Sunlight storms into early ’02-03 opening |

Sunlight storms into early ’02-03 opening

Thanks to the weekend storm that blasted area mountains with more than a foot of snow, Sunlight Mountain Resort will open almost two weeks earlier than expected.

The mountain will open this Saturday and Sunday, then it will close for the week, reopening for the weekend of Nov. 23-24. After that, the season’s official, seven-day-a-week opening is set for Nov. 27.

“We have better snow than we had in January of last year,” Sunlight marketing director Turi Nevin-Turkel said Tuesday. “We’re set up pretty good and that’s why we’re able to open early.”

During the upcoming weekend, 60 percent of the mountain will be open, including most runs on the west side of the mountain.

It’s not for lack of snow that the rest of the mountain remains closed.

“Technically we’re opening a couple of weeks early … so we’re trying to get stuff done in four days that we usually have two weeks for,” Nevin-Turkel said.

Crews are busy setting up gates, grooming trails and covering obstacles on some of the mountain’s eastern, or skier’s right, trails and the mountain’s extreme terrain.

Nevin-Turkel said a full list of runs that will be open this weekend could be released later in the week.

“We’ll have a better idea over the next couple of days,” she said.

On Tuesday, the mountain had a 30-inch base of snow at the top and 26 inches at mid-mountain.

“The report is that by far this is the best early-season snow we’ve had in a long time,” Nevin-Turkel said.

Saturday’s opening will be the second-earliest opening ever, she said. The earliest was about 10 years ago when the ski area opened on Nov. 14.

“It’s not like early-season conditions we’ve had during the last few years,” she said.

Lift tickets will cost $25 for adults and $20 for children 6-13 years old until Dec. 18, then increase to $34 for adults and $22 for children.

To celebrate the early opening, Sunlight is offering deep discounts on season passes this weekend. Adult passes, normally priced at $450, will be $100 off. College, student, child and young senior passes – people 60 to 69 – will be $50 off and there will be discounts on family passes, as well.

The special offer is only available for purchase at Sunlight’s ticket office. It won’t be available at the downtown shop or through the Internet.

For more information, call Sunlight Mountain Resort at 945-7491 or go to

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