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New ‘Aligator Alley’ Sunlight run to be on East Ridge

From left, Sunlight General Manager Tom Jankovsky, Olympian Alice McKennis, dad Greg McKennis, and others celebrate the official dedication of "Aligator Alley," a new ski run in honor of McKennis, on Saturday.
Katie Haefner | PowderStreet

After some discussion with Olympic ski racer and New Castle native Alice McKennis, it looks like the Sunlight Mountain ski run that will be named in her honor will be situated on the East Ridge section of the ski area.

Originally, the ski area outside Glenwood Springs had considered renaming the existing Zephyr Glades as “Aligator Alley,” in honor of McKennis, whose Instagram handle is @thealigator.

McKennis, a two-time Olympian fresh off a fifth place finish in the downhill at the Pyeongchang Games and a third-place showing at the final World Cup event of the season in Are, Sweden, was on hand for the naming dedication at Sunlight on Saturday.



Sunlight’s marketing and sales director, Troy Hawks, asked McKennis before the event what she thought of renaming Zephyr Glades.

“Woah! I actually don’t know how I feel about that,” McKennis, who grew up skiing at Sunlight, responded in an email.

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“I can’t imagine Zephyr Glades being anything else other than Zephyr! Maybe I am being sentimental or something, but I don’t wanna mess up the whole mojo of Sunlight,” she offered.

Her suggestion was to tag one of the existing runs, or maybe a new run, on the East Ridge, with her moniker.

“I have memories on pretty much every trail, although maybe something on the east ridge would be cool,” she wrote. “As a kid, a lot of time our last run of the day would be down Defiance or somewhere in that zone. I have a vivid memory of tomahawking down one of those steeper trails.”

McKennis and her dad, Greg McKennis, were Sunlight regulars starting before she had even turned 2 years old.

Hawks said he wasn’t sure if Sunlight would rename an existing trail on the East Ridge, or cut a new trail. Doing the latter would require Forest Service approval, but is not out of the question, he said.


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