Sunlight hikes lift ticket price | AspenTimes.com

Sunlight hikes lift ticket price

Donna Gray
Glenwood Springs correspondent

Skiers at Sunlight Mountain Resort will see significantly higher ticket prices this winter. Full-day adult lift tickets will go for $45, up from $39 last season, representing a 16 percent increase.

“We looked at other comparable Colorado (ski) resorts, and they are all in the $45 range,” said Tom Jankovsky, general manager of the ski area outside Glenwood Springs. “We thought we were underpriced.”

However, the jump is also driven by the rising costs of doing business.

Higher natural gas, gasoline and diesel bills, interest rates and especially a “100 percent increase in property taxes,” drove the company to set the higher ticket prices, he said.

Jankovsky also pointed out that full-day adult tickets represent only a small portion, about 5-10 percent, of the total number of skiers on the mountain on a given day. Most skiers, the majority of whom are locals, have discounted tickets or passes, he said.

Season passes will go up a modest $20, from $320 to $340. Skiers interested in season passes should go to the resort’s Web site http://www.sunlightmtn. com, to see the range of prices and deadlines for discounted pass rates.

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While the ski area had a banner snow year last season, its skier days were not up to expectations.

Although the resort was in “the 80,000 skier day range” last season, “which is where it should be in a normal year, our biggest year was 102,000 (skier days) and four years ago we were at 94,000,” Jankovsky said. “We’d like to see some more growth in skier days” this season.

What kept Sunlight from reaching those higher numbers last season was a relatively late opening day, Dec. 1. All the good snow came after that point. An earlier start would have meant a higher skier count.

Since the ski area is currently for sale, it has no major plans for improvements this year, Jankovsky said, but did purchase two new snow-grooming machines.

However, it has expanded two trails, Casanova Glade and Charlie’s Glade, making them longer and more open.

Also expanded are The Alleys, Deception and Alley Oop.

“We gladed them between the alleys for locals who like their tree skiing,” he said.