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Big Storm A Little Late For About A Dozen Ski Resorts

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The Vista Bahn chairlift at Vail Mountain (credit: CBS)

The Vista Bahn chairlift at Vail Mountain (credit: CBS)

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VAIL, Colo. (CBS4) – This weekend’s winter storm left anywhere from half a foot to more than a foot of snow in many parts of the mountains. But it was too little too late for about a dozen ski resorts who closed for the season Sunday.

The fresh powder had to be bittersweet for those resorts. It was just the second storm in April and following one of the driest Marches on record, all anyone wanted to talk about Sunday — closing day — was the incredible ski conditions.

They were conditions that haven’t been seen since February, but with the close of the season at places like Vail, the summer means upgrades and improvements as they keep an eye on next season.

“I wanted to be on it one more time. I hopefully wanted to get on the number chair that I wanted, but I got on 93, which is just fine,” skier Pamela Lessing said.

For Lessing Chair 16 on the Vista Bahn chairlift at Vail Mountain has a special place in her heart.

“It’s very sentimental. I’ve been skiing in Vail for 30 years and I remember when it opened. I was on it the first day when it opened and it was really important to be on it again now and have one final ride,” Lessing said.

The Vista Bahn lift opened over 25 years ago, replacing an old, outdated gondola.

“We’ll be removing the chairs and different parts from it. The majority of the Vista Bahn will be recycled but we’ll save some for spare parts as well,” Liz Biebel with Vail Resorts said.

Vail is putting a gondola back in its position, but with a flare that can only be expected from Vail.

“I’m most excited for the heated seats and WiFi on the gondola,” Biebel said.

It’s true — there will be Internet access and heated seats.

“It’ll be nice. For some people it was getting pretty cold going up, especially on a day like today,” Lessing said.

“We’re looking forward to what’s to come next year with the 50th anniversary,” Biebel said.

Many at Vail on Sunday said they were just happy to see it finally snow again, and hope it is a sign for next season.

Sunday was also closing day for Aspen Mountain, Copper, Eldora, Silverton, Snowmass, Steamboat, Breckenridge, and Beaver Creek.

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