PURGATORY – There’s no way Romeo Wilson was going to wait long to get on the mountain. The 10-year-old has been practicing his 1080 spins all summer. So he, his friend Ashby Drake, 9, and father, Gabe, got there early.
Earlier than Jack Breezley, a Durango High School junior, who slept in a sleeping bag overnight near the Bear Bar & Grille at Purgatory Resort. He got the second chair.
“It’s all about the experience, not just getting first chair,” Breezley said, his stomach full from second breakfast. “I was trying to get first chair, but it’s OK.”
Fewer than 100 people stood in the line for the Purgatory Village Express Lift when mountain operations let Wilson on the first chair of the 2019-20 season at Purgatory.
The resort opened with a 22-inch base, and three lifts servicing eight runs.
Falling snow melted on plates stacked with hotcakes made by resort staff. The storm didn’t last long, but it made for a good start to the season, said Tiona Eversole, Purgatory marketing manager.
“It was up in the air about what would happen, but right when we got here, it started snowing,” she said.
Opening on a Wednesday – let alone the day before Thanksgiving – makes it tough to attract huge morning crowds, she said. But meteorologists have predicted up to 30 inches of snowfall by the weekend, and Eversole said mountain operations is prepared.
“There’s a good chance, with the snow that’s predicted, that we will open more,” she said.