GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Thanks to a snowstorm sweeping through Sunday and Monday, Sunlight Mountain Resort will open this Friday, one week later than planned.
The area reported 11 inches of new snow as of Monday afternoon, and more snow was expected through the night, allowing the area to open with a base of more than 20 inches.
Sunlight had to push its opening day back from Dec. 7 due to lack of snow and warm temperatures in the early season.
"We were able to get there with the storm we received this last weekend, which brought Sunlight about 11 inches of new snow," said Tom Hays, assistant general manager at Sunlight.
That comes on top of 18 inches that fell in mid-October.
The Primo and Tercero lifts will be open for skiing and riding on the Joslin, Sun King and Peace Pipe runs. More runs will open as conditions allow.
"We'll be open bottom to top," said Jennie Spillane, spokeswoman for Sunlight.
Skiers and boarders who turn out this Friday, Saturday or Sunday can help pack the base and enjoy discounted tickets. Lift tickets for adults and teens will be $45 for a full day and $35 for half day, and children's full-day tickets are $35.
Prices will go back to the regular rates of $55 for adults and teens and $45 for children, starting Monday. Disabled and military tickets are always $40.
Those who hit the slopes at Sunlight this season can ring up their friends to report on snow conditions, as the mountain now has cell phone service.
Skiers and boarders can use their phones to find their buddies, post photos to Facebook or make dinner plans, said Spillane. But skiers and riders shouldn't call 911 if they have an on-mountain accident, she noted.
"The ski patrol will be along to help," she said, noting that patrol isn't tied in to the 911 dispatch system.
Also new to Sunlight this season is food and beverage manager Rachel Brown, who is introducing a new menu with more healthy options, including salads, wraps, soups, fruits and vegetables.
And servers will now be working the Grizzly Bar, which is seating for the Last Turn Lounge outside on the deck. Customers can order a drink from the deck rather than having to go into the lounge.
Friday also marks the start of the annual treasure hunt. The first person to find the treasure will win a season pass to Sunlight for the 2013-14 season. Clues will be posted every Friday on Sunlight's Facebook page and in the guest services office.