Eaglecrest winds up season in the red, but with a carnival

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2001

As a city investment, Juneau's Eaglecrest Ski Area reflected the downturn of the Nasdaq stock index in its 2000-01 season.

A shortage of snow brought the shortest season ever and revenues were definitely down. However, there was a silver lining to the season that ends this weekend, according to Manager Paul Swanson.

"We did have a pretty decent February and March all-in-all because we have had good weather," Swanson said today.

Swanson could not say how far in the red Eaglecrest was.

"We are still doing projections," Swanson said. "We will be drawing out of our fund balance, but there will still be reserves for next season to compensate for the season pass refunds we gave out."

The winter season included a new attraction, a tubing hill with its own lift.

"We got a late start with tubing, had to use man-made snow and had only one lane open, but everybody who partook always came down with a smile on their face. We were pleased with attendance, and hopefully next year will have two lanes going," Swanson said.

Snowboarders and skiers were joyous when Eaglecrest kicked off its season Feb. 1, but then the ski area had to weather the negative publicity of an avalanche March 1, when two Colorado skiers narrowly escaped death.

To end the season on an upbeat note, Eaglecrest has scheduled its 2001 Spring Carnival for Saturday and Sunday, its final weekend. Kids will enjoy the Easter egg hunt on the Trickster Trail beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by a second hunt on the Platter trails at 11:30 a.m. On Saturday afternoon, look for a game of what's called Human Croquet followed by an Egg Toss.

On Sunday, the Purple Easter Bunny will try to outdistance youngsters 5 and under as they chase it on the lower mountain starting at 11 a.m. Then there will be a bunny chase for older skiers and snowboarders. A third bunny chase is scheduled for 11:45 at the Platter lift. Non-skiers and skiers alike can don their finery to participate in the Easter Bonnet contest at the ski and snowboard school meeting area, beginning at noon.

The final events of the carnival will be the Costume Race and Slush Cup on the lower part of Hillary's Trail at 1 p.m. Participants are judged on speed, outrageous get-ups and jumps in or over the slush pond at the finish.

"The Slush Cup is within walking distance of the lodge," Swanson said, "and we often get lots of spectators."

Slush Cup participants need to sign up at the ski and snowboard school before noon on Sunday. For details, call Jeffra Clough, 790-2001.

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.com.

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