Gunnison airport is expanding service into the region for the 2008/09 ski season and has added three cities to its list of direct flights.

In past years, direct flights were available from Denver and Dallas. This year Salt Lake City, Atlanta and Chicago have been added with Delta joining United and American Airlines as carriers to bring skiers to Crested Butte.

Financial arrangements with the three airlines flying into Gunnison comes to $1.4 million in air guarantees. The air guarantee program has been underwritten by the Regional Transportation Authority and Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The RTA and CBMR are providing Delta Airlines $300,000 in guarantees to provide a daily flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, on a 50-passenger regional jet. They will also provide a $200,000 guarantee for Delta to provide a Saturdays-only flight from Atlanta on a 188-passenger Boeing 757. There are more than 4,000 potential round-trip seats between the two destinations.

American Airlines will be flying a single, daily 737 from Dallas for a guarantee of $500,000. In addition, the RTA is providing American Airlines a guarantee of $250,000 to run a Saturday-only flight from Chicago on a 757 jet.

With a $400,000 guarantee United will provide three daily flights out of Denver on a 66-passenger regional jet.

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Mount Crested Butte awaits

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) holds pass prices, enhances family affordability and creates incentives to upgrade

Last year’s snowfall of 418 inches, a season surpassing the long-standing 1979-1980 record, has left Crested Butte Mountain Resort feeling optimistic about next winter. In celebration of last winter’s phenomenal season of snow, CBMR is holding last year’s early season prices for its Platinum, Gold and Bronze pass holders until August 1. It is reducing prices on child and young adult passes, and formulating better family purchase plans to increase family affordability.

“We are really listening to our pass holders,” says Ken Stone, CBMR Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, “and have revamped our program for our loyal skiers and newcomers to build greater value in the best mix of pass products ever.”

Lock in last year’s prices

Buy your Platinum, Gold or Bronze pass from June 18th to August 1st and profit from last year’s prices. All Platinum Pass holders enjoy no holds barred, unlimited skiing and riding with no blackout dates, plus a full summer of lift rides for mountain biking and hiking. Next up, all Gold Pass holders can fully exercise their inner powder hound by capitalizing on skiing and riding the full 2008-2009 winter season with no blackout dates. Both Platinum and Gold Pass holders can also take advantage of three free days at Durango Mountain Resort, Powderhorn, Taos Ski Valley, Okemo and Mt. Sunapee. Bronze Pass holders can choose a more affordable package in accepting blackout dates during busy seasons such as the winter holidays and spring break.

Greater family affordability

CBMR has lowered children’s pass prices and created a better Family Pass Program. The new Family Pass Program includes one free Young Adult or Child pass for every Adult Platinum or Gold Pass purchased in the same family. Additionally, Child and Young Adult Season Passes have been lowered from last year. A Child’s Gold Season Pass, valid for ages 7-12, is only $99 and Young Adult Gold Passes, valid for ages 13-17, are now only $150 during the early purchase dates. And, as always, children 6 and under ski free.

To truly capitalize on these special savings, you must purchase your pass option during the first discount price period from June 18th through August 1st. The second discount period will extend from August 2nd through September 26th, with regular pass prices concluding September 27th through April 5th.

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Planners for Crested Butte Mountain Resort recently held a public meeting to present their plans for the expansion of Crested Butte’s terrain to Snodgrass Mountain.  Citing “terrain variety” as the second most important trip decision factor after snow quality, the Snodgrass expansion will add a further 162 acres of intermediate terrain. Crested Butte Mountain Resort currently offers only 362 acres of intermediate terrain, less than half of most of its competitors, and among the lowest of destination resorts in Colorado.

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Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc, or Frisbee® The sport was formalized in the 1970’s, and shares with “ball golf” the object of completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest number of throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the “hole”. the hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole® an elevated metal basket.

As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket and the hole is completed. Apparently, disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it’s sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. There are few differences, though, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association: “Disc golf rarely requires a greens fee, you probably won’t need to rent a cart, and you never get stuck with a bad “tee time.”

Crested Butte’s course begins at the top of the Red Lady Express lift and meanders to within easy downhill strolling distance of the base area. Rental discs are available through the Ticket Office. For more information call Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s ticket office toll free at 888-280-5728 or 970-349-2262.

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Categories: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

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HUNDREDS OF BIKERS DESCEND ON CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO

The Wildflower Rush Race, Ride the Rockies and Fat Tire Bike Week Kick Summer into High Gear

Since local diehards started modifying their old “paper boy” clunkers to ride the area’s rugged mountain trails, Crested Butte has played an integral role in the development of mountain biking. The passion that these fat-tire enthusiasts held for their sport and the mountains spread steadily throughout the nation. Soon, a premier mountain biking festival evolved and Crested Butte was heralded as one of the finest places on earth for cycling.

The festival’s roots, like most things in Crested Butte, are colorful — it started as a vendetta. Back in the 70’s, a group of Aspen high rollers rode their motorcycles over Pearl Pass to Cre sted Butte and parked them in front of the Grubstake Saloon, one of two taverns in town. They lined the curb of Crested Butte’s only paved street for half a block.

To a small group of rowdy locals a bicycle counter-assault seemed the only reasonable thing to do. So early one September morning, fifteen hardy souls took off on their one-speed clunkers over 12,700-foot Pearl Pass into Aspen. It took two days. When they got to Aspen, they parked their bicycles in front of the Hotel Jerome, had a raucous party and shuttled back. That was 1976. By the early 80s, the tour evolved into a week of activities and Fat Tire Bike Week was born. The Pearl Pass Tour, as it is now called, still takes place every September.

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Breaking ground this year with an opening planned for the 2009/10 season, the Red Lady Lodge. At the top of the Red Lady Express Lift, this grand on-hill day lodge will replace the main resort cafeteria, adding a new flavor of enjoyment for residents and visitors to the mountain. The 22,000-square-foot space will offer ski services and a variety of attractions, including an upscale restaurant and bar, gourmet prepared-foods section, and a child-friendly play area and food zone. Come evening, fine dining with “stellar” views will be served up via gondola.

In addition to beginning the construction on-mountain of Red Lady Lodge, Crested Butte Mountain Resort planning the following improvements this year:

• Treasury Center upgrades to day skier seating, snack bar, and lockers
• Remodeling of Kids World ski school building
• Base area landscaping improvements
• Mountain trail improvements and gladding
• New snowmaking and groomed terrain

An extract from Phil Marty’s “5 ways to be stunned by Colorado” in the Chicago Tribune:

Mountain bike

Wow moment: The Lower Loop Trail heading out of Crested Butte is ranked “easy,” as mountain bike trails out here go. But then you’re flying down or struggling up one of its hilly sections on a 12- to 18-inch wide single-track trail, dodging rocks in the path, and you notice that the outer edge of the trail drops off nearly straight down, promising a nasty 20- to 30-foot plunge if you slip up. It’s not the time to be rubbernecking. Save that for when you stop to catch your breath and marvel at the aspen- and pine-covered mountains rising around you.

Where: Crested Butte, sitting at nearly 9,000 feet in the very mountainous west-central part of the state northwest of Gunnison, is considered by many to be the country’s best mountain-biking destination. Trails of all skill levels form a web around the tiny, picturesque onetime mining town. And finding a trail often is as easy as just cruising the streets to the edge of town. But trail maps are readily available.

Full story here

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Does this look like a typical May? Karina Steele and Jayson Simons-Jones skied fresh powder on top of corn snow on Mount Axtel near Crested Butte last week. A stormy winter left a near record snowpack which locals say may keep them skiing all summer. ( DAVE PHILIPPS, THE GAZETTE)

CRESTED BUTTE – The chairlifts in this ski town of 1,600 tucked at the base of the Elk Mountains stopped a month ago, but the skiing didn’t.

Spring is always the top season for backcountry skiing: the days are warm, a winter of snow is still piled up and avalanche danger has largely melted away. This spring in parts of Colorado, the smorgasbord of ski choices is especially abundant.

The Butte saw the biggest winter in memory. One storm after another walloped the region with so much powder that when you ask locals at Endo’s, the main watering hole, how the season was, words won’t suffice. They whip out their iPhones and flip through a string of bragging-rights ski photos where nothing is showing above a spray of snow but goggles and Sybaritic grins.

There was over 35 feet of snow, with much more in the surrounding hills. The mountains around Aspen and Buena Vista also saw near-record snows. A cool spring kept it from melting. Now, the surrounding mountains are cloaked in more white stuffi than locals have seen in 50 years. The spring thaw is slowly turning it into corn snow – some of the sweetest, easiest and safest snow to ski in the backcountry. And skiers are taking full advantage.

‘People are saying the skiing will go all summer and into the fall,’ said local Ryan Opdahl recently.”

(Read the full article: Life: Record corn harvest | snow, skiing, spring : Gazette.com:

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Categories: Articles, Skiing

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Camp4Coffee serving up coffee on the mountain

Camp4Coffee is at the intersection of the Painter Boy, Prospector and Gold Link lifts. Famous for its coffee, it’s a great meeting point and somewhere to grab a quick power boost without stopping for too long. A good selection of hot and cold beverages (including soy hot chocolate for those that need dairy-free) and snacks. When the weather is good, the BBQ-mesiter pumps out hot- and bratwurst-dogs.

Being at the top of the green Painter Boy run and a selection of blue runs on the opposite side, beginner and intermediate ski needs can be met with a good spot for grabbing a quick breather.

In fact, when we were there in late-March, you could do two runs down Prospect before your coffee was ready to drink.

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The Clif Builder’s Bar – prevents downtime on the slopes!

With the cost of ski passes and the limited time (and money) for ski vacations, who wants to hang out too long feeding the kids?

The Clif Builder’s Bar was the answer. With 20g of protein from soy and nuts, we were able to split one of these bars between our two kids and keep them going until a late lunch at Butte 66 at the base of Crested Mountain Resort – BBQ Pork sandwich a must!

With no trans fat, hydrogenated oils or dairy (our youngest is allergic to dairy), the chocolate bars were gobbled up quick sharp and provided half of their daily required protein.

For us oldies that have to watch our cholesterol they may be a bit high in saturated fat, but hey I was skiing!

Check out their web site for more on their products and where you can buy them

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