Sheldon Good & Company announced today that the auction sale of Echo Mountain, a Colorado ski resort located just outside of Denver, has just closed, paving the way for the property’s new owner, Pykkonen Capital LLC, to announce the Front Range Ski Club, an alpine athletics training facility set to open in November 2012.
The auction, conducted by Sheldon Good & Company, a real estate auctioneer, drew international attention and numerous interested bidders. Echo Mountain – which sits entirely on private land, a rarity for ski resorts in the United States – had a longstanding reputation in the ski and snowboarding communities and is fresh off a record-breaking season this past season for revenue and snowfall.
Following the closing of Sheldon Good & Company’s auction sale, Pykkonen Capital LLC plans to spend an additional $5 million to expand the mountain to 1,500 vertical feet. The transformation of Echo Mountain into the Front Range Ski Club will begin in the coming weeks and encapsulate the entire property.
Operating on a membership basis, the Front Range Ski Club will have a heavy emphasis on after-school programs for young alpine racers looking for advanced training. The club has already secured World Cup Alpine ski racers from around the world to be new coaches including Sarah Schelper-Gaxiola, Petter Brenna, Patrik Järbyn and Mike Farny, and expects to announce additional coaches in the coming weeks.
While Echo Mountain was already a fully functional ski resort with trails, lifts, snowmaking operations, slope lighting for night skiing and building amenities, Front Range Ski Club is planning additional upgrades to serve its high-performance training needs, such as new terrain and ski runs, including a Super G course, a new organic restaurant, 17 additional snow guns, homework and tutoring stations, building upgrades and a new pick-up/drop off shuttle system with stops throughout Denver. Less than one-third of the property’s 226 acres have been developed, leading to many expansion possibilities.
“As a mother of children who have recently fallen in love with alpine racing, I was inspired to create a premiere training facility that provides innovative and progressive coaching in a nearby location that allows families to better balance their children’s schooling and time at home. The fact that so many families in the area share my enthusiasm and that many World Cup athletes have signed on to be coaches, demonstrates the Front Range Ski Club is a winning concept,” said Nora Pykkonen, managing member, who also co-founded Slalom Consulting, a national, award-winning management consulting company with 1,300 employees.
There are over 20,000 racers across the United States, over 2,000 are members of the nearby Rocky Mountain division and of these members 1,300 are school-aged children. Currently, many families interested in exploring full-time training often commute long distances or in some cases move to be closer to a training facility.
The Front Range Ski Club will provide young athletes in the Rocky Mountain area with a new venue to train full-time and be closer to home. The property is also one of the few ski/boarding areas that has permitted slope lighting, allowing for later training hours that help balance school schedules.
“The sale of Echo Mountain has provided Pykkonen Capital, LLC with a once in a lifetime opportunity to leverage a hugely successful commercial development site in one of the most extremely desirable areas in Colorado, to create a property that will undoubtedly be welcomed by the surrounding neighborhood and ski industry nationwide,” said John J. Cuticelli, CEO of Sheldon Good & Company. “The site affords its new owner great flexibility to realize a number of improvements that will transform the property into a world-class destination for sports enthusiasts of all ages.”
Echo Mountain first opened in 2006 and is one of 26 active, permitted ski areas in Colorado. Located 35 miles west of downtown Denver, it features north-facing mountain terrain that varies from 9,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation with views of the Continental Divide.
The property averages snowfall of 220 inches with 300 days of sun annually and a ski season that often stretches into May. Echo Mountain customers who have purchased season passes for the 2012-13 season will be contacted in the next few weeks to arrange a refund for their passes.