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Re: Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:34 pm
by EMSC
jamesdeluxe wrote:Is Eldora generally (or comparatively) seen as being in a snow shadow? It certainly gets more snow than Keystone, right?


1) Yes 2) No.

Eldora is just far enough East of the divide to be in a snow shadow for certain wind directions. This particular year a huge number of storms have come from precisely those wind directions, thus the measly 1" and 2" snowfalls; frequently with brutal winds blowing it into the woods (or perhaps Kansas at times).

This is how things work out at Eldora by wind/storm direction/origination:
SW winds - Snow shadow: unless OpenSnow says "holy crap there is more moisture in the air then ever before" then Eldora = skunked. Clouds or maybe an inch. The exception is those huge moisture storms of which I've only seen a few lifetime; then Eldora is close enough that the divide wrings it out just fine on those super rare occasions.
West Winds - Snow Shadow: kinda similar as SW above, but a few more inches are likely (eg the couple of 3" storms in Jan).
NW & NNW winds (or 'NW flow' (today's event) - Eldora does just fine and while probably a few inches less than Summit County, it pretty much holds it's own.
East/Upslope winds - The other type of storm that really delivers for Eldora. Usually get much more than most of Colo from these types of storm (Upslope storms are the most frequent in March/April). Occasional busts though, that will plaster the foothills but convection is not high enough to hit the divide ski areas with much snow.

As for total snowfall, the way Tony measures it (not counting Oct or after lifts close), Eldora is pretty much exactly at the same as Keystone by the end of an average year - 230" (vs the marketing brochure of 300"). But Eldora gets much of its snowfall in totally different storms. And yes for a number of years I kept track to calculate the 230" number (accurate to +/- ~5 inches).

Heard Eldora was parked out by like 9am today and turning cars around. Gotta love the Ikon pass :?

Re: Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:58 pm
by EMSC

Re: Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:19 am
by jamesdeluxe
EMSC wrote:Heard Eldora was parked out by like 9am today and turning cars around. Gotta love the Ikon pass :?

Have you seen their revenue numbers since they joined Ikon? I'm always curious about ski areas like Eldora -- previously off-the-beaten-path locals joints that become mob scenes after joining Ikon/Epic, at least on weekends/holidays, e.g. Solitude. Also, the difference between being an unlimited Ikon/Epic area and one with a limit of five or seven days per season.

I assume that non-powder-day Mon-Fri is still fine?

Re: Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:26 pm
by EMSC
jamesdeluxe wrote:I assume that non-powder-day Mon-Fri is still fine?


Practically deserted. Even with a couple inches of fresh.

Re: Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:03 pm
by Tony Crocker
Eldora is not off the beaten path as EMSC's TR's demonstrate. A local hill for a community as outdoors oriented as Boulder is going to be hopping on weekends and powder days. In another recent thread I commented on how I had skied very busy days at Bridger Bowl (Bozeman) and Montana Snowbowl (Missoula).

I would be surprised to see a big Ikon impact at Eldora. Who skis there besides Boulder locals? And weren't most of those people on RMSP before like EMSC? I would guess maybe more Boulder locals are patronizing Eldora as the I-70 junkshow continues to get worse.

Re: Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:05 pm
by Marc_C
jamesdeluxe wrote:I'm always curious about ski areas like Eldora -- previously off-the-beaten-path locals joints that become mob scenes after joining Ikon/Epic, at least on weekends/holidays, e.g. Solitude. Also, the difference between being an unlimited Ikon/Epic area and one with a limit of five or seven days per season.

Recall that Solitude has done away with their adult season pass. It's been replaced by the Ikon pass.

Re: Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:42 pm
by EMSC
Tony Crocker wrote:Eldora is not off the beaten path as EMSC's TR's demonstrate. A local hill for a community as outdoors oriented as Boulder is going to be hopping on weekends and powder days. In another recent thread I commented on how I had skied very busy days at Bridger Bowl (Bozeman) and Montana Snowbowl (Missoula).

I would be surprised to see a big Ikon impact at Eldora. Who skis there besides Boulder locals? And weren't most of those people on RMSP before like EMSC? I would guess maybe more Boulder locals are patronizing Eldora as the I-70 junkshow continues to get worse.


Eldora is an interesting place as to it's history and skier visits. The long history of it was that it nearly became a 'lost' area a couple of times. And badly struggled with skier visits for years in the 80's & 90's. I started skiing there as my home mountain in the late 90's for reference. For quite a number of years the mountain was only running the front side and beginner sections even though a double had been installed where Corona lift is. They ran night skiing on a good portion of the front side for a while then stopped (except for lower mtn races/training, events, etc... that they continue to do) due to lack of demand.

Heck Vail even owned it in the 90's at one point but then dumped it not seeing the value. When I showed up I could ski powder laps galore on the Corona steeps (West ridge, Salto, Moose) as there would only be like 10 or 20 of us skiing it even on a 1 or even 2 foot powder day. True story. I was told by someone that would know that the owner prior to Powd'r Corp wildly lied and inflated his reported skier visit numbers for many years. (they generally reported from ~175K to 250K in the late 90's and early 00's even though I was told they were actually more like 100K to 150K). Multiple factors have coincided to change the game for Eldora and each plays its own part: Improvements in snowmaking, lifts, grooming over the years; Dramatic changes in snow reporting and snow forecasting to prime the masses; The whole I-70 disaster; Combined resort passes; huge population growth on the front range.

Most people have forgotten that Eldora was actually on the Epic pass with Vail for one season before switching. The Ikon crowds are actually less than Epic since more Epic passes are sold in the front range than Ikon (at least so far). You'd also be amazed at the visitors showing up the last few years. A larger smattering of tourists then ever before; and LOTS of all over the front range, but not exactly Boulder locals are showing up. TONS of people "I've never skied Eldora before" or "I haven't skied Eldora in 20 years" comments when I ride the lift with others.

I guess my general gist is that Eldora was pretty much NEVER crowded 20 years ago no matter the conditions, even as a easy local place to get to. But a lot of things have changed all at similar time frame to completely change the story.


Marc_C wrote:Recall that Solitude has done away with their adult season pass. It's been replaced by the Ikon pass.


Eldora will still sell you and Eldora Only pass over this way. Surprising number of folks in Nederland that buy exactly that pass too.