How about 10 to 5?

As the old saying sort of went, ”Heaven Forbid we should be like Aspen or Telluride,” but once in a while they come up with a good idea.

The last hour of the ski day Sunday in Crested Butte was superb. Blue sky, soft snow, plenty of sun and, thank goodness, no wind. It was what many of us go to the mountain to experience this time of year (after powder of course).
It was a bit of a shame that visitors who perhaps came in for a Thursday through Sunday vacation didn’t get to experience that last hour of weekend riding, but as we all know, it’s win some, lose some with the weather in any resort. Sunday at 4 o’clock, a band was playing in the sun on the deck overlooking the base area, the 8-ball rally skiers were flying down the mountain on the way to the Eldo, people were smiling and happily surrounded by spring. Life just felt pretty good. It was even better an hour later.

So, shamelessly jumping on someone else’s idea that resorts like Telluride and Aspen are nimbly fiddling with their hours to take advantage of Daylight Savings Time by adjusting their operating hours… maybe CBMR could consider the possibility as well. Starting this week, lifts at Telluride will operate from 10 until 5 instead of 9 to 4. Aspen and Snowmass are extending afternoon lift operations for some chairs a half hour.
It is spring and a 9 a.m. start can be a bit hard on the snow and the knees. The snow and sun can simply be great in the late afternoon.
We can see the financial cutbacks being taken at the resort, so instead of expanding an additional hour and incurring extra costs, could it be reasonably cost effective and budget neutral to follow Telluride’s lead? Start the ski area’s day an hour later in the morning. Run the lifts the same amount of time as they are being run now. Grab the best part of the day for our guests, the pass holders and the school kids.
At first it might seem weird but 10 to 5 sounds pretty good. That extra hour could certainly be soul-enhancing for a lot of people. Anyone feeling the need for that right now?

CBMR chief operating officer Ken Stone says the company has looked at extending the hours in the spring. Because they’ve done it in the past without much success and their guest feedback indicates that while staying open an extra hour can be a good thing, opening an hour later, especially on a powder day, can be a bad thing, they decided not to do it. Ken is betting that Telluride will go back to normal 9 to 4 hours next year.
I wouldn’t bet the house on it, but I’m not so sure Ken is right.

As we enter the last weeks of our season, can we be nimble and add some value to the experience without costing the resort any more money? We’ve always admitted we are basically snow farmers, so why not act like it and instead of relying on a clock, embrace what nature offers.
Just something to consider during these longer days. . . Soft snow and sunshine is a memory everyone likes to take home, whether you live in Dallas or Crested Butte. And it’s the good memories that keep the people coming back…

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