Top 5 most read stories on SkyHiNews.com, week of Nov. 14
1. Winter Park Resort sees 13 inches of snow ahead of opening day
Only a few days away from opening day for the 2021/22 winter season, Winter Park Resort has seen over a foot of snow in the last 72 hours.
The ski resort reported Saturday that the mountain had seen 13 inches over the last three days.
Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist at OpenSnow.com, predicted that the next chances for snow on the mountain will be Wednesday, Friday and Nov. 21.
2. AG: Colorado bike theft ring costs stores more than $1.5 million
Eight men are facing over 200 charges for their involvement in a bike and car theft ring that stretched from Fraser to Boulder.
According to a statement from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, a grand jury has indicted Kevin Acosta-Larkin, Austin Butler, Gerald Garcia, Maurice Leday, Gregory Melina, Salvador Mena-Barreno, Jason Quijada and Adrian Rocha-Chairez on numerous charges following a prolonged investigation across several counties.
The men are accused of 22 auto thefts and breaking into 29 bike stores spanning from December 2019 through June 2020. The stolen property and damages are estimated at more than $1.5 million.
3. Ready for opening day: Winter Park Resort to save six tons of paper by nixing trail maps
Winter Park Resort will open for the 2021 season on Wednesday with a new resort-specific app, but there won’t be any more printed trail maps unless guests are willing to buy them.
The resort’s first lifts of the season are set to ferry skiers and snowboarders up the mountain starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday. New this year, resort officials are beaming about an improved digital experience for guests that’s helping reduce Winter Park’s impact on the environment.
The Winter Park Resort App will make most resort services available via a smart phone. On it, guests also will be able to access digital trail maps, or they can download one directly from the website. According to the resort, by eliminating free printed trail maps, Winter Park will save more than 12,000 pounds of paper.
4. Open for runs: Season kicks off at Winter Park Resort
An hour before Winter Park Resort’s first chair of the season headed up the mountain, snow was falling on the slopes, bringing a few inches of fresh powder to the eager skiers and riders in line for the season’s first lifts.
With a base of a foot and a half of snow and its snow guns on blast, the resort opened with the Gemini and Arrow lifts to Parkway and Village Way, as well as the Terrain Park via the Spirit.
“There’s good energy out there. People are excited to be back out,” resort spokesperson Jen Miller said. “It was a nice surprise to get some new snow.”
5. Bus driver shortage slashes Winter Park’s Lift service
A widespread bus driver shortage is forcing Winter Park’s bus system, the Lift, to reduce its winter offerings until more staff can be hired.
The busing system is short seven full-time and six part-time drivers this season out of 42 total positions. Without the 13 drivers, some bus routes will be reduced, combined or eliminated.
“There have been some pretty dramatic service interruptions due to a nationwide driver shortage, especially here in the state of Colorado,” the town’s Transit Manager Ivy Compton said at Tuesday’s town council meeting.
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