Not happy with the ski racing opportunities for your kids and others? Well one parent just solved that problem by buying Echo Mountain just outside of Denver. Now there will be the Front Range Ski Club operating as a world class ski race training facility.
Denver's closest ski area was put up for sale in June after operating at a loss for six consecutive seasons, and was sold at auction this past week to Pykkonen Capital LLC. This group plans to turn the mountain into a private race training facility. The target date is November 1 opening for the new Front Range Ski Club at Echo.
"We want to announce that Echo Mountain has been sold to new owners and the new owners have decided to change the basic format of the ski area to focus on ski racing training," the previous owner group, led by Jerry Pettit, posted to the Echo Mountain website and Facebook page this morning.
"We have enjoyed the challenge of establishing a new ski area and meeting all the families, snowboarders and skiers as they used the facility. For those of you that bought season passes for next season, we will be refunding your payment through your credit card over the next few days."
Nora Pykkonen, the new owner, confirmed this morning that the Front Range Ski Club at Echo is completely abandoning the terrain park concept developed by the previous owners over the last six seasons. The new focus will be on training for aspiring ski racers of all ages, said Pykkonen, whose own kids --ski racers ages nine, eleven and fourteen -- inspired the concept. Her young racers had been accepted into the prestigious Vail Mountain School, but there was dissension among the family about leaving their home and schools in Evergreen. Rather than moving to Vail, the Pykkonen family has attracted a team of former World Cup and Olympic athletes and coaches to Echo, including four-time Olympian Sarah Schleper, two-time NCAA champion Mike Farny, former Norwegian National Team member Peter Brenna, and five-time Olympian Patrik Jaerbyn.
"This won't just be a place where we're just setting up a bunch of gates for gate bashing," Pykkonen says. "Our goal is to set up a World Cup-level training program, with top coaches and the entire mountain divided into separate stations for training.