Many of Colorado's failed ski areas could be summed up in this quote about the Stagecoach area near Steamboat Springs, which operated briefly in the early 1970s.
The whole rationale for the ski area was to sell condos and home sites, but the area was such a ragtag operation that the real estate folks had no traction at all.
"To sell condos and home sites" was also the rationale of the sometimes snow-starved Conquistador area near Westcliffe, which lasted from 1976 until the late 1980s. I can think of two other small day areas here in Custer County, such as Silver Park on Colorado 96, which also came and went fairly quickly. Now another is planned near Lake Isabel, but the developer keeps missing meeting dates with the county zoning board.
One area not mentioned is Ski Broadmoor, where at least two generations of Colorado Springs kids learned downhill skiing, if they were not at the Pike's Peak ski area, which is also gone as well.
This trend troubles me: I have not gone downhill skiing for years, just Nordic, but where do people go who don't have the bucks for the Vails, Breckenridges, etc.? Where can you learn to ski after school if you do not live in a bona fide ski town? That was the important niche that areas like Ski Broadmoor filled.
In skiing, like hunting, there are plenty of opportunities for the well-heeled, but the entry steps are getting higher and higher, unless you are connected through a club or something.
Right now, another ephemeral ski area is open, right here at Owl Lodge. After three feet of snow in the last three weeks--not that all of it is still on the ground--we have reopened our Nordic ski trail system that involves our driveway, the sloping lawn of the rental cabin, and a little bit of the 1870s Siloam Stage Road that runs through the property.
Apres-ski activities include writing book reviews and syllabi, but the bar is open.