Denver ski area transforms to race training focusTweet
The notice on the website of Echo Mountain, Colorado was straightforward: “We want to announce that Echo Mountain has been sold to new owners and the new owners have decided to change the basic format of the ski area to focus on ski race training.”
The purchase was secured in an auction and the deal sealed Tuesday, (Aug 28). The sale price was not disclosed. The area is located about a 45 minute drive out of Denver, which is a key component of the sale.
The purchaser was Nora Pykkonen, founder of the Front Range Ski Club and co-founder of Slalom Consulting a management consultation company with more than a thousand employees. She told the Denver Post “We were spending most of our time in the car,” trying to find on-snow training for her children.
Front Range SC will call Echo home and has already moved to grab some top name coaches including Sarah Schleper-Gaxiola, Petter Brenna, Patrik Jaerbyn and Mike Farney.
The 226 acre ski area was recently upgraded. It had previously been purchased in 2002 by Jerry Pettit. He had bought dormant Squaw Pass ski area and sunk $5million into upgrades since, including lights. Pykkonen said further upgrades can be expected. The plan is to set the mountain up with stations designed for honing racing skills with a video tent at the base. Two surface lifes are expected to move skiers to the top more quickly than the triple chairlift.
Another $5million is earmarked for future development including boosting the vertical from its current 660′ to 1,500′ adding a super G course, a mogul lane and a restaurant. Added snow making will supplement an average natural snowfall of 215”. There will be tutoring stations and there are plans to develop a shuttle system to ferry student skiers across metro Denver. -HM