History: Shutting down the season
“The gondola cars are packed away, the tourists are gone and the skier visits are counted,” noted The Aspen Times on April 14, 1988. “And the figures show that the Aspen Skiing Co. was up 0.8% in skier visits over last season at its three local ski areas, according to Marie Hux, public relations assistant for the company. The Skico operates Aspen, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Statistics are not compiled by the independently operated Aspen Highlands. Hux said Aspen Mountain was up 3% for the season. That figure follows a 24% gain by Aspen Mountain during the 1986-87 campaign, the first season the area had the Silver Queen Gondola. Buttermilk, which closed a week earlier than Aspen Mountain and Snowmass, tallied a 15.3% increase this season over the previous one, according to Hux. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass closed on Sunday, April 10.”
The image to the right shows the crowd at the closing day of Little Nell, April 1988. Construction on the Little Nell Hotel was set to begin after the ski season ended.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.