Since opening Echo Mountain Resort to the skiing public in December of this past year, the resort’s owner, Nora Pykkonen’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The move comes after she became unable to pay one of the original financiers of the ski area.
Originally, Pykkonen purchased the ski area to provide a training space for up and coming ski racers near the Denver metropolitan area. The membership fee was originally $5,000 dollars and included world-class race coaches and over $5 million in potential upgrades to the mountain. However, the private race club business model proved unsustainable and in order to shore up revenue, she opened her ski area to the skiing public this year. So far, the move has proved prudent but has yet to generate enough revenue to pay the debts accrued over the years.
According to the Denver Post, Pykkonen owes $1.4 million to a variety of creditors, the majority of which include investments between $100,000 and $200,000. Among other creditors, she owes Clear Creek County more than $75,000 in taxes and water-related expenses.
That said, Pykkonen says the move is a simply a speed bump in an otherwise opportunistic venture. This year, she’s seen a visible interest from vacation skiers, who’ve googled “the closest resort to Denver.” That search has delivered many a Texan to the slopes of Echo this season, which she told the Denver Post has put the ski area “in the black with a very healthy bottom line.” Along with an increase in skier visits, Echo has amplified its offerings with a bigger terrain park, racing facilities, and more beginner/intermediate ski slopes.
While Echo restructures its financial model, the ski world is sitting patiently to see if Denver’s closest ski area proves to be a viable option for front range skiers.
Find the entire Denver Post article here: Owner of Echo Mountain Resort files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy