Aspen Highlands ski area to stay open extra week |

Aspen Highlands ski area to stay open extra week

Joel Stonington
Pitkin County Correspondent

ASPEN ” News that Aspen Highlands will stay open an extra week had filtered down to locals by Sunday.

John O’Donovan and Shanti Rosset, both of Aspen, were probably among the most excited. The two got engaged at Picnic Point, on Highlands, and are planning to wed April 11.

“All our family members are coming on the seventh,” O’Donovan said Sunday while riding up the Loge Peak chair. “This is wonderful news.”

Highlands will stay open until April 8, one week later than the Aspen Skiing Co. planned, spokesman Jeff Hanle confirmed Sunday.

“We have strong occupancy projections for the first week in April,” Hanle said. “We decided to just keep it open and push it on one more week.”

Tracy Murtagh of Aspen was happy Sunday when she found out about the extra week on the bus ride to Highlands. She was planning to hike Highland Bowl for what would be her 30th Bowl run this season ” and hopes the extra week would help her get up into the mid-30s.

“Yeee-ha,” Murtagh said. “It always has the best snow late in the season.”

Everything from RFTA buses to on-mountain restaurants to rental shops will stay open for the extra week, and the Highlands closing party at ZG Grill will take place April 8. Further, parking will be free at Aspen Highlands weekdays April 2-6.

“A lot of people have said, ‘Spring’s here, let’s get out our golf clubs,'” Hanle said. “We’re saying spring’s not really here, go out to the North Woods. There’s still 6 feet of snow on Highlands Bowl.”

Many Highlands employees have already signed on for the extra week, but Hanle said the mountain will draw staff from Buttermilk if it comes to that. Highlands will also need fewer employees because the Thunderbowl lift will close for the week. Hanle also said the Cloud Nine lift will run dependent on business levels.

The regularly scheduled closures of Snowmass and Aspen Mountain remain April 15. Buttermilk will close on April 1.

“I’m psyched,” said Sally Tindall of Aspen. “It’s another good week of skiing.”

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