Ski season extended at Aspen Highlands
ASPEN, Colorado Aspen Highlands will reopen for the weekends of April 18-19 and April 25-26, the Aspen Skiing Co. announced Wednesday.Aspen Skiing Company policy states all important announcements shall be on April Fools Day (witness lifting Aspen Mountains snowboard ban in 2001), read an e-mail Rich Burkley, vice president of mountain operations, sent to employees. In that spirit, I would like to announce we are extending our season.Those openings will extend the Aspen season, which was scheduled to end on April 12, with the closing of Aspen Mountain and Snowmass. Aspen Highlands, along with Buttermilk, was previously scheduled to see its last skiers on Sunday.The mountain will be open to the 12,382-foot summit of Highland Bowl. The Exhibition, Loge and Deep Temerity lifts are tentatively scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., depending on temperature, providing access to most of the mountain.Dont expect the whole front side to be open, said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. The primary targets are Highlands Bowl and Temerity. … Thats where most skiers will want to go.The Merry-Go-Round restaurant is expected to serve a limited lunch menu with barbecue, chips and beverages.All Aspen/Snowmass season passes will remain valid during the additional days. Adult tickets will be $39 per day, youth and seniors will pay $29 and childrens tickets will be $19. As always, children six and under will ski for free. Current season passholders from any other resort in the country can purchase a $19 lift ticket.A series of spring storms has pushed the base depth in Highland Bowl to more than 100 inches the deepest it has been all season, noted a Skico press release.Some people are ready to put this year behind them, but we are a town of skiers and snowboarders if we have the snow, were going skiing, Skico Senior Vice President David Perry said in a statement. We know its been a tough year and this is our way of saying thank you to the community and the rest of the winter sports world.Staffing will be however we have to, just like we did last year, Hanle said. Though he said some seasonal workers may return to work, generally, he expected salaried employees to cover the workload.We dont really have the plan fully in place, Hanle said. We just decided this.Graham Frandson, managing partner of the ZG Bar and Grill at the base of Highlands, confirmed the restaurant will hold the traditional closing party this weekend, complete with a pond skim and shot stations.Skico opened Aspen Highlands for the last two weekends of April last year, as well. In a rarer move, it also reopened the top of Aspen Mountain in June 2008, to coincide with the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen.