Sun stays away for Sunlight’s opening day
December 1, 2006
Bob and Mo Bratcher walked into Sunlight’s Mountain Resort’s Last Turn bar Friday with rosy cheeks and smiling faces.Outside, the air was brisk and the clouds couldn’t make up their minds whether to stay or to go.Even under gray skies, the Redstone couple spent their first day using their new Sunlight season passes in good spirits.”I had a very leisurely day,” said Mo, keeping warm in a booth wearing a cream-colored cable-knit sweater. “This is the first time I’ve had a pass here, and I’ve lived in the valley for 30 years. It’s just a really good way to spend a day off.”The Bratchers joined a cheerful bar full of skiers and snowboarders, toasting to their inauguration as season pass holders at the Glenwoode Springs ski area over a couple of beers.
“Yes, he’s an accomplished deck skier,” Mo said, with a laugh.Mo spoke of her grandson, Kyle – the inspiration behind the season pass purchase.”This year, my grandson is going to be 3 years old,” she said. “And he’s going to be taking lessons for the first time. We wanted to be up here to watch him. We thought it would be fun.”Bob was happy to try out his new skis and boots, another winter purchase he said was a long time coming.”We haven’t had new skis in 20 years,” he said, flashing a quick grin. “We’re one step ahead of the creditors, or make that one ski slope ahead of the creditors.”A few seats over, Brett Jolley, of New Castle, was relaxing his legs before heading down the hill. He was making a return visit to his favorite ski resort.
“I’ve been skiing here 32 years, since I was 9,” he said. “I do love this mountain. I know a lot of these people. I grew up here.”Friday was the first opening day in about five years Jolley didn’t have kids in tow.”My kids were mad at me because they knew I was going skiing and they had to go to school,” he said. “Then, I made a B-line for here.”Jolley reminisced about years gone by, as his kids were growing up and learning to ski. He said Sunlight has always been a family-friendly place.”We could bring our kids up here at 8 or 9 years old and not worry,” he said. “We’d know where they were. But, in fact, they really didn’t want us around.”He alluded to concern over the possible sale of Sunlight, hoping too much change wouldn’t be inevitable.
“Hopefully, they keep it the same – If they have to develop it,” he said.Although they had never met, Jolley and the Bratchers seemed to share the same thoughts on Sunlight’s charm.”It’s a family-oriented mountain. It’s like what Buttermilk was 25 years ago,” Mo said. “The atmosphere’s great.”Bob agreed with his wife of 14 years.”I like the old-fashioned aspect of it,” he said. “I like the old-fashioned chair lifts where you can have a conversation and the wind’s not blowing in your face because the lift’s moving so fast.”For the Bratchers, Jolley, and other Sunlight skiers and snowboarders, time flies when you’re having fun.Even if the lifts seem slow.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.