Another year is in the books for skiers and snowboarders, as Hogadon officially closes its lifts. City Manager John Patterson says, "We're grateful for mother nature providing great snow."
Snow came a little earlier this year and the mountain was able to open all of its runs by the end of December, a primary goal every year. Director of Leisure Services Doug Follick says, "This season was a real good season as far as snow goes. We were able to open the area early in December and get it open for Christmas break."
This year, Hogadon got a couple new additions: new leadership and the construction of the magic carpet. "With the magic carpet we saw families coming to Hogadon," Patterson said, while Follick agrees. "What I hear from Chris the mountain manager is that we saw a lot more visitation this year."
Some of the best skiing in the country is within driving distance, so how do you compete with some of those other ski resorts? "We know who we are. We are going to play to our strengths and our strengths are proximity. I mean you can be up there on top of that mountain in fifteen minutes from anywhere in Casper and that's who we are," Patterson said.
The resort, especially with the snow we received over the weekend, still has enough to ski on, so why close? "This is issue is people quit coming. Golf courses are opening; peoples are working in there yards. When the weather's nice downtown people don't think about skiing," Follick said.
The city was able to take away a lot from this year to help springboard into the future. "So we've gotta take a look at other amenities to expand it into a year around activity area and that is recommended, it's not going to be in the first or second phase up at Hogadon, but it's something we will look at," Patterson said.