Move over, Snodgrass: State's first ski hill could be resurrected in Crested Butte

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Some Crested Butte locals are looking to breathe life into the state's first resort, Pioneer Ski Hill, which closed over 50 years ago after a two-decade run. Located near CB South on Cement Mountain, the idea is to put in a new lift or two on the old run, but little else, and make it into a city park

The story in The Crested Butte News raises the question whether locals will support the idea, referencing the ongoing controversy around the blocked Crested Butte expansion at Snodgrass Mountain (see previous posts here and here). But the key mover and shaker behind the concept, Al Smith, says the idea likely won't kindle a firestorm.

Smith said he was surprised at how open people are to the idea. "Surprisingly, we have met very little opposition to the idea. We imagine that it would be like Mad River Glen--community owned/shared and really bare bones.  There would be no massive base area, no flock of condos, no grooming and very few rules. How could anyone be against it?"

The hill is steep -- maxing out at 53 degrees -- and could feature an additional surface lift to the peak. The concept has some hurdles to clear before it leaves the drawing board, but I'd be surprised if the opposition was as strong as Friends of Snodgrass Mountain.

Smith pokes some fun at the controversy:

"I have heard there is already a movement by the group C.A.V.E (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) to start a protest/action group called 'Friends Of Cement Mountain' (acronym...never mind)."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.