Colorado’s mom-and-pop ski areas are slipping away | |

Colorado’s mom-and-pop ski areas are slipping away

R. SCOTT RAPPOLD | Denver Post
Special to the Vail Daily/ Wolf Creek Ski Area

I’d like to tell you about the place I ski, the place I consider to be among the best resorts in Colorado for those who love deep powder.

Wolf Creek Ski Area is remote, surrounded by Rio Grande National Forest in southern Colorado. Traffic is nonexistent and you can park practically right next to the lifts — no long bus rides from the free parking lot. They’re all free. Lift tickets are affordable, $72 for adults as of this writing, down to $50 on the many local appreciation days, when everyone’s a local. You can feed the family and not have to take out a second mortgage or just bring lunch to the picnic lodge. Lift lines are rare outside of the holidays and spring break.

As for the snow, it’s legendary, an average of 430 inches a winter, and since the mountain is rarely crowded powder hounds can find fresh tracks days after a storm. And skiers can enjoy it with pristine views of an undeveloped landscape; no ski-in, ski-out condos or boutiques here. It’s how I imagine skiing was before the age of the mega-resort.

But how long will the ski area I love have the same feel?

Texas billionaire B.J. “Red” McCombs has been trying for three decades to build the Village at Wolf Creek, a massive housing development that could someday host several thousand people and fundamentally alter the environment atop Wolf Creek Pass, where the ski area is the only development for miles in any direction.

Read the full article via The Denver Post.

Support Local Journalism