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Eldora Mountain Resort hopes for "almost" as much snow as March 2003 storm

Ski area prepares for big weekend snow storm
eldora march 2003 snow.jpg
Posted at 9:04 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 23:04:59-05

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — For skiers hoping to hit the slopes this weekend, be sure to plan ahead. Mother Nature may have something special in store. A big, late winter snow storm is on its way to Colorado.

Denver7 Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson says current models show it could drop anywhere from a few inches to several feet of snow.

Seven inches of fresh powder fell at Eldora Mountain Resort late Tuesday night into early Wednesday. Skiers and snowboarders were busy soaking up the sun and taking advantage of he overnight snow, eagerly anticipating the big storm that awaits.

"I'm absolutely stoked for it," skier James Dietrich said. "I couldn't be happier for the snow that's coming. It's been a pretty light year."

Mike Koffman is also looking forward to the snow.

"I'm absolutely excited. It's going to be absolutely unreal," he said.

The expected storm is bringing back memories of the historic March 2003 blizzard that dropped 42 inches of snow at Eldora on the first day of the storm.

"That first day was incredible," said Krista Crabtree, who is now the Women's Program director at Eldora. "People were wiping out and hooping and hollering — it was just incredible skiing that day."

All that snow led to some snow slides, which blocked the road out of the resort.

"So 300 people had to spend the night," she said.

Most of the skiers were looking forward to another "epic" day of skiing the following day.

"As we slept, 30 more inches of snow fell. When we woke up and looked out, as you can imagine, everything was buried. The cars were covered. The lifts were covered."

Crabtree said the state sent a chopper to the rescue. A CDOT crew blasted the dangerous snow and removed it from the highway.

Eldora's marketing manager, Sam Bass, said they're not worried about the weekend storm.

"Snow makes us excited, no matter what," he said. "Are we nervous? No, we're excited."

Bass said they'll work hard to prepare for the snowfall, paying particular attention to the parking lot and to communication.

"If we do end up getting a historic snowfall, our teams will be ready for it," he said. "Most of our employees live in the area. We'll take the lessons of '03 to heart and maybe start digging their cars out the night before."

He said with COVID-19 restrictions, parking reservations are limited.

Bass added that with a major storm, some visitors might cancel their parking reservations, so those who want to ski in fresh, deep snow should periodically check the resort's parking reservation calendar.