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Aspen, CO, April 2, 2001–The last Colorado ski area with a snowboarding ban, one of five nationwide, opened the slopes to boarders and skiers alike on April Fools’ Day.
After 54 years of being a skiers-only mountain, snowboarders lined up outside of the gondola station at 9 a.m. to take their first runs on Aspen’s 700-acre Mountain. “This mountain rocks. I had no idea it was this good,” said Tom Sims, founder of Sims Snowboards.
Following over a decade of debate, company officials recognized that keeping snowboarders away from Aspen Mountain was also turning away the potential revenue of the fastest growing sector of the snow sports industry. The Aspen Skiing Company actively marketed to snowboarders in recent years with its other three ski areas; Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. But company officials felt the bann on snowboarding at Aspen Mountain projected a false anti-boarding sentiment at the other Aspen Skiing Company areas.
The remaining ski areas that still prohibit snowboarding include Mad River Glen in Vermont, Taos in New Mexico, and Deer Valley and Alta in Utah.