Sunlight Ski Spree sticks to the mountain this year |

Sunlight Ski Spree sticks to the mountain this year

Ryan Summerlin
Fireworks over Glenwood Springs on Feb. 7, 2015, celebrated the end of Sunlight Mountain Resort's Ski Spree.
Colleen O’Neil/Post Independent |

Sunlight Mountain Resort’s annual Ski Spree will be held strictly on the mountain this year, breaking away from past practice of holding some of the events in Glenwood Springs.

Ski Spree, this year marking Sunlight’s 50th anniversary, will be on Feb. 4-5.

On that Saturday, the mountain will host the Taste of Sunlight Food Fest, starting at 2 p.m., which will take the place of the traditional chili cook-off. This year, the food fest won’t be restricted to chili alone.

Several local restaurants — including Carbondale Beer Works, K-Sea’s Wing House, The Pullman, Red Rock Diner, Lost Cajun, Glenwood Brew Pub, Smoke and Qdoba — will serve up samples of their appetizers, entrées, soups and more. Skiers and riders will vote on their favorites.

During that time will also be a prize drawing, including for a Sunlight 50th Anniversary snowboard.

Tickets for Taste of Sunlight Food Fest are $10. They can be purchased at Sunlight Mountain, at Sunlight Ski and Bike or at the Glenwood Springs ANB Bank.

On both days, the mountain will host a treasure hunt where skiers and riders can redeem oversized dollars hidden around the mountain.

Last year was the mountain’s first to host a treasure hunt on the slopes. That event has now been expanded into two days, and the prizes will be found everywhere from the blue and black runs to the lodge, so everyone can participate.

On Sunday, there will also be the Need-4-Speed Race.

In previous years the event has spread across Glenwood Springs as well as at the ski resort, most visibly culminating in fireworks in town the past couple of years. The city has shifted its fireworks spending to summer so Glenwood can have a July 4 display.

Sunlight management decided to keep the event only on the mountain after hearing Hotel Colorado, usually the venue for the chili cook-off, was to be closed for renovations pending its sale to Glenwood Hot Springs.

While news emerged Monday that the sale will not happen after all, it’s too late to change plans for Ski Spree, said Troy Hawks, Sunlight’s marking and sales director.

Not having these events in Glenwood Springs is a little disappointing for Sunlight’s 50th anniversary, said Hawks. “But things happen, and we’ll certainly be looking to bring these events back to Glenwood in future seasons,” he said.

“We’re excited to reinvent Ski Spree this season and bring the party to the people here at the mountain with our first annual Taste of Sunlight,” he added.

Marianne Virgili, president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, isn’t too worried about the impact on Glenwood Springs businesses.

Ski Spree has a good following, and people will attend whether it’s held in town or only on the mountain, she said. “But it’s kind of a community event rather than a big tourism draw.”

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