Powderhorn in Need of More Snow, Still Hopeful for December 11 Opening

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

While the winter storms over the weekend dumped several feet of snow in parts of the High Country, it only left a few inches at Powderhorn. With only 11 days to go before opening day, officials say that's not going to cut it -- especially if they don't want to open late for the second straight year.

Coming back to work after the long holiday weekend, and seeing what Mother Nature did to parts of the High Country, Powderhorn employees say they were hoping to show up to piles of snow. Instead, they got four inches.

"We would've taken four feet if it was up to us, but we take what we can get," said Sarah Allen, Marketing Director of Powderhorn Ski Resort.

Officials say they want an 18 inch base before they will open for the season. With weeds still poking out of snow on the ground, and the lackluster amounts of powder they got this weekend, they're not quite there. They do say, however, the cooler temperature they've seen over the past few weeks are helping them out.

"Temperatures have allowed us to make snow lately, so we have been doing that overnight," said Allen. "That helps us cover our base area, which is the section that gets the most traffic and ensures quality snow on opening day."

Last year Powderhorn had to push back its opening by two days. Officials say they're in much better shape, snow wise, this year than they were this same time last year. Because of that, they're still hopeful they can open on time.

"The plan is still for December eleventh," said Allen. "But we'll watch the forecast and we'll go day by day. We'll really get into that next week and pray for snow."

And those prayers may be answered before then. Forecasters with the National Weather Service say a storm system moving into the area could give Powderhorn two to five inches of snow by midday Wednesday.

"It looks like there could be another little cell coming in, so hopefully there's more right behind it," said Allen.

Good news, they say, as they polish up the snow gear, finish work on their new magic carpet lift and black diamond runs, and get the lodges and restaurants in order.

So for the next 11 days, crews will continue to work hard getting the slopes and ski lifts ready for the big opening day. In the meantime, Powderhorn officials are asking for a little help from all the anxious skiers in the Grand Valley.

"Do your snow dance, whatever it takes to make it happen," said Allen.

Before the lifts take off for the first time this year, Powderhorn will celebrate its Winter Kickoff Party on Saturday December 6, from 10am - 2pm at Gene Taylor's Sporting Goods. In addition to fun and prizes, officials say skiers will be able to pickup their season passes and Powderhorn Plus cards.

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