ASHLAND, Ore. – Mount Ashland is closed for renovations. The mountain wrapped up its last day of skiing today.
Mountain management says to expect around $250,000 worth of improvements by the time the lifts open next season.
Some of the mountain’s biggest fans were enjoying their final runs today.
“Mount Ashland has actually been such a big part of my life that my girlfriend and I are getting married this Summer and booked the mountain to get married up here,” said Ben Bryan, a lifelong Mt. Ashland skier.
But management says there’s still plenty of work to do before then.
“We kind of have our hands full for the next couple of weeks between trying to shut everything down and get all these projects started, but we’re excited,” said General Manager Kim Clark.
Projects for this summer include 101 new parking spaces, re-working the beginner’s slopes, and widening some existing trails.
Clark says it will help make the mountain more accessible and safer for their fastest-growing demographic: families.
“80 percent of all skiers and riders are intermediate and below. Mount Ashland is 78 percent advanced, intermediate, and true expert. So we’re vastly underserving the vast majority of our skiers and riders out there,” said Clark
And they’re hoping to do more for families.
Another three to five million dollars in new lifts and mostly beginner-friendly renovations are being reviewed in court. They’re being challenged for environmental reasons.
“We’re very confident that we’ll be able to carry on, it just takes time,” said Clark. “We’ve got to work through all the processes and the appeals and everything.”
Advanced skiers like Bryan say they’re keeping their fingers crossed.
“I think there’s still some skiers that go to Mount Bachelor or Mount Shasta because of that beginner or intermediate terrain, and so to really be pulling those skiers back to Mount Ashland I think will be really important,” said Bryan.
But Bryan also says he’ll be back either way – if not for the skiing, then for the wedding.
“I’ve been up here since I was a kid and will move into adulthood up on this mountain too,” said Bryan. “So I’m looking forward to that.”