NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The lower mountain at Eldora Mountain Resort reopened Sunday after strong winds caused significant damage earlier in the weekend. The resort saw hundreds of downed trees, burst pipes and a power outage that prevented some chairlifts from operating.
The Alpenglow, Indian Peaks and Corona lifts were all closed on Sunday due to the power outage.
“We had what’s called a switch gear, which feeds power to the chairlifts on the upper mountain and that was blown down,” explained Eldora spokesman Sam Bass. “So that took out power to one of our summit lodges and three of our chairlifts on the upper mountain.”
The high winds on Saturday created blizzard-like conditions in the area with low visibility. Bass said staff decided to shut the resort down on Saturday around 10 a.m. and helped to shuttle visitors and employees safely down the mountain.
“It was blowing you know, up into the 80s and 90s and I think we had a gust of 107 at the top of the mountain,” Bass explained.
He said there were nearly 100 trees that fell during the storm. That has now delayed Eldora’s Nordic Center and uphill access from opening up until Friday.
“We need to make sure there are no trees leaning up against other trees or any other safety concerns like that,” Bass said.
While much of the mountain was closed on Sunday and there was a delayed opening, many skiers and snowboarders still ventured up to ski where they could.
“We could see snow flying everywhere,” one young skier told CBS4. “It was a lot of fun though.”
All of Eldora’s lifts were back up and running Monday morning, but windy conditions on the mountain were persisting.
All lifts are back up and running today, but we're not out of the wind yet. We're currently experiencing westerly winds in the 20s and 30s, though gusts could reach 60s and 70s, peaking between ten and noon. Snow report: https://t.co/rcDOKVmVaW #CloserToYou
— Eldora (@eldoramtnresort) December 2, 2019
Over the weekend the ski area launched a free shuttle system along with free RTD bus tickets to improve parking at the mountain.
“The conditions are great and we’re excited for the season ahead,” Bass said. “Sure it was tough the last few days, but the wind is projected to die down and more snow is on the way and beautiful days.”