THE MAGIC OF NIGHT SKIING: When the sun goes down, Granby Ranch gets lit
For four Saturdays this winter, Granby Ranch resort will offer night skiing unlike anything else that’s happening in the county.
“I always describe it as magical,” said Rachael Thackston, Granby Ranch’s event coordinator, of their night skiing events.
For Thackston, it’s not just taking runs under the stars that makes night skiing at the ranch so exhilarating; it’s the camaraderie and the family atmosphere that highlights these nights.
That’s because, when Granby Ranch goes live at night, it’s a family affair that comes complete with free hot cocoa and cookies awaiting guests at the base of the mountain. At the base, they can enjoy the refreshments while watching snowcats groom a run named “Easy Money” before the lifts reopen from 5-8 p.m. for night skiing.
Skiing after hours has its advantages, such as cheaper lift tickets, less crowded slopes and nonexistent lift lines. Additionally, Granby Ranch’s night skiing events also feature dining specials and live music that’s hard to beat. The disadvantages, of course, would be the colder temperatures, limited terrain and the sometimes icy conditions.
Only a handful of ski areas and resorts across the state have night skiing in any shape or form. One is Granby Ranch, which has been offering limited night skiing since 2004.
Perhaps that’s why it’s such a special occasion when Granby Ranch turns the lights on, as it’s the only resort in Grand County with night skiing and about 250 people or more usually make a point to attend the events.
One draw has to be the cost. Lift tickets are a super affordable $20 for the three-hour night skiing events. Tickets sales start at 3 p.m. on the day of the event and can’t be bought in advance.
Skiers and riders should also know there is not any beginner terrain open on the upper portion of the mountain for night skiing at Granby Ranch. However, the mountain remains one of the most family friendly ski areas in the state and boasts having just enough terrain to keep everyone entertained.
Someone doesn’t have to be an expert skier, but first-timers might want to make sure they can handle the slopes before making night skiing their first skiing experience. The resort also has everything someone might need, including gear rentals and dining, for a pleasant experience. The proximity to Granby also offers more cost effective lodging accommodations compared to many other ski resorts.
Night Skiing dates for the 2019-20 ski season are once a month after the resort opens. Night skiing dates will be Dec. 28, Jan. 18, Feb. 15 and March 14.
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