BOZEMAN - A change of weather forced Bridger Bowl to cancel their planned Black Friday opening, disappointing many skiers hoping to enjoy the $10 million spent on new buildings and equipment at the ski hill.
“This year we had all that great early snow in November that came in and gave us a really great base and it was looking really good and so with that in mind we had decided to open up for a couple of long weekends before the December 8th full-time opening date,” said Doug Wales, Bridger’s Director of Marketing and Sales.
“Unfortunately, couple days leading up to and Thanksgiving Day, the warm winds and the rain that we received really played havoc here,” said Wales. “Especially in the base area but across the mountains and we lost considerable amounts of snow”
Wales said he could commiserate with skiers hoping to get an early start on this season.
“You know we’re disappointed too and we can’t open when we hope that we can open and so we looked forward to it,” Wales said. “We certainly had a lot of people up on the hill, hiking, climbing, and skiing. We’d like to oblige that as best we can, but overall people have understood that realize that the weather does what the weather does.”
On the bright side, Bridger Bowl has added several new features for this upcoming Winter Season.
“Collectively we have a nice 7-acre beginning area with the beginner surface lift for new folks to use to get up the hill and a nice 10 percent slope,” Wales said.
Bridger Bowl also added a new triple chairlift at the base of the mountain which will increase the number of skiers and boarders up to the top.
“We’ll be able to move more people out of the base area,” said Wales. “(It will) Increase the uphill capacity over 25-27 percent.”
The long-awaited Saddle Peak Lodge also is ready for skiers.
“We’ve completed our Saddle Peak Lodge and that was a 2-year project,” said Wales.