Monoskier gets first chair as Ski Granby Ranch opens for 2018-19 season
It wasn’t a very long line Friday morning for opening day at Ski Granby Ranch, but it was important for monoskier George Kellogg to be at the front.
Kellogg, a Grand County resident, got to the resort an hour ahead of the 9 a.m. first chair to ensure he’d earn the distinction of being first. He stood in line at the Quickdraw Express, braving the negative-degree temperature, thinking of accomplishing his goal for opening day.
“I’m trying to break 70 mph and not have to worry about anybody below me,” he said before taking the chair with a big smile and offering a victory holler.
And that’s what Ski Granby Ranch is known for: its uncrowded slopes.
Ski Granby Ranch ditches pretentiousness and doesn’t aim to compete with the other Grand County ski resort — Winter Park Resort, of course. Instead, it holds its own with a fun, family friendly atmosphere; a great place to learn how to ski.
Kevin McKinney and his eight-year-old son, Henry, followed behind Kellogg to claim the second chair of the season. Their goal appeared a little less lofty, attempting to get a total of 40 days on the slopes. They came close last year with 30.
“We’re weekend warriors,” said McKinney, who owns a home in Kicking Horse at Granby Ranch, as his son stood next to him and readjusted his goggles.
Both said they were excited to be part of opening day, but it seemed to be just another day on the slopes for the two.
Granby Ranch, which is still on the market for sale, opened its ski season with a 17-inch base and one inch of snow, according to the resort. Half of its 24 runs on the east mountain were open Friday morning, along with the Quickdraw, Pony and Milestone lifts. The west mountain remains closed due to a lack of snow.
As 9 a.m. rolled around, representatives of the resort came out to the Quickdraw with the ceremonial opening day banner. A slight hiccup in the plan allowed Kellogg and the McKinneys to assume their chairs before the traditional photo op.
But two local “celebrities” stepped in to break through the celebratory banner on their way up the mountain. Granby’s unofficial mascot, G-Rex, an inflatable T-Rex, made an appearance with Ski Granby Ranch mascot, Snowball. Together they took the third chair up the slope as everybody cheered and officially opened the 2018-19 season.
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