Purgatory’s season is coming to a close this weekend with free lift tickets both Saturday and Sunday. It wasn’t an easy winter, by any means, and owner James Coleman and his snowmaking and mountain operations crew are to be credited with doing their best to meet the annual expectations of locals and visitors. They did a great job.
Purgatory opened for the season on Nov. 18 and operated about the same number of days as last year despite unseasonably dry and warmer weather. Hesperus Ski Area, also in the Mountain Capital Partner family, relying entirely on natural snowfall, unfortunately, had a different fate. It opened on Feb. 14 and suspended operations just a few weeks later on March 4.
Otherwise, it was business as usual for the resort with continued investments in snowmaking and other infrastructure at multiple mountains – as of this week there are six in the collective that include Purgatory and Hesperus, Sipapu and Pajarito in New Mexico, Arizona Snowbowl and Nordic Valley, its newest acquisition, in Eden, Utah near Ogden.
Purgatory held its four planned Locals Benefit Days, offering the public discounted tickets a portion of which benefit area not-for-organizations. This year proceeds went to the Durango Arts Center, Garden Project of Southwest Colorado, Grief Center of Southwest Colorado and La Plata Youth Services. Despite the conditions and fewer participants, the company is committed to making a contribution similar to prior years. Also, through tonight at midnight, the 2018-19 Power Pass is available at the lowest price of the year. And for the first time next year, the area is offering all kids who are enrolled in fourth grade next fall a free season pass and free daily tickets for kids seven and younger. Visit skipurg.com for these and more deals for new skiers and riders, seniors and the military.
We share the enthusiasm Nicole Bellman conveyed in her April 2 post on Purgatory’s Facebook page: “I just want to tell James Coleman that after skiing Purg for 40 years, he has done more for the skiers and locals than any other owner. It’s not been about real estate, it’s been about skiing! His mad drive to make snow by Thanksgiving and keep it blowing into January, and getting the entire mountain open on a 20-inch base, was above and beyond and is extremely appreciated! His events calendar was fuller than it ever has been, the parties were awesome and generous, the discounts were amazing and, really, I can’t say enough good words. Thanks James, and all the Purg crew, for making our little big mountain a great place to be. I heart purg!”
Thanks James, for your and your staff’s commitment to improve the recreation experience year-round and working to make snowsports affordable, especially for families. Here’s hoping for a wet spring, summer and fall and great snowy winter next year.