Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Mon, March 17 2014 at 6:07 PM, Updated: Mon, March 17 2014 at 7:05 PM
Ashland, Ore. -- For the first time in 50 years Mt. Ashland called it a season before even opening their lifts.
The decision affected 2,500 season pass holders, but General Manager Kim Clark said it won't affect expansion plans.
"The funds set aside for these particular projects are restricted donations," Clark said.
The first phase of the expansion includes widening trails, re-contouring a beginner's run called Sonnet, and expanding the parking lot to include 100 new parking spots.
The first two parts of the first phase are complete, but Clark said they have to raise $40,000 to $45,000 to finish the parking lot.
"We have a little over 50 percent of the funds we need to do the parking lot," Clark said.
He said they hope to finish the lot by this summer.
"We are committed to get this done and will get it done one way or another," Clark said.
He said after finishing the parking lot they won't move on with any other expansion projects until they can raise enough money for the projects and feel the additions are essential. And Clark said, as of now, expanding is not their main concern.
"Our focus is getting through this year and working with our guests and opening next year with what we have," Clark said.
One of the biggest parts of the expansion project is building 16 new runs on the northwest side of the mountain and a new chair lift. Other plans include a new tubing run, additional night lighting, and a new building for rental and ski patrol.
Clark said to complete the whole expansion project it would take two to three years of fundraising and could cost $5 to $10 million.
NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.
She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.
She loves skiing and live concerts!