“With so much snow, why not?”
by Tran Acuff
With season totals pushing 300 inches and the base hovering around 100 inches, Vail Resorts has given the green light to extend the ski season two weeks this year, moving the official CBMR closing date to Sunday, April 21.
It was an easy sell for CBMR executives to convince Vail Resorts to approve the idea as the resort is seeing one of the best seasons in terms of snow and ridership since the heyday of free ski.
According to statistics from the past 30 years, CBMR is on pace to meet or break the record of some of its biggest years in snowfall. Furthermore, the number of skiers has been through the roof, thanks to the Epic pass with the main push coming from the Front Range.
“Weekends have been great as far as numbers are concerned and it’s starting to creep into Fridays and Mondays, making for great numbers,” says Tim Bakel. “It’s awesome—before this year CBMR was an afterthought for the Front Range drive market. Now that they’ve been here, they are returning and bringing friends and their families.”
The idea is not as wild as it may seem, as it proves to be fiscally responsible as well, something Vail Resorts truly shines to.
“Our lifts were down so much this year, we’ve actually banked some extra power expenditures,” says Bakel. “Remember when the Silver Queen lift was down for a week? That bought us a week of it being open in April. And all of those stoppages on Paradise? Those actually added up to a total of two weeks of down time, so let’s use it. Why they were down, how they were fixed and where the parts came from, I cannot say. All I can say is: We’re staying open!”
But wait, there’s more. In addition to staying open, all other areas will be blacked out to Epic pass holders, so traffic will be driven primarily to CBMR for two weeks straight.
Epic Local pass holders can still ski the area Tuesday through Thursday but Friday through Monday will be blacked out for Epic Local pass holders—though Vail Resorts is offering the Stay Open Late pass for an additional $300 to all Local Epic pass holders.
But it will be worth it as CBMR promises to be open wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling, Teo 2 to Sunset Ridge, the Peak to the bottom of East River.
“Heck, we might even fire up the Teocalli lift,” says Bakel. “No one has been in Teo trees or Gus’ Way all season so the skiing there will be incredible. I feel safe riding that lift, but I’d rather watch you.”
Unfortunately, a handful of skiers have been using the bottom lift shack for housing so they will have to be removed from the premises.