Power failure forces Sunlight shutdown
An electrical power failure at Sunlight Mountain Resort forced the ski area to close down four days earlier than planned, thus canceling the “Beach Party” events that had been scheduled for the final day on Easter Sunday.
“This is not an April Fool’s joke, this is a very unfortunate event and is not reported with excitement,” Jennie Spillane, Sunlight’s marketing manager, said Wednesday morning.
The resort, located up Four Mile Road 10 miles southwest of Glenwood Springs, was able to remain open Wednesday using an auxiliary power source to operate the Primo Lift.
But the decision was made after contacting Holy Cross Energy, which provides electric power to the area, to have Wednesday be the final day of operation for the 2014-15 season, Spillane said.
According to Holy Cross spokesman Steve Casey, the outage involved a fault in one of the three underground cables serving the middle to upper part of the ski mountain. Repairing it will require an extensive effort to get equipment onto the mountain and likely several days worth of work, he said.
“This is an issue that is not repairable in the immediate future and has affected the entire mountain,” Spillane said, adding it would be cost-prohibitive to continue operating on auxiliary power through the weekend.
No other electric utility customers in the Four Mile area were affected by the outage, Casey said.
Despite dwindling snowpack due to the unseasonably warm weather lately, Sunlight had hoped to remain open through Sunday. Closing-day events had included an Easter sunrise service, Easter egg hunt and Beach Party Pond Skim Spectacular.
About 70 percent of the ski runs remained open through Wednesday, Spillane previously told the Post Independent.
She added that season passes for the 2015-16 season are already on sale at reduced 2014-15 early season rates through June 1, at http://www.Sunlightmtn.com.
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A bear had its way with the measuring stake atop Sunlight Mountain this fall, but that doesn’t mean there’s not enough snow for an earlier-than-planned opening on Friday.