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Apr 3, 2013 3:19 PM by Maddie Garrett

Extending ski season more than a matter of snow

Ski season is winding down, and with winter weather sticking around longer than expected this year there's talk of extending the season in the high country. But for local resort at Monarch Mountain, it's a matter of more than just good snow.

Unlike many resorts, Monarch Mountain has no snow blowers. They rely solely on mother nature.

"We did get off to a slow start and that's sort of tough," said Monarch's Director of Marketing, Greg Ralph.

Ralph said they had so little snow, the mountain opened almost a month late this year. But now it's a different story, with the best conditions they've had in years.

Ralph said they'd love to extend the season to make up for lost time, but that probably won't happen.

"We will close on April 14th with better conditions than we opened with on December 14th, and we'll have way less people here," said Ralph.

It's not the snow that's the problem, Ralph said they have plenty of that. It's the weather in the rest of the region that poses the problem.

"As soon as that weather clicks down in the Springs and Pueblo, and people get on their bikes or get in those golf carts or start doing other recreational pursuits, winter is over in their minds and they're off doing other stuff," Ralph explained.

There are the dedicated skiers and snowboarders who would still come out to the mountain if it stayed open later.

"Kind of sad, it's a little early. I wouldn't mind if we actually got dumped on a whole bunch and we stayed open a lot longer," said snowboarder Joe Kozaka.

His friend, Justine Daggett agreed, "I'm definitely sad that the season is coming to an ending."

But even they get the warm weather bug.

"I definitely have spring fever myself but I'm trying to get in as many days as I can because I can enjoy spring after the season closes and I can't snowboard, you know," said Daggett.

Even with a late start, Monarch will end up with a profit this year. And they're holding events the next two weekends to bring out as many people as possible before the lifts stop for the season.

"There's plenty of snow, we just need people to come up and enjoy it," said Ralph.

Other resorts have said they'll look at extending the season, but so far no one has announced that they will stay open.

To look up when your favorite ski resort will close this year, go to www.coloradoski.com.

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