$5 million in upgrades planned for Powderhorn Mountain Resort, including high-speed lift
Nearly four years after announcing the purchase of Powderhorn Mountain Resort outside Grand Junction by Gart Capital Partners and Andy Daly, the resort announced Wednesday, Feb. 4, that they are taking a major step forward with the investment of $5 million in the coming year to improve the slopes for winter and summer recreation.
Topping the list of capital investments is the installation of a Poma high-speed quad chairlift along the same alignment as the current Take Four lift. The new lift will cut ride time in half while offering comfortable seats and footrests for lift riders. The bottom terminal will be lowered by approximately eight feet to create much easier access to lift loading area. Construction begins next summer and the new chairlift will be ready for opening day in mid-December for the 2015-2016 season.
Locals and regional skiers and riders will also appreciate additional snowmaking on the lower portion of the intermediate trail Bill’s Run to assure high quality terrain conditions on opening day in mid-December.
“These are the first major improvements at Powderhorn in more than 20 years and the anticipation is already building,” said Sam Williams, general manager for Powderhorn Mountain Resort. “This investment allows Powderhorn to move forward with its ability to become a more enticing winter and summer destination for regional residents and destination visitors on a year-round basis.”
Summer improvements are also getting a boost with the inclusion of bike carriers on the new quad lift that will allow mountain bikes to be transported up the mountain. Plans call for construction of the first phase of a comprehensive new mountain bike system that gets underway this summer.
“Powderhorn has catered to Grand Valley residents and families for many years and that isn’t going to change with these improvements,” said Tom Gart of Gart Capital Partners (GCP), co-owner of the resort with Daly. “We’ll still have the laid-back, family-friendly culture that is part of Powderhorn’s heritage and culture and we’re confident the new lift will be greatly appreciated by our loyal guests. Plus, the arrival of the first few bike trails next summer to start the new mountain bike network will provide a cool cycling destination — especially during the hottest months of summer.”
Powderhorn’s 2014-15 season pass holders will be the first to receive an immediate benefit from this announcement. To reward loyal skiers and riders and build excitement, this year’s season pass holders will receive a discount of up to 20 percent off next year’s full-rate season pass. The 2015-16 season pass purchase can be secured with a $50 deposit made by Feb. 28, with the balance due May 31. An adult full season pass will be $499 while a junior pass for ages 7-12 will be $249.
This latest commitment to ongoing capital improvements for Powderhorn is in addition to the more than $1.7 million that has been invested since Daly and GCP purchased the resort in September 2011. Those investments range from more than $1.1 million in base area enhancements, lift maintenance, new ski and snowboard rental equipment, and trail improvements, to nearly $600,000 dedicated to critical operational investments in planning & development, snow groomers, and computer and IT upgrades.
Daly gives a lot of credit for this ambitious capital investment plan to local Grand Junction companies — Leitner-Poma, a lift manufacturing company and Home Loan State Bank, a century-old Grand Junction company supporting local business enterprises since 1897. Home Loan State Bank works in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan guarantee program to encourage expansion of companies in rural areas.
“This expansion is locally driven and locally supported to enhance regional tourism and that feels really good,” Daly said. “Leitner-Poma and Home Loan State Bank have recognized the value of supporting local recreation and because of that, we are moving forward to take Powderhorn to a new level for both summer and winter … and that is a great move for all of us.”
For more information about Powderhorn, visit http://www.powderhorn.com.
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