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Last updated 2:14AM ET
December 16, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Silverton Eyes Ski Season With Crossed Fingers
(2007-11-27)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Area ski resorts are set to open Saturday.
Officials in Silverton, just north of Durango, are keeping their fingers crossed the small towns normally sleepy winter economy will get a boost from increased ski activities.
KSUT's Sarah Baumgartner visited Silverton late last week.

JEN BRILL: YOU KNOW THERE'S THE FAMOUS WARREN MILLER SAYING THAT IF YOU DON'T DO IT KNOW YOU'RE JUST GOING TO BE A YEAR OLDER WHEN YOU DO.

SARAH: That was co-founder of Silverton Mountain Jen Brill talking about skiing in the town of Silverton. Jen and her husband Aaron founded Silverton Mountain roughly 5 years ago.
This past August, the other, less advanced ski run, Kendall Mountain Recreation Area, reimbursed a local resident Bill Alsup who purchased the lift to replace the old rope tow.
This season will be first season that the lift will operate under the Town of Silverton as the official owners.
The 1,100 foot long lift will access all of the runs on Kendall Mountain.
Greg Swanson, Mayor of Silverton says the new lift at Kendall Mountain will benefit the town and help to make it family friendly for the winter seasons.
GREG SWANSON: KENDALL MOUNTAIN IS ALREADY HELPING, IT HELPED US LAST YEAR. WE STARTED BRING IN PEOPLE OR PEOPLE STARTED COMING TO SKI AT SILVERTON MOUNTAIN BUT A LOT OF TIMES I THINK WHAT HAPPENED IS FAMILIES, WOULD JUST, YOU KNOW THEIR BEST SKIIER WOULD COME AND SKI AND THERE WASN'T AND SO MAYBE THE HUSBAND OR THE WIFE WOULD BE SKIING AND THE KIDS MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO. AND SO BY HAVING OUR LOCAL SKI AREA OPEN IT'S GOING TO ENABLE YOU KNOW THE PARENTS TO TAKE TURNS SKIING AT SILVERTON MOUNTAIN AND THE OTHER ONE CAN GO AHEAD AND SKI WITH THE KIDS HERE LOCALLY.
Brill, an advanced skier herself, echoed the same sentiments about the difficulty of Silverton Mountain versus Kendall Mountain.
BRILL: SILVERTON MOUNTAIN HAS SOME SERIOUS TERRAIN AND CAN SCARE EVEN THE MOST SEASONED VETERAN SKIER. SO DEFINETLY THE PEOPLE CAN GET SCARED TO OR IT COULD BE GOOD ADVANCED EXPERIENCE AS WELL. BUT WE DO HAVE THOSE OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE IF THEY WANT TO SCARE THEMSELVES (LAUGH)
Rodger Cottingham, a local business manager at a bed and breakfast and Silverton Chamber of Commerce member says that while the town is figuring out how to market the lift, he believes it will be a boom for the local economy.
COTTINGHAM: RIGHT NOW THE TOWN IS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT ALL THE DIRECTIONS THEY CAN GO WITH THIS. BUT FOR THE BUSINESS OWNERS IN TOWN IT'S REALLY A GOOD THING. BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO INCREASE THE TYPE OF PEOPLE THAT'S GOING TO SHOP IN THE SHOPS AND EAT AT THE RESTAURANTS AND STAY OVER NIGHT. REALLY IT CAN BE A REAL BOOM FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND IF IT'S DONE CORRECTY WE CAN HAVE A VIABLE WINTER ECONOMY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG, LONG, LONG TIME.
Swanson says that there has been a citizens committee established by the town to help decide how to market not only Kendall Mountain but also Silverton as a winter hot spot.
As I ventured over to Silverton the mountains looked bare, brown even. There were very few white patches of snow along the way for late November.
There are no sounds of the train pulling into or leaving town, no plows moving the snow just silence.
But that doesn't make Brill flinch about opening up Silverton Mountain on the 1st.
BRILL: I AM NOT CONCERNED YET ABOUT OUR DECEMBER 1ST START DATE EVEN THOUGH WE DON'T HAVE SNOWMAKING GUNS BECAUSE SILVERTON IS AT A VERY HIGH ELEVATION AND ONE THING YOU CAN USUALLY COUNT ON IN SILVERTON IS THAT IT'S SNOWING.
From KSUT Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Sarah Baumgartner.

NOTE: Durango Mountain Resort, which has been making snow, is also scheduled to open this weekend.
Saturday is DMR's 15th annual benefit day with proceeds from $15 lift tickets going to Durango Nature Studies and the Durango Winter Sports Foundation.
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