Sunlight to open a week ahead of schedule Friday | AspenTimes.com

Sunlight to open a week ahead of schedule Friday

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Adequate early-season snowfall will allow Sunlight Mountain Resort to open a week earlier than planned for a second straight year, at least for a sneak preview weekend.

All three lifts and 60 percent of the skiable terrain will open with about an 18- to 20-inch base the day after Thanksgiving, Sunlight Mountain officials announced Monday.

The ski area, located 10 miles south of Glenwood Springs on Four Mile Road, will remain open through the holiday weekend. It will close again Dec. 1 to 4 to allow for final preparations for what was originally to be opening day on Dec. 5.

This is the second year in a row that Sunlight will be able to open early due to good late-November snow conditions. Aspen Mountain also opened early on Nov.22, and Snowmass Mountain is slated to open Thursday.

After big early snows last season allowed Sunlight to open 10 days earlier than scheduled, a warm spell after Thanksgiving forced the resort to take a brief hiatus the following week before lifts were officially opened for the remainder of the season.

In 2012, the story was different altogether when a complete lack of natural snow in November forced Sunlight to postpone its original Dec. 7 opening date by a week.

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Lift tickets for the early opening Friday and through the weekend will be $10 off the normal ticket-window price, $50 for a full-day adult ticket and $40 for a half day beginning at 12:30 p.m. Sunlight is also offering a full-day child lift ticket for $35.

"Bring the family up to enjoy this exciting early opening," Sunlight Assistant General Manager Tom Hays said in a statement announcing the early opening. "We're looking forward to the best season ever at Sunlight Mountain and hope to see you here."

Sunlight also will run its skier shuttle from Sunlight Ski and Bike shop in downtown Glenwood Springs, leaving at 8:30 a.m. Friday to Sunday, and returning to town at 4:20 p.m.

For the regular Dec. 5 opening, Sunlight's Children's Center and ski lessons will be available.

Sunlight also sponsors a premiere screening of Teton Gravity Research's latest film release, "Almost Ablaze," at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Hotel Colorado, in honor of injured local skier Tim Burr. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 at Sunlight Ski and Bike or for $20 the day of the event and at the door.