The Colorado Sun is reporting that Blue Bird Backcountry in Colorado is set to open on February 15th. The resort will not offer mechanized transportation (lifts, snowmobiles, snowcats, helicopter, etc.), and will require skiers/boarders to ascend the terrain by hiking or skinning.
Blue Bird Backcountry is on its own when it comes to this business model. Silverton is the closest thing, but they offer one chairlift and heli-service.
Access to the 1500-acre property below Whiteley Peak will cost $50. Additional guided instruction can be purchased for another $50.
Blue Bird Backcountry’s terrain is avalanche and safety monitored by licensed ski patrol. This will put backcountry enthusiasts at ease (for once in their life).
I wouldn’t be surprised to see more resorts like this pop-up around the country. Up-hill skinning and hiking-to-ski is becoming increasingly more popular. Offering avalanche mitigated terrain is sure to encourage more people to try-out skinning.