a guy big on discounts to change that on day 1.
One thing I found interesting about the purchase announcement was the bottom 1/4 of it was "See us at the Hesperus Ski Swap." The Hesperus swap is a HUGE swap that funds the (volunteer) ski patrol at Hesperus, and it has a ski-season kick off atmosphere to it. Telluride and Silverton always have large swag booths there, and Purg has been glaringly absent. I think including that in the sale announcement was a calculated way to demonstrate that the mentality was going to change.
So after another blog post, I'm left to think that the personal upside will be that I will probably get a handful of cheap days at Purg this season and for seasons to come. I think the town will benefit from having a ski area that will probably be more receptive to local skiers, which will be a good thing for all.
And who knows, I wouldn't completely rule out the idea that this new DMR, Snowbowl, Pajarito, Sipapu outfit comes out with a pass so awesome I buy one. Low probability, but the fact that I can still ski a bunch of $40 Sundays at Wolf makes me open to at least watch what happens over at the other hill.
My final musing is that I bet Wolf Creek is not terribly happy with the news. A DMR that actually courts Durango skiers will cut into their capture of the Durango market, and a DMR that opens when it actually has snow will suck out early season skiers too. I would bet this news means Wolf will look to move their modest snowmaking improvement plants to a front burner.