The Back Pocket Ski Area 4


In years past, Eldora hasn’t exactly been known as the go-to place for prime skiing. According to Sam Bass, Eldora’s new marketing director, Powdr Adventure Lifestyle Co, Eldora’s new parent company, is dedicated to changing that.

Bass says, “We’re not a big resort…We are the back pocket ski area of Boulder County, so we want to lean into the local culture here and ground our brand around the Boulder lifestyle.”

For a local skier, the idea of a corporation owning such a nearby mountain might not sound like good news. Many big companies lose the heart of a ski area, as they become too focused on making profits and creating a cohesive business model throughout all of their resorts. Bass promises that Powdr is different. 

John Cumming, Powdr’s CEO, went to CU in the ’80s and participated on the ski team, utilizing Eldora’s proximity to Boulder for practices. He lived in Nederland for a time, and he co-founded Mountain Hardware in 2000. He’s no stranger to the Front Range, in fact, he has been a local.

“Powdr’s strategy is for each resort to invest in their own excellence… They want each property to retain its local character,” Bass explains. “They want each resort to sort of survey what makes it unique and invest in that, and emphasize those things.”

According to Bass, one of Powdr’s corporation-wide priorities is for all of their mountains to support things like local business and charities, the communities they are a part of. Along with this, they are dedicated to focusing on sustainability and long-term investments in the resort’s futures.

For Eldora, some of these long-term investments have included infrastructure improvements such as the new six-person high-speed chairlift opening this season and renovations made to the main lodges.

Bass says that Eldora has been listening to feedback from locals and are making changes based on what they’ve heard. Wifi at the resort will now be free (and faster), the restrooms have been redone, and the restaurants will have new recipes on the menus.

One of Eldora’s biggest selling points has always been the resort’s proximity the Boulder (and the fact that you don’t have to get on I-70 to go skiing), but weekends at the resort can be crowded. If you’re skiing on the weekend and aren’t willing to make an early-morning call time, Bass says it’s better to wait for the afternoon shift. Or, better yet, come up on a weekday when the powder is fresh, and the parking lot is empty.

With Powdr, Bass thinks the resort will finally make Boulder County residents proud to call themselves local Eldora skiers.

“We realize that it is a lot more than a new brand campaign and saying we’re doing this. We recognize that we actually have to show that and bring it to life in meaningful ways,” Bass says.