TSG Owner Horning Agrees to 4:30 Close Time, After Position
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – When the nation’s clocks “sprung forward” last Sunday for Daylight Savings, so did the Telluride Ski Resort’s operating hours – despite appeals that the mountain open an hour later and stay open an hour longer, as it has in the past.
Following Sunday’s Daylight Savings change, the ski area continued with its regular 9 a.m. opening; TSG officials did announce early this week that Lifts 4 and 5 (Village Express and Polar Queen Express) would stay open a half-hour longer, however, to reflect the Daylight Savings shift.
The announcement came after a petition was created on the website change.org, in which petition author Gary Cantor, of Ocean Ridge, Fla., cited safety and enhanced skier experience as reasons the ski company should consider shifting its operating hours following Daylight Savings.
“We are day-pass skiers and season passholders who have enjoyed this mountain every day for 20 years,” the petition stated. “We understand in an intimate manner the effect of the sun on snow conditions at each lift pod. Due to the typical thaw/freeze cycle experienced in the spring, of warm days and cool nights, the terrain is in fact often dangerous at 9 a.m.”
Going on to describe areas like the west-facing Gold Hill lift runs as “nothing short of spectacular” in the afternoons, it pronounced those areas “unskiable before…2:30 p.m. Daylight Savings Time.
Telluride Ski and Golf announced it would not change the ski resort’s operating hours to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. once Daylight Savings kicked in, as it has for the last four years, because a later closing causes problems for employees with children in daycare, ski school class scheduling challenges, and because for ski school classes, and makes it difficult for ski area grooming, with snow re-freezing before snowcats can access terrain. Officials said they did not see many people utilizing the extra hour in the evening.
As of Tuesday, 521 people had signed the change.org petition, citing other benefits like giving local kids the chance to go skiing after school as reasons the ski company should consider the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. operating hours.
In response, the ski company has agreed to keep Lifts 4 and 5 open a half-hour longer. The new closing time for Lift 5 is 4 p.m., and Lift 4 is 4:30 p.m.
TSG owner Chuck Horning and Operations Manager Jeff PRoteau were not available for comment.