Powderhorn Mountain Resort on Colorado’s Grand Mesa preps for new chairlift, 3 mtb trails
Despite a rainy May and early June, construction on Powderhorn Mountain Resort’s new Poma high-speed quad chairlift is on schedule. Powderhorn will also expand snow-making capabilities and build three mountain-bike trails this summer, among other updates. The project will total around $5 million.
“Rain slowed us down a little bit, but we’re still right where we need to be, so that’s great,” said Dusti Reimer of Powderhorn.
Leitner-Poma of America, a Grand Junction-based company specializing in cable transport systems like chairlifts and gondolas, will spearhead installation of Powderhorn’s chairlift starting in July.
“This project was a Powderhorn and [Leitner-Poma] team effort,” said Rick Spear, president of Leitner-Poma. “We each had the same goal; and while it took a lot of hard work on each of our parts, I give the Powderhorn ownership and management kudos for their determination in knocking down every roadblock on their way to the green light for this huge step forward for the enjoyment of the skiing public.”
Both Spear and Reimer confirmed local crews are working on Powderhorn’s upgrade.
“The perks of a local project are both subjective and objective,” Spear said. “On the subjective side, we have many employees at [Leitner-Poma] that love to ski and many that enjoy skiing Powderhorn. This project will enhance their ski experience, and they take more of a personal approach … On the objective side we typically send one or two supervisors to a project and then hire local. This project will be 100-percent local, which helps the local economy more so than our typical non-local project.”
According to Dave Smith, Powderhorn’s slope operations manager, extensive preparations for lift installation occurred over the last few weeks.
“We tore down chairs off the whole lift, removed the bottom terminal, and now we’re in the process of re-grading the base area to accommodate a new layout,” Smith said. “Poma helped out with taking the cable off [the lift]. They’ll come in July and start doing the bottom terminal.”
Powderhorn will begin its snow-making expansion project in mid-July as well.
“There will be an additional 7,000 feet of snow-making pipe,” Smith said. “That will give us better [snow] coverage for the early season.”
Mountain-bike trails will then be built in August.
“Three pre-approved trails — a green, blue and black — will be finished by this fall,” Reimer said. “That way when we shut down for mud season we’ll be able to open and have those trails ready to go. We are also working with the U.S. Forest Service to get a Master Mountain Bike Plan.”
Reimer confirmed that Powderhorn will have additional mountain-bike trails constructed by experts once the Forest Service approves a more expansive trail plan.
“As a known mountain-biking destination, the new trails add to the variety of biking products that we offer visitors,” said Mistalynn Meyeraan of the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau. “Adding in the trails at Powderhorn makes Grand Junction and the Grand Valley even more marketable with the diverse trails that we have to offer within a 45 minute, or less, drive in any direction from Grand Junction.”
For more information about Powderhorn or to watch construction online via digital video, visit http://www.powderhorn.com.
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.