Sunlight needs more snow to open
December 2, 2008
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Dylan Lewis, marketing manager for Sunlight Mountain Resort, wasn’t too happy with the Thanksgiving weekend storm that pummeled much of Colorado’s high country, but mostly missed Glenwood Springs’ local mountain.
“I can’t believe that that storm missed us like that,” Lewis said as the sun continued to shine Monday afternoon. “We got left out in the cold, so to speak.”
After a mostly dry November, many ski areas received enough snow over the weekend to ease the worries of snow sport enthusiasts and made the skiing and riding at other areas, like Loveland and Vail, more enjoyable for visitors.
Loveland ski area, on the Continental Divide, received nearly 3 feet of the white and fluffy stuff, according to Coloradoski.com. Vail reported 17 inches Saturday and Sunday, while Aspen Mountain and Snowmass reported 7 inches and 4 inches, respectively, over the same weekend. Over a four-day period starting last Thursday, Aspen Mountain picked up 16 inches and Snowmass reported 13 inches.
Sunlight is set to open Friday, Dec. 5, but the 5 inches the resort has picked up in the past week isn’t enough to help get the slopes open, according to Dylan.
“If we don’t get (snow) this week, then we would push back the opening,” Lewis said.
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To further escalate the situation, Lewis said temperatures haven’t been cold enough for Sunlight crews to use their on-mountain snowmaking system either, leaving their only hopes for opening on a good winter storm this week.
That’s what Lewis is hoping for.
“We are predicting a storm Tuesday night,” Lewis said. “It looks like there is some snow coming in, but it’s tough to say what is going to happen.”
In order to utilize the snowmaking capabilities, the temperatures would have to drop to the low 20s or teens to be effective, Lewis said.
Without more snow, the opening could be pushed back a week, to Dec. 12.
“We’ve got about a foot on top and 5 or 6 inches on the bottom,” Lewis said. “If you step back and look at the mountain it looks OK, we just need a little more.”
At this point, the resort is still planning on opening Friday. Resort operators won’t know until Wednesday whether or not opening day will be delayed.