Bridger Bowl closes after record season
BOZEMAN, Mont. —
Bridger Bowl saw snowfall well above average and it helped draw visitors. The preliminary count shows 9 or 10 percent above the ski area’s previous record.
Bridger Bowl was able to extend its season this year, pushing the closing day back to April 15. The extended season came thanks to ample snowfall. Doug Wales, Director of Marketing, said they usually plan to close the first weekend in April. This year however, they were already planning to stay open until April 8 when late season snowstorms pushed the closing to April 15.
“This has definitely been one of our top few seasons we've ever had at Bridger Bowl and I think right now we're at maybe 340 inches of snow, depending on location. So it was a big year and will definitely be in the top of recent memory,” said Wales.
He said big snow events started in late November and continued into April. That, along with cooler temperatures keeping the base intact, helped the mountain end with a 115-inch base.
With so much snow helping draw in the crowds, Bridger saw a record season for visitors. Wales said the preliminary count is 263,000 skiers for the season, beating out their past record of 244,000 visitors.
Many of those skiers and boarders donned costumes for their last runs of the season Sunday.
Students Jamie Lyon and Isabelle Goodacre were dressed for the occasion. They said it was the best season they’ve ever skied, with their best day happening just last weekend when they were surprised by 12 inches of powder.
"I just appreciate Bridger Bowl and having the opportunity to live close and have a season pass and come here whenever we want. it's wonderful," said Bozeman resident Sally Hand.
Bridger Bowl is on public land, so even after the lifts stop running skiers can still hike up the mountain. Officials urge anyone doing that to treat it like backcountry.
"Just be very aware of the fact that we're not doing any avalanche hazard reduction work after the season closes and so Bridger Bowl is now going to be a backcountry skiing experience after today," said Wales.
In addition, Montana Snowbowl celebrated their last day of the winter season on April 15, 2018. Skiers and snowboarders were treated to a free BBQ.
Owner, Ronnie Morris says it’s been a long season with record sales. Morris says 68,000 skiers enjoyed the ski area this season, thanks to consistent snow fall.
Meantime Snowbowl is planning to expand.
“Were expanding so were putting in a different chair lift over on the back side, that's the first one to go in for the expansion, so we kind of got shut out last summer with the fires. so, hopefully we will get that new chair in this summer,” Morris said.
Snowbowl will open the last weekend of June for summer operations featuring folf, mountain biking and ziplining.
For more information about Snowbowl click here.