CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Echo Mountain isn’t the biggest ski resort in Colorado, but they have some big dreams for the 2017-2018 season.
The ski area sits high above Idaho Springs in Clear Creek County. In 2012 the resort was bought and turned into a private ski club, but the owners declared bankruptcy in 2016. A new owner has reopened it to the public and hopes a short commute and cheaper ski passes will attract people from the metro area.
I think a lot of people see the potential here. They’re excited about a different resort in Colorado, they’re excited about something closer to home. A lot of people are struggling with the cost and time commitment it takes to go somewhere else,” Echo Mountain general manager Fred Klaas told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
Echo Mountain isn’t the biggest resort, only about 60 acres, but it has runs for beginners and more advanced skiers. Lift tickets are about a third of what the bigger resorts charge. Still, Klass says they’re not necessarily in competition with the bigger guys.
“We want to try and be more of a feeder type resort for the big resorts. We want to make skiing and snowboarding more accessible for more people,” Klaas said.
Resort officials say most of their employees are locals, like Eric Kurronen. He said a big selling point was the easy commute.
“It’s the closest resort and you don’t have to fight that I-70 traffic. Also, trying to find housing in the mountains is kind of a hassle,” Kurronen told CBS4.
Echo Mountain is hoping to open within a week, and when they do they want people to know they’re back open for business.
“Get up here for a couple of hours, get some turns in and then head home.”