Nordic night skiing a go
FRISCO – Frisco’s first attempt at offering night skiing at the Nordic center wasn’t successful, but officials are willing to give it another try.
Town officials and Frisco Nordic Center concessionaires Gene and Therese Dayton agreed to offer night skiing in the evenings last year as an experiment. It didn’t go well.
“From a business perspective, I’d have to say (it) was a flop,” Gene Dayton said in a work session with council members Tuesday.
An average of four skiers per day paid for evening skiing last year, hardly worth the more than $10,000 of expenses the Daytons incurred for extending skiing hours. Still, they believe it’s worth another try this season.
“I don’t feel that I want to pitch in the sponge at this point,” Gene Dayton said. “Ninety percent of what we’re going to spend (to offer night skiing), we’ve already spent.”
Some kinks last year included trail selection and the use and placement of the 18 solar lights the town purchased to light the 2 kilometers of trail.
Last year, a combination of Christmas lights and high-powered solar lights illuminated a section of trail not normally used for skiing. The trail connected with the western portion of the Frisco Bay Trail before looping back and was too difficult for beginner and intermediate skiers. Others – mostly local season pass holders – continued to ski a trail to Crown Point, though it was forbidden.
Also, the town didn’t offer night skiing until mid-January, when the days were longer.
This year, the Daytons want to move the lights to a trail called Expressway to access Crown Point and begin the season in December, when the evenings are dark and require lighting.
With a season under their belts, the Daytons also have learned some ways to cut expenses. The coming season of night skiing likely will cost about $6,000 or $7,000.
Though Frisco Mayor Bob Moscatelli was hesitant to invest in what he said seemed like a failure, other council members agreed night skiing is likely to increase in popularity in its second season.
“In my mind, it makes sense to follow through with another year of it,”Councilmember Bernie Zurbriggen said.
“I would like to see it continue this season,” agreed Councilmember Rick Amico.
Frisco officials will split the expenses for night skiing with the Daytons. The town received $75,000 dedicated to night skiing or improvements at the Nordic center as a part of an open space purchase last year from the Mark Richmond and Scott Downen families.
Officials will use that money for their portion of the expenses.
Council members and the Daytons said they’d like to see the number of night skiers double this season.
Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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