Colorado, United States
Echo Mountain is a ski and snowboard area located near Evergreen, Colorado. As of the 2008-2009 season, it claims to be the “Denver's Closest, Cheapest and Freshest Ski and Ride Area.”
Echo Mountain is located at the former site of the Squaw Pass Ski Area. It is owned by Jerry Petitt and his family. Echo opened late in the 2006 season. The ski area offers two learning areas, multiple terrain parks and gladed runs. It is lit to offer night skiing. The park is 75 acres and is located within the Arapahoe National Forest and sits on the North face of Chief Mountain (elv. 11,709 ft.).
Echo was developed to cater to a different crowd, the young skiers and snowboarders, who according to owner Jerry Petitt, “…can’t afford to pay $75 for a lift ticket or $14 for a buffalo burger…”. In catering to the younger crowd many features of the mountain are directed at the market. Music is played on the runs through several speakers. The lodge buildings are of modern industrial design featuring many windows overlooking the slopes, corrugated metal walls, and exposed ceilings. The lodge also features wireless internet, a cafe and a bar.
The area was created out of lodgepole pines, bristlecone pines, and Douglas firs. The base of the mountain is located at 10050 feet and the summit is at about 10650 feet. When the ski area was built in 2005, the builders built a reservoir at the base to capture some of the manmade snow runoff.
When Echo opened in 2006 it boasted about 40 features by the 2007 season the number had increased to 80. It has also expanded from an initial 9 trails to the current 13. The expanded trails include runs of glades and two progressive learning centers. The slopes are also now accessed by 3 lift systems, 1 fixed triple, 1 handle tow and a Magic Carpet® suface lift.
Echo’s 3 lifts are all used lifts purchased from other resorts. The Yan 1000 Triple was purchased from Vail Resorts’ Heavenly Resort and installed in 2005. The triple, named Milk Run Special, is situated to serve the entire park. The second lift is a used handle tow, named Frog Legs, which was purchased from the Snowmass ski area. Most recently, Echo installed a Magic Carpet® sufrace lift in which they purchased from Seamboat Ski Resort. Combined the lifts are capable of servicing 2000 people per hour.