Durango Mountain Opens Sat., Nov. 16


Durango, CO* Durango Mountain Resort will open for the 2002-03 season this Saturday, November 16th, 12 days ahead of the planned Thanksgiving opening. Solid early season snowfall coupled with optimal snowmaking conditions have made the early opening possible. Benefit Day for the Durango Arts Center will still take place on November 27th.

"It's a complete turnaround from last year," said Vice-President of Mountain Operations Mike McCormack. "No one was even making snow in November (2001), and this year we have 3 feet of natural snow at mid-mountain. We've been able to concentrate our snowmaking efforts in the base area and at the lower elevations, helping make the early opening a reality."

The Purgatory Village Express 6-pack will fire up at 9 a.m., giving access to half of the front side runs, including Paradise, Upper Hades, Cherub, The Bank, Limbo, Mercy, Pitchfork, Sa's Psyche, Westfork, What and Demon. Lift tickets will cost $19 for adults and $10 for children, and Flex Passࢠholders can buy passes for $15/adults and $8/children.

"We're very excited to get the ball rolling so early in the year," said Marketing Director Scott Fortner. "The buzz around town has been fantastic so far, and we can't wait to see everyone on the mountain."

Purgy's will offer food, drink, and apres-ski, and Purgatory Rentals, Purgatory Sports and Bubba's Boards will be open to help with gear needs.

The Mountain Adventure School will also open for the season, offering lessons for all levels.

DMR bus service will up its schedule for the weekend from one to two trips per day from all Durango stops to the Resort, leaving Centennial Plaza at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and departing DMR at 4:00 p.m. and 5:05 p.m.

Benefit Day for the Durango Arts Center will still be held on Wednesday, November 27th. The 27th is also the target date to open up backside skiing and Lift 3. Benefit Day lift tickets will cost just $10, with all proceeds going to the DAC. The DAC, Children's Museum, Arts Force and Friends of the Arts will all have booths set up in Purgatory Plaza with activities for adults and children alike, and Studio 54 with Steve Dejka, Kirk James and Ron Urban will provide live music throughout the day at Purgy's. Sponsors Steamworks, Ska and Durango Brewing will provide beers for just $2 on the deck, with proceeds going to the DAC.

Driving in to get first tracks of the season? Take advantage of the early season Rocky Mountain Highway Getaway: For just $59 get 1 night slopeside lodging and 2 days lift tickets*.or stay at any DMR property and ski or ride for just $10 a day. Prices are pp/per night, based on double occupancy, valid until November 26th, 2002. Hit www.durangomountainresort.com or call 800-525-0892 for information and reservations.

DMR's Early Season Pass Sale runs through this Saturday, November 16 as well. Get your passes at www.durangomountainresort.com, at any DMR ticket office, or by calling 970-385-2168.