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Sunlight Mountain Resort invests big bucks in user improvements

Sunlight Mountain Manager and head snowmaker Mike Baumli powers up the new snow making equipment at the base of Sunlight Mountain.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Snow crunched beneath Troy Hawks’ boots Friday as he surveyed Sunlight Mountain Resort’s newly expanded lower parking lot nestled in the ravine below.

“On some days in past seasons, we’d have people parked along Four Mile Road nearly a quarter-mile down the way,” said Hawks, the resort’s marketing and sales director. “This parking lot expansion is the resort’s largest capital improvement in the last four decades.”

With a price tag of nearly $500,000, the parking improvements include an additional 80 parking spaces and three electric vehicle charging pylons capable of recharging six vehicles at a time.



Two of the charging pylons were purchased with help from an $18,000 grant from the Colorado Energy Office, Holy Cross Energy donated a third and Alpine Bank contributed to the installation through a three-year sponsorship program, Hawks explained.

“There’s a growing group of electric vehicle users who frequent the mountain,” he said. “And as a ski and snowboard resort, we’re extremely environmentally conscious, so it’s always nice to add steps toward environmental stability.”



To encourage more electric vehicle owners to make the trek this year, the resort is offering two-for-one lift tickets on opening weekend, which was originally scheduled for Friday, then postponed because of a lack of snowfall.

After the Friday snowstorm, opening day is now planned for Wednesday.

Hawks said the deal would remain in place for the new opening weekend once it is announced.

On the mountain, Sunlight invested about $50,000 in new heads and hoses for the resort’s snowmaking equipment, which will make the process more efficient and environmentally friendly, he added.

Leadville-based artist Kevin Mastin was commissioned to paint a new trail map for the resort, which will include five runs recently added to the East Ridge.

“It’s a nice new perspective encompassing the whole mountain,” Hawks said.

The resort also invested about $130,000 in a suite of digital upgrades, including new point-of-sale and e-commerce software as well as a new website.

“New scanners at the lifts will reduce wait times,” Hawks said. “And, the digital upgrades will streamline the purchasing process for season pass holders.”

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at ifredregill@postindependent.com.


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