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Purgatory Resort announces second ski extension into May

Ideal weather and abundant snowfall allows for prolonged weekend season
A skier enjoys turns at Purgatory Resort. Purgatory announced a second season extension for weekend skiers that will last into mid-May. An extension so far into spring has occurred only once before in the resort’s 58 years of operations, said Theresa Graven, Purgatory spokeswoman. (Courtesy Purgatory Resort)

Purgatory Resort has announced a second season extension for skiers with plans to prolong weekend services through May 14 after it previously extended the season to April 29-30.

The late season extension into May is nearly unprecedented in the resort’s 58-year history, having occurred only once before at the end of the 2018-2019 season, Theresa Graven, Purgatory spokeswoman, said in an email to The Durango Herald. In 2019, the resort reopened for Memorial Day weekend but did not remain open for the weekends leading up to the holiday.

This year, Purgatory was previously scheduled to close daily operations on April 9 and end weekend skiing on April 23, she said. But a combination of significant snowfall this winter and ideal temperatures through the beginning of May have allowed the resort to continue operations.

Rental, retail and lift operations – Purgatory Sports, Board Room and Expert Edge – will continue on weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Bear Bar will serve food and drinks from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live music schedules will be announced, Graven said. However, beginner terrain will remain closed and beginner lessons will not be offered.

Mountain conditions on April 20 show snow on the slopes at Purgatory Resort. (Courtesy Purgatory Resort)

An announcement about open terrain and further details will be released by Purgatory officials later this week, she said. Skiers have until Friday to take advantage of the best deals for 2023-24 season passes, which include spring skiing this May.

My Weekday pass holders and Hesperus season pass holders can use their passes to access the slopes every open weekend in May, Graven said.

Discounted lift tickets will be available starting at $19 for ages 13 and up, a Purgatory news release says. Kids ages 12 and under can receive a free Power Kids season pass, which allows unlimited skiing and biking, that will be valid every day for the rest of the season as well as the 2023-24 season.

Purgatory will be open on Saturdays and Sundays May 6-7 and May 13-14 after the resort received 376 inches, over 31 feet, of snow this season, according to the release. That much snowfall has only been recorded three times since the resort opened in 1965.

Dave Rathbun, Purgatory general manager, said the resort is making the best of a “spectacular winter.”

“When our region receives this much natural snowfall, you can bet we're doing everything we can to stay open,” he said in the release. “It’s an opportunity to notch a few more days on this year’s pass or take advantage of bonus days for new pass holders purchasing now for next season.”

Graven said Purgatory does not release skier visitor data, but the resort experienced double-digit growth over last year.

cburney@durangoherald.com

Purgatory Resort announced a second season extension for skiers on Tuesday with plans to prolong weekend services through May 14 after it previously extended the season to April 29-30. (Courtesy of Purgatory Resort)
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