DURANGO, Colo. –  With a foot of fresh snow from the recent storm, Purgatory Resort’s 50th ski season begins this Saturday, Nov. 21 with top to bottom skiing off Lift 1, the 6-person Purgatory Village Express high-speed chairlift at 9 am.  Purgatory will be open daily Saturday Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 29 over the Thanksgiving holiday week. 

Purgatory has already received a total of 32 inches of snow this season, in addition to snowmaking efforts that began Oct. 23, the earliest in 20 years.  The mid-mountain base depth is 24 inches. 

 Photo courtesy of Purgatory Resort

Photo courtesy of Purgatory Resort

DC and Angel’s Tread Terrain Parks will be open, as well as restaurants, retail and rental shops in the base area.  The Purgatory Snowsports School will also offer instruction for all ability levels and the Den Childcare Center will be open 9am to 4pm.  Further details on terrain offerings for opening day will be posted online on Friday.  Visit skiPurg.comfor details. 

“With the dry, colder temperatures, our crew was able to start producing snow the earliest in 20 years, and they’ve been very productive in establishing a solid base that will last throughout the season,” stated Mike McCormack, Sr. Vice President of Mountain Operations.  “Mother Nature has also helped us out with great natural snowfall, giving skiers and snowboarders a fantastic experience on opening day!” 

Purgatory is kicking off its 50th ski season with $50 lift tickets and fun festivities.  For opening weekend, lift tickets are $50 adults (ages 18-64); $43 seniors (65-79 years); $40 teens (13-17 years); $31 children (6-12 years); $18 super seniors (80+).  Purgatory Power Pass season passes, as well as weekday passes, will be honored throughout opening weekend.  On opening day, Ska Brewing will tap a keg of Purgatory Pilsner in honor of Purgatory’s 50th anniversary.  There will be giveaways and other activities on the ski beach, including a corn hole tournament and music by DJ Aiko Aiko. 

New this season!  Purgatory Resort is debuting its new high-speed detachable quad chairlift on the backside of the mountain, replacing the old triple.  The new Legends Lift 8 grand opening will be Saturday, Dec. 19 with a ribbon cutting, champagne toast, and festivities at Dante’s.  In addition to the new lift project, Purgatory added 3 new trails and additional snowmaking infrastructure at the bottom of Lift 8. 

“With Purgatory’s 50th anniversary, the new high-speed quad, and a strong El Niño, we’re ready to kick off the ski season,” stated James Coleman, managing partner of Purgatory Resort.  “Purgatory’s entire team has been hard at work to get the mountain open this Saturday and start celebrating our 50th season.”

Purgatory is opening earlier this season than in recent history and will be open the entire week of Thanksgiving.  For Thanksgiving dinner, Purgy’s Slopeside Restaurant will offer a special four-course menu of butternut squash bisque, mixed baby green salad, choice of entree turkey with stuffing, peppercorn demi-glace steak, pumpkin gnocchi, pan roasted Alaskan Salmon, and choice of dessert.  Reservations are suggested, (970) 385-2121.

 Photo courtesy of Purgatory Resort

Photo courtesy of Purgatory Resort

Purgatory Resort is part of a collection of southwest ski resorts, including Arizona Snowbowl, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski Resort.  Sipapu was the first ski area to open in New Mexico on Nov. 14.  Arizona Snowbowl is scheduled to open Nov. 20, and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area will open Nov. 27.

Skiers and snowboarders may purchase Power Pass season passes that provide unlimited access to the four resorts, all located within a convenient drive of each other.

For the latest information on mountain operations, the snow report and other information, visit http://www.skipurg.com or call 970-247-9000.