Oh No, Snow Canceled Work And Made Skiing Better

Via Chris Ford/Flickr/CC
Riding through a blizzard at Aspen/Snowmass.

More snow is good for business, even if its made getting up to the High Country a bit of a pain.

Jeff Hanle, a spokesperson for Aspen Snowmass, said the snow helps people get in the mood to ski, especially over a long holiday weekend.

“Ultimately, snow is our business,” Hanle said. “It makes the phone ring, it brings traffic to our website, and it brings bookings. The early season snow is the best thing that can happen for the Colorado ski industry.”

The snow season that began last month is what drove Aspen Snowmass to open two of its mountains five days earlier than it expected to in November. There are a bit more reservations this year than where they were last year, and the resort is planning on opening more terrain and another ski lift on Thursday. The area announced Wednesday that it got 25 inches of snow over the last week. Eleven inches of that came during the last two days.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said skiers and snowboarders can expect a lot of traffic headed up to the mountains this Thanksgiving weekend, especially along I-70 and I-25. CDOT said Wednesday will be the heaviest travel day before the holiday. It will slow down the rest of the week until more traffic is expected on Saturday and Sunday as people return to Denver home or head to the airport.

“The biggest thing for travelers, particularly for this weekend, is to plan ahead,” said Matthew Inzeo, spokesperson for CDOT. “Try to be smart about it.”

CDOT recommended that people should add anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to their traveling time if they’re headed up I-70. And don’t forget, new traction laws are in effect that require snow tires and chains for cars that don’t have 4 wheel drive that are traveling up the corridor.

The roads that will likely be most impacted are in Southwest Colorado, around Durango, since that’s the area that is expecting another round of intense snow starting Thursday night into Friday.

CDOT is not anticipating any road closures at this time. All roads that were closed from Tuesday’s storm has since been reopened. CDOT pauses road work projects during holiday weekends.