Sunlight Mountain planning for Dec. 9 opening

Mini-mayor voting open through Nov. 8

While 10" have fallen on Sunlight Mountain so far, opening day is still set for December 9, 2022
Courtesy Photo

Snow has officially fallen in Glenwood Springs, which means it’s time to ask our favorite fall question: when will Sunlight open?

Although Sunlight Mountain Resort received about 10 inches of snow at the base in last week’s storm, the resort is still planning for a Dec. 9 opening.

“Ideal snowmaking is about 20 degrees or lower to really get a good layer of snow,” said Troy Hawks, the marketing and sales director at Sunlight. “That’s kind of what we look for and generally don’t want it to be too windy.”

Courtesy pictures from Sunlight Mountain Resort of the first snow on the mountain

He said that the mountain aims for cold weather that lasts at least 48 hours to get a good base without concern of the snow melting.

“We’re seeing some melt-off already in the parking lot, and Mother Nature tends to do this a little bit. She’ll tease us a little and so we’re uncertain,” he said. “There’s certainly no change of plans right now. We’re just a little over 40 days out from opening so we’re taking it day by day and just watching the weather.”

First snow is also a good reminder to vote — and not just on your Colorado ballot. Sunlight Mini-Mayor elections are running now through 5 p.m. Nov. 8.

Young shredders from near and far are running to be the next mini-mayor of Sunlight Mountain. 

The rules originally capped the contest at 10 candidates or fewer ages 12 and younger, but Sunlight bumped that up given the growing interest this year. In total, 15 candidates are vying to be the next mini-mayor.

“We certainly would never stand in the way of democracy,” Hawks said. “So, we let all 15 kids into the contest, and we certainly are excited for the interest from the candidates.”

Most of the aspiring politicians live within Garfield County, but there are a couple running from outside of the region and as far away as Maryland and Argentina. 

“I think we’re weighing the concept of having a mini-senator and perhaps our first mini-foreign ambassador,” he said. “It’s been proposed internally and kind of weighing that.”

The winner receives a free pass, a new board or set of skis and a seat on the Sunlight’s Executive Table where decisions and the direction of the mountain are decided. 

“They did receive an official certificate of candidacy and a little campaign packet,” he said. “We’re really happy with this year’s response. As always, we just like to have a lot of fun with it. We think it’s a fun connection to our local community.”

Mayors in the past have implemented great changes involving the community and the mountain, like the Sunlight Safety Club and lobbying for sun safety and a sunscreen station. 

10% of all proceeds from the sales of Sunny Pop, the ski mountain’s craft soda, go to the charitable cause of the mini-mayor’s choice. 

“Last year, Axelle Hansen chose UNICEF Children Fund that benefited children in Ukraine,” Hawks said. “And then the mini-mayor prior to that was April Carter of Silt, Colorado and April conducted a coat drive that gathered 200 coats that ultimately were sent to Ukraine.”

Carter donated her Sunny Pop proceeds to Literacy Outreach of Glenwood Springs, he said. 

Running for office continues to carry its perks. 

“President’s Day weekend we’d like to have our first annual Mini Mayor day where anyone that’s ever ran for mayor can come and ski for free of sunlight for the day,” Hawks said. 

Go vote at

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