GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Winter sports are always moving forward. Skiers and riders look to better their skills with each season, and resorts strive to provide bigger and better features and facilities. This year, Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa will do just that with new events, trails and facilities.
"Every single week there's something going on," said Gabrielle Michna, the sales and marketing manager for Powderhorn. "We have a new and improved event schedule."
According to Michna, the upcoming season will be chock full of concerts and special events like costume and dress-up days. Colorado Mesa University Snow Days will also be new this year, with discounts and other deals for CMU students.
Powderhorn loyals will notice three new runs added to the mountain this year, too - Bronco (a cut trail), as well as Sven's Bend and Thunderbird Glade (which are tree runs). Already known, yet unmarked until this year, the runs have been officially named and can be found on trail maps. With these new runs added, Powderhorn boasts a total of 63 designated trails.
The resort's tubing hill, which debuted last season, has also added another lane to better accommodate guests.
Returning patrons will notice a mild increase over last year's prices for day tickets and season passes, Michna said, to fund new amenities planned for the near future - a high-speed lift, mountain bike trails and lift chairs which can accommodate riders and their bikes.
"We're trying to head in the right direction of getting a high speed (lift)," she added.
Discounted passes will be available until Nov. 15, after which they will be available at their full price. Powderhorn will honor the discounted pass rates at the CMU Ski Swap on Nov. 16, and pass sales at the Loki Mountain Store in the Redlands and REI in Grand Junction on Nov. 17.
While prices have gone up this season, discounts are always available for college students, seniors, military members and families. Weekday-only passes are also available at a discounted rate for those who plan on hitting the slopes primarily on weekdays. Half-day and partial-day tickets are available as well.
For Powderhorn pass holders looking to explore, discounts at several Colorado ski resorts - including Aspen, Telluride and Durango Mountain - are available all season. A notable perk pass holders can qualify for is three free days of skiing or riding at Crested Butte with the purchase of lodging.
Discounts at various Western Slope businesses like Pablo's Pizza, the Board and Buckle, and Gold's Gym are also available.
Also new this year is the SlopeSide Ski Club and Hotel, a members-only destination for Powderhorn patrons in the slope-side building formerly occupied by the Skiers Union bar and grill and the Inn at Wildewood.
According to the club's website, the kitchen, lounge, and hotel facility located next to the resort's main lift plans to make $30,000 in upgrades with new ownership and services.
"Its absolutely going to have a different feel," Jennifer Bailey, the club's general manager, said.
The building, which sold to a separate partnership during the auction in August 2011, has been occupied by other restaurants in the past.
"We came up with this (new) business model and have had a lot of positive feedback," said Bailey about the transition to becoming a private club.
The club will have a full bar, and members will get access to perks like closer parking and storage for their skis and boards. The club's kitchen will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to patrons. Plus, members also get half-off rooms in the adjacent hotel whenever rooms are available. A kids area will be built downstairs with flat screen TVs and Wii gaming systems, and the club is planning special Saturday events with live music and specially catered food.
Club memberships are $495 for the entire season, and the cost covers two adults and up to four kids. The club is offering a $100 Founder's Discount for the first 100 club memberships.
The adjacent SlopeSide Hotel is open to nonmembers who will receive day passes to the club for the duration of their stay.
To sign up for the club or get more information about its services, visit their booth at the National Ski Patrol Ski Swap at Two Rivers Convention Center Nov. 2-3 or visit www.slopesideskiclub.com.
For more info about Powderhorn, a full list of pass and ticket prices, planned events and season pass benefits, visit www.powderhorn.com