Sunlight Mountain Resort has been a backyard playground for the Glenwood Springs ever since the mid 1960s.
It's known as a small locals' hill: Just three aging chairs lifts - the most recent one went up in 1986 - service the 470 acres of forested terrain. The casual, family-oriented resort is short on glitz and glamour and long on economy: The basic adult lift ticket price weighs in at an extremely affordable $50.
But don't take Sunlight for another mellow mom-and-pop feeder hill. It does have some teeth: The resort's Extreme East Ridge, double black-diamond glades and one run (The Heathen) tilted at an attention-grabbing 52 degrees give Sunlight some props.
But Sunlight knows it can't last long as a throwback-to-the-'80s hill. It knows it must flex its muscles to survive. With that in mind, the resort is embarking on a scheme to come into the 21st century.
Sunlight envisions an all-mountain enhancement program encompassing on-mountain improvements (new lifts, trail refinements, increased snowmaking capabilities, etc), a commercial development, additional lodging and three small-use villages connected to the main base area by a gondola.
Sunlight doesn't want to go it alone: It is seeking input from long-time habitués and casual visitors in how the project can be best implemented. Visit Sunlight Mountain's Web site to provide suggestions and support the project.