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Breaking news: Vail extends 2016 season

VAIL — Vail Mountain has extended their ski season by one week, with closing day now scheduled for Sunday, April 17.

The announcement was made Tuesday evening as snow was falling on Vail Mountain. The news was greeted buzz from around the world over the Internet, and much local excitement across the county. Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick learned of the extension right as it was announced, and said the economic impact of Vail Mountain being open is felt from one end of the valley to the other.

“It’s like the tap is open when the lifts are running,” he said.



Personally, though, he said he’s just looking forward to skiing another week.

“My employees will be thankful for another week of work and skiing.”Buzz SchleperOwner, Buzz’s Boards

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“I’m really excited for my kids,” he said.



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‘A BIG DIFFERENCE’

A father of twin 13-year-old boys, Kostick said his son Alden has been enjoying the extreme terrain in the Northwoods area, which is seeing incredible snowpack with its shaded, northeast facing locations, while his son Bode will use the extra time to work on his telemark skiing, which he just picked up.



“Another week on the snow can make a big difference when you’re just learning,” said Kostick, himself a former national champion in big mountain telemark skiing. “Bode has been trying to get out on his tele skis every day so he’ll be so stoked to hear he’ll get another week on the snow.”

Businesses — and their employees — began breathing a sigh of relief on Tuesday night as well.

Buzz Schleper with Buzz’s Boards, a ski shop in Vail Village, was a vocal critic of the April 10 closing day. Schleper frequently says he wishes the mountain would stay open until the third Sunday in April every year.

“I would like to give a big thank you to Vail Resorts for making this decision to stay open another week with the fantastic snow we’re having,” he said.

25 FEET SO FAR THIS SEASON

As of Tuesday, Vail was boasting a more than 70-inch base, with nearly 2 feet of snow recorded over the last seven days and 25 feet so far this season.

“My employees will be thankful for another week of work, and skiing,” Schleper said.

Indeed, the plentiful powder played a factor into the decision, said Chris Jarnot, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Vail Mountain.

“Our snow conditions have just continued to get better and better throughout the month and we’ve had some of the best skiing and snowboarding of the year in the past couple of weeks,” Jarnot said. “It’s too good right now not to stay open and give our passholders the gift of another week to get out and enjoy what has been an amazing season at Vail.”

The annual Spring Back to Vail event will occur as scheduled April 8-10, including a free concert at Solaris showcasing Chris Robinson Brotherhood on Friday night and the World Pond Skimming Championships on Sunday at the base of Golden Peak.


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