Get ready for Sunlight’s 38th Annual Skier Appreciation Day Friday

One-time $25 lift ticket deal helps local nonprofits

Skiers walk up the steps to Sunlight Mountain Resort on Thursday morning.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

If there is one day this ski season to enjoy Sunlight Mountain Resort, it’s Friday.

“Anticipate the most affordable ticket in the state and potentially the world,” said Troy Hawks, marketing and sales director for the Glenwood Springs ski area.

The mountain got dumped on all week, adding 8 inches of new snow Tuesday night and counting 37 inches in the last eight days, so what better time to go than with a cheap ticket and ample snow.

Sunlight is celebrating its 38th Annual Skier Appreciation Day with $25 lift tickets for the day, and the proceeds will go to the local United Way Battlement to the Bells. 

“It’s a way to give back to our community,” Hawks said. “We have a lot of fun up here, and we want to give back and support local nonprofits.”

In all, the event has raised approximately $500,000 for the local United Way organization, he said. 

“A number of other local businesses help with the event,” he said. “It’s not just us, it’s really the community that helps make this happen.”

The ski mountain will open at 9 a.m. Friday, unless it is a powder day, in which case lifts begin running a half hour earlier. 

Hawks said snow conditions are great and the mountain will be fully open.

The event has grown over the years to include some contests and other festivities.

Riders line up at a chairlift at Sunlight Mountain Resort on Thursday morning.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Friday’s lineup includes a Kids’ Donut Eating Contest, sponsored by Sweet Coloradough, at 10 a.m., and then a costume contest at 2 p.m.

One lucky doughnut eater will win a popcorn machine that was gifted from Swire Coca Cola, so they can continue their “imperative eating endeavors,” Hawks said.

The costume contest theme is “Back to the Future,” with a season pass for the best kid and best adult costumes.

Best group costume will win a Sunny 6-Pack, which is six passes and a six pack of Sunny Pop craft root beer soda.  

There will also be additional prize drawings during the day.

New this year will be a Sunlight time capsule. Riders can bring mementos that will be opened again in five years to see how things have changed in that time. Hawks said he will be bringing a COVID piece to see if people are still talking about the pandemic in five years. 

“We look forward to it,” Hawks said. “We get to see old friends.”

A snowboarder rides through some fresh powder on Sunlight Mountain Resort. Photographer Peter Eide is the manager for the Brettelberg Condominium Association, Sunlight’s slopeside lodging. Photo packages can be arranged through Brettelberg when riding Sunlight.
Peter Eide/Courtesy Photo

This year, Sunlight added the Skier & Rider Appreciation Fund, where riders who purchase season passes and lift tickets online at are asked to donate $5 to the fund for their online purchase. 

The funds received are to be added to the funds raised for Skier Appreciation Day, and the proceeds will benefit a variety of local nonprofits in the community through United Way, he said. 

This is the highest contribution that goes to the local United Way Battlement to the Bells, and it is a community effort with Sunlight, Hawks said. 

In addition to Friday’s Skier Appreciation Day for the general public, Sunday is Teacher/Student Appreciation Day. All Roaring Fork Re-1 and Garfield Re-2 teachers are invited to ski and snowboard for free, and students from the two districts pay the discounted $25 for a lift ticket. 

An official school ID is required to get the discount at the Sunlight lift ticket window.

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