Sunlight preparing to open Nov. 30 |

Sunlight preparing to open Nov. 30

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox/Post IndependentThe only snow at the base of the mountain at Sunlight ski resort Tuesday afternoon were a few mounds of man-made snow.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Sunlight Mountain Resort has gotten a lot of sunshine lately. Regardless, Sunlight crews are preparing the mountain for opening day scheduled for Nov. 30, come snow or shine.

The resort is expanding its Pump Haus Terrain Park this year with as many as five new features, including a new rainbow rail, crisp for shredding.

And, like so many other resorts across the state, Sunlight has raised prices of the full-day adult lift tickets from $45 to $48. However, those prices are still one of the cheapest tickets in the state. A child’s full-day lift ticket will run $38, while the season passes are $480 this year, up from $450.

“It’s still one of the most affordable tickets in Colorado,” Sunlight marketing manager Dylan Lewis said.

Opening day festivities will kick off with the resort’s annual treasure hunt, with prizes including $500 and a free season pass for the 2008-09 ski season. The first 100 people up the stairs that day will receive a free Sunlight T-shirt.

The resort is promoting its Learn to Shine program for those who have never skied before. Lewis said that this program began last year with good interest, but this year they’re hoping to attract more first-timers to the slopes.

“It’s a great program that teaches people how to ski and then provides the time to practice,” Lewis said.

The three-day program includes lift tickets, two-hour lessons each day, and rental equipment for $215 for skiing, and $230 for snowboarding. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a free five-day pass to build upon what they’ve learned.

“We really have to be aggressive on bringing people up to ski,” Lewis said. “This program I’m trying to get out there to let people know what we have to offer as a resort.”

But it’s not just a ski resort, either.

For those looking to venture farther from the slopes and into the wild, Sunlight has options to pique the winter enthusiast’s interest. Lewis said the resort expanded its snowmobile tours to include a new Tri-County Point Tour leaving from the horse stables at the base of the mountain.

This new tour is cheaper, $100 for a single and $150 for a double, than the traditional Baylor Park Adventure Ride that runs $150 for a single and $210 for doubles. The new route is shorter as well, running about 16 miles and one-and-one-half hours, compared to 30 miles for the Baylor Park Tour, which runs about an hour longer.

“We will have an additional six sleds at the stables for the new tour,” Lewis said. “And we will still have 18 sleds for the Baylor Park tour.”

Future plans of expanding the resort and adding hotels and homes at the base of the mountain aren’t going to happen this year, according to Lewis, so there will be nothing affecting skiers and riders in that respect. He’s looking forward to another year of the resort being the locals’ mountain.

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