$20 Ticket to Paradise | PostIndependent.com

$20 Ticket to Paradise

Jessica Cabe
Darren Broome, 45, and Kevin Passmore, 30, from Carbondale, take a breather after skinning up Sunlight Mountain.
Colleen O’Neil / Post Independent |

If You Go...

What: 28th Annual Sunlight Mountain Resort Skier Appreciation Day and Teacher and Student Appreciation Day

When: Skier Appreciation Day today, Teacher and Student Appreciation Day on Sunday

Where: Sunlight Mountain Resort

How Much: $20 lift tickets, teachers and staff ski free both days (show valid ID)

It seems you can’t get a whole lot for $20 anymore. Even a nice meal for one could exceed that, and skiing for that little in the Roaring Fork Valley is nearly unheard of.

But Sunlight Mountain is bringing back its annual Skier Appreciation days, featuring $20 lift tickets on Friday. In an effort not to leave students, teachers and school staff out (and to discourage ditching), Sunlight will offer $20 lift tickets to students on Sunday, and teachers and staff members will ski for free on both days.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy this day, but we don’t want them to skip school for it,” said Jennie Spillane, marketing manager at Sunlight.

The appreciation days are packed with all kinds of fun. The theme is “$20 Ticket to Paradise,” and skiers are encouraged to wear their best tropical attire, including bikinis, swim trunks and tropical shirts. A great outfit could win you a Sunlight season pass for 2015-16. Vintage swimwear and creativity will get you extra points.

“I think what’s exciting about it is it breaks up the winter season,” said Spillane. “Getting out beach gear makes you think of the beach and makes you feel warm.”

In addition to the opportunity to win a season pass for the best costume, attendees can buy raffle tickets to win a brand new pair of skis, a new snowboard, the gold pass for a later ski day, $500 in gift cards and much more.

For those who won’t be hitting the slopes all day, the Whittingtons Band will be performing in the lodge, providing the music to a tropical dance-off.

While all of this is good fun, Sunlight’s appreciation days are about more than cheap lift tickets. All proceeds from ticket and raffle sales will go to United Way.

“United Way provides a lot for other nonprofits in Garfield County,” Spillane said.

Last year was a record fundraising year for the mountain, which sees an average of 1,000 to 1,200 skiers on these special days, when they were able to donate $14,105. Spillane said they’re hoping to raise even more money this year, with a goal of $15,000.

With an unbeatable lift ticket price and a good cause behind it all, Sunlight’s Skier and Teacher and Student Appreciation days are a win-win.

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