Gransd Junction, CO - The Powderhorn Mountain Resort on Wednesday told KREX 5 News that it is partnering with a new financial group and has hired a new operator to improve and expand the Western Slope ski area.
One of the current owners, Ken Gart, told KREX 5 News that Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., a ski resort management company based in Park City, UT, will operate the resort and continue to market its "Mission Affordable" program started last year, which offered season passes for $249.
Gart said the program was a big success and will help with expansion plans.
He said that an infusion of new capital from the financial partner will facilitate adding more snow making equipment at the resort next year, and also help with plans to expand mountain biking trails. He also said the resort is looking into having trails connect to the new Palisade Plunge trail which connects the top of the Grand Mesa to Palisade.
Below is the official announcement released by Powderhorn late this morning:
Mesa, Colorado, Oct. 31, 2018 – owners Andy Daly and Ken, Tom and John Gart of are strengthening their commitment to the independently owned resort’s success by bringing on ZOMA Capital of Denver as an investment partner and entering into an operating lease with Pacific Group Resorts Inc. (PGRI) from Park City, Utah.
Powderhorn is bringing on ZOMA Capital as an equity partner to augment the extensive capital improvements that have been completed since 2011 and further enhance the resort’s summer and winter experience. Specific capital expenditures and details about the improvements will be announced over the course of this winter as plans are finalized. The recent designation of the Grand Mesa as an Opportunity Zone is particularly exciting and may be leveraged for incremental investment dollars as Daly, the Garts and ZOMA Capital seek to continue to support the regional economic vitality of the Grand Valley.
“This season, Powderhorn introduced the innovative Mission: Affordable season pass program which has been a smashing success, bringing thousands of new customers to Powderhorn for affordable skiing,” said Andy Daly. To continue this momentum, the resort has entered into a long-term lease with PGRI, which will position Powderhorn more effectively for the future. PGRI also owns and operates Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire, Wisp Resort in Maryland, Wintergreen Resort in Virginia, and Mount Washington Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada.
PGRI’s Mission: Affordable season pass program was created to make skiing more affordable for families. Since Powderhorn’s adoption of the 2018-19 Mission: Affordable season pass in spring 2018, the resort has already seen dramatic growth in season passes. Notably, 55 percent of sales have been to new pass holders. In addition to passes, the Mission: Affordable Learn to Ski Free program will be introduced this winter and will provide greatly expanded accessibility for brand-new skiers and snowboarders.
In explaining his company’s appreciation for Powderhorn, Mark K. Fischer, executive vice president of PGRI commented, “We’re quite pleased to help bring this new partnership to fruition and to extend our commitment to the creation of rewarding resort experiences to the Western Slope of Colorado. The stunning natural environment makes it clear why guests love this region, and we’re honored to be a part of its growth.”
Fischer explained there is a further PGRI connection to the Colorado ski community noting that the president and CEO of PGRI, Vern Greco, is originally from Denver and has deep roots in the region having served in the past as president and CEO of Steamboat Resort and Durango Mountain Resort as well as chairman of Colorado Ski Country USA.
“Today marks the confluence of several strategic partnerships that will not only support Powderhorn’s long-term success, but will advance the Grand Valley’s determination to drive economic development through outdoor recreation and tourism,” said Robin Brown, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP). “It has been a collaborative effort among partners including the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade.”
The changes and future planned developments at Powderhorn, including the Palisade Plunge mountain biking trail extending 32-miles from Powderhorn to Palisade, position the resort and Grand Mesa for continued growth. “We are deeply appreciative of the incredible support we’ve experienced since becoming part of the Grand Valley in 2011, and in particular, we want to share our appreciation for Home Loan State Bank who has been a terrific partner in supporting us in this next step of our progress,” said Daly.
Powderhorn received transaction advisory support from Josh Fox with Stout Investment Bank’s Real Estate Lodging and Leisure division.