Lost Areas #1 - Published 30 July 1992
During early July('92) there were several articles (on rec.skiing) from several folks concerning closed Colorado ski areas. Researching lost Colorado ski areas just happens to be the hobby of The Colorado Skier. We even wrote a book on the subject (Would you believe a pamphlet? How about a typewritten list?).
The Colorado Skier is prepared to clarify the history and status of every dead or lost ski area in Colorado. There are at least 75 of them. But that's too many for one posting. So we will pick 5 from the 20 or so discussed in the recent series of articles and provide info on them. Then we will also add five new areas to challenge your collective memories.
If we discuss 5 dead/lost ski areas every week or so, we should have covered them all by the time the snow flies and then can turn our attention to current ski area info.
LOST COLORADO SKI AREAS - EDITION #1 (7-30-92)
1. Five lost ski areas you have been discussing:
ARAPAHOE EAST - Visible from I-70, 5 miles west of the C-470 interchange. Operated from 1972 to 1984. Was called SKI GOLDEN in the 1981/82 season. Not likely to reopen altho the lifts are still standing (lifts removed about 1996).
Vertical drop: 460 ft Top: 7360 Base: 6900
Lifts: 1 double chair, 1 poma, 1 Mitey Mite
Other: night skiing/snowmaking
BERTHOUD PASS - The oldest surviving (hopefully) ski area in Colorado. Operated the first rope tow in CO in 1937. Opened the first double chairlift in the country in 1947. Used the name TIMBERLINE in the 1987/88 season. Operated thru the 1990/91 season. In Fall, 1991 the chairlifts (built by BORVIG in 1989) failed the state Passenger Tramway Safety Board inspection and somehow they couldn't fix two year old chairs in time for the season. There was also a permit problem as "Borvig Corp" owned the lifts and the ski area permit was held by "Berthoud Ski Corp" (both companies being owned by Gary Schulz). The NFS says that the permit holder has to own the lifts. So Schulz applied for a new permit as Borvig and just had to post a $45,000 bond. He failed to do so, however, and the permit was cancelled. In March of 92 the area was put up for sale and the word "bankruptcy" was used. In July 1992, the area was sold to one of the owners of Heritage Square in Golden. The new owner intends to pay off all creditors, then pay off Schulz, and open in Fall 92. We hope so.
[Note: Did not happen. A new owner is looking to reopen in 98.]
Vertical drop: 535 ft Top: 11,850 Base: 11,315
Lifts: 1 each quad, triple, and double chairs
SKI BROADMOOR - This area is right in Colorado Springs, has 100% snowmaking, is nightlighted and had a great ski school program. It was built by the Broadmoor Hotel in 1959 and operated by them until 1986. When they started to lose money they gave up and the city of Colorado Springs was the operator in 1986/87 and 87/88. The city lost money and gave up and Vail took over for the 1988/89, 89/90, and 90/91 seasons. Vail lost money and gave up, and the hotel (which still owns the land and equipment) said that there were no other potential operators and the area is now permanently closed. This is a sad moment for us as we learned to ski there back in 1965.
Vertical drop: 515 ft Top: 7084 Base: 6569
Lifts: One ancient double chair, one Mitey Mite
CHAPMAN HILL - Little known area in Durango on the northwest slopes of the hill on which Ft. Lewis College is located. Still open and operated by the Durango Parks Dept.
Vertical drop: 300 ft Top: 6820 Base: 6520 (est.)
Lifts: 2 rope tows (night skiing, ice rink)
CONQUISTADOR - Small area, opened in January 1977 with 250 ft of vertical and two pony lifts. A major expansion in 1981 with two chairlifts and more vertical. The last operating season was 1987/88. The Federal Government (SBA, not RTC) now owns the area due to failure of a small business loan. Three buyers were negotiating in Spring 1992 and by July, the SBA had chosen a winner. However, one of the losing bidders is suing so the sale is not yet final. [Note: Re-opened as MOUNTAIN CLIFFE for the 92/93 season and has been closed since.]
Vertical drop: 1200 ft Top: 10,100 Base: 8,900
Lifts: 1 triple chair, 1 double chair, 2 pony lifts
2. Who remembers these Lost Colorado Ski Areas?
CONTINENTAL SKI COURSE
And the list goes on and on and on ...
BONUS QUESTION: Does anyone (besides us) have a Coors ski poster showing EVERGREEN BASIN?
Cheers from The Colorado Skier