Purgatory Ski Resort making improvements for the 2022-2023 winter season

A man skiing down one of the slopes at Purgatory Ski Resort during the 2021-2022 winter season
A man skiing down one of the slopes at Purgatory Ski Resort during the 2021-2022 winter season(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 10:52 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Purgatory Ski Resort has announced an investment of $1.5 million in snowmaking upgrades, infrastructure, and operations. The most significant upgrade will be the expanded snowmaking coverage for the upcoming 2022-2023 season. It will include the lower Paradise to the midway loading of Needles Triple (Lift 6), which will allow the opening of the high-elevation terrain early if the temperatures do not qualify for top-to-bottom skiing.

The snowmaking machine upgrades allow for snow production capacity, quality, and reliability through a rebuilt water pumping and air compression plant, low-energy solutions, and cutting-edge snowmaking equipment. While the summer season remains, the resort is still working on the water pumping project to prepare for the winter. This and the upgraded snowmaking machines are not just a season project.

“It is just the first phase of multi-year snowmaking infrastructure improvements. We are going to be doubling our water output and adding in a bunch of power infrastructure around the hill to increase our automation, and it all ties into efficiency,” said Josh Hamill, Purgatory Slope Maintenance Manager. According to Hamill, the resort presently has 15 TechnoAlpin fan guns, 30 ground air-water guns, and 45 energy-efficient tower guns.

The resort will also use the money to fund additional Winch Cats, which are grooming machines at ski resorts. Purgatory purchased Prinoth Leitwolf X Winch-Cat, which, according to Hamill, is one of the most high-end Winch-Cats in the business.

Alongside all the new snowmaking equipment and projects still in the works, other areas in the funding include infrastructure and operations. For example, parking has increased by 50 spaces in the Lower Columbine lot for the upcoming season. Looking ahead to the future, they are in the process of permit approvals that can add 125-150 parking spaces to the Gelande lot.

In the food and beverage locations, Dante’s Cafe and Backside Bistro are improving to include a new design element with a reimagined culinary experience.

In addition, rental equipment will consist of a new high-performance fleet from Volkl. Demo skis and boards will be available online throughout online reservations. WiFi access points will be expanded and can get accessed in the base area, beach, and inside Powderhouse and Dante’s on-mountain lodges.

However, what is included in the upgrade but will not get completed this season is the radio system. The resort is switching from analog to digital on-mountain radio for ski patrol, providing more coverage and advanced location services. It is part of a two-year upgrade, with completion happening in 2024.

With the $1.5 million investment for this upcoming winter season, Purgatory is excited to bring skiers and snowboarders to the slopes with upgraded equipment. The upgraded snowmaking machines will allow them to open as soon as possible, providing better early-season snow conditions. Purgatory Ski Resort will open for the season from November 19, 2022, through April 9, 2023.