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Colorado Gems Card $20; Two-For-One At Eight Resorts

Ski Cooper

In an era of mega-resorts, the other guys in Colorado offer up an alternative: Small-town feel, old-style good times -- with discounted tickets all around.


Available for nearly a decade, the Colorado Gems Card latest version from Colorado Ski Country USA consolidates small-area bargains into a single deal: Two-for-one tickets at any of the eight Gems resorts. A cap of 5,000 Gems cards will be sold this season.


With the purchase of a $20 card, the cardholder and a ski buddy get two lift tickets for the regular price of one at any of the areas. The card is good for one use per resort. In addition, cardholders get exclusive, last-minute Flash Deals online that include real-time ticket discounts.


Here’s what’s up with the eight Colorado Gems resorts:


Arapahoe Basin. The resort’s 6th Alley Bar at the base has undergone a  remodel and will become the 6th Alley Bar & Grill.


Eldora Mountain Resort. Pumping capacity for snowmaking has been doubled so that twice as many guns can run at once.


Loveland Ski Area.The Ptarmigan Roost Cabin at the top of Chair 2 now has rest rooms and limited food service. The base lodge underwent expansion, too.


Monarch Mountain. An overflow parking lot went in over the summer, and a new bar debuts in the cafeteria area.


Powderhorn Resort. Food got top priority this summer, with upgrades at the Sunset Grille, and the new West End grille on the mountain.


Ski Cooper. The gift shop has been moved and the rental shop gets an overhaul to get skiers and riders on the mountain quicker.


Ski Granby Ranch. The rental fleet gets a major upgrade, and snowmaking has added low-energy snowmaking guns that will reduce water and electricity usage.


Sunlight Mountain Resort. A partnership with local ski-snowboard-longboard manufacturer, Meier Skis, looks to promote forest health with skis that use beetle-kill wood for area forests.


Photo: Ski Cooper, one of Colorado's "Gems" (Ski Cooper) 

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