Jon Woods and I had the opportunity this past week to take a day off of work and visit one of our favorite places in the entire state: Silverton Mountain. Silverton is a somewhat sleepy mining town that sits in the extremely steep San Juan Mountain Range between Ouray and Durango. It opened in 2002 with just one lift providing access to nearly 2,000 acres of backcountry-only terrain (there are no groomed runs and most are 40-percent+ grade), and another 22,000 acres accessible by their helicopter service. The mountain is only open Thursday through Sunday, and 90% of the season requires guides for visitors, ensuring that only a handful of skiers and boarders have access to the fresh snow daily.
Why is all of that background important? Silverton serves a fairly niche audience of hardcore skiers and backcountry enthusiasts, so they have to be that much more strategic to reach their customers in a meaningful way.