Powderhorn Ski Area is up for auction on August 4th. As much as I love this ski area, I have my doubts that anyone who buys it can make a successful go of it. It may not even open next season. Any comments?
They probably would welcome your feedback, consider writing them a letter. They probably know most of what you say, but public opinion is more valuable than people usually know.I really hope that the future of Powderhorn is a bright one. I have been there on quite a number of occasions and have always enjoyed my trips there. I think it has a great and diverse market; not just GJ but also Battlement Mesa, Delta, and Moab, and all parts between. It has great terrain, and is incredibly underdeveloped for a resort of it's acreage. If it was an I-70 resort it would have twelve lifts on it. But as it is now it is a great local ski mountain, and every time I am there I always see lots of people out and about. The locals are great and friendly, and I have never felt anything but a great vibe there.
The main problem with P-horn is it shows its age. Not the most recent owner, but the one before that, ran the ski area at or near bankruptcy for the better part of 15 years. As a result, very little improvements were made to the off-mountain infastructure, ie, the condos, base lodge, etc, and as a result the mountain feels neglected after so many years. I had such high hopes that the last owner would turn it around; he brought them back to solvency and had hopes that a positive year would finally start to turnaround. Alas, it didn't happen and it fell back into the same pot. At this point a fairly major upgrade of the base area is fairly necessary to return to mountain to the "standard" level of resorts around the state, and while the on mountain infastructure isn't too bad, it could certainly benefit from another lift or two.
I agree that the snow is sometimes fickle, but when it is on it can be incredible. Due to its geography it gets the same benefit of orographic lift that serves Alta, Snowbird, and the rest of the Wasatch Front resorts, meaning, super light fluffly snow. Two of my better days of resort skiing have come at Powderhorn. Once we caught 17'' of new, and got there for the opening of Mudslide and Powderkeg and some other black runs, and there was easily 4' of fresh powder from the whole season underneath the 17'' of new. Result= stomach deep light fluffy powder. Two years ago we went on a 14" day and the boulder fields off the west side lift were nothing but pillows after pillows after pillows after pillows. Disgusting how much fun we had that day.
Good luck to the new owners, and I really hope they have some success with this. I feel like Powderhorn could be a successful and viable resort if it had a few things go it's way. Operating a ski area at or very near bankruptcy is not a way to make it thrive, so hopefully these new folks can find some ways to bring in some capital. I will continue to make it over (only ~3 hours one way from Gunnison for me; well worth it) a handful of times a season and hope that people will continue to ski there. Colorado needs more secondary options to the I-70 resorts, and its my hope that this one will continue to be a great choice for that market!