This is Colorado’s most famous abandoned ski area |

This is Colorado’s most famous abandoned ski area

In December 1965, Walter Burke, then-manager of Geneva Basin ski area south of Georgetown, points to area where an avalanche came down on boys, killing one. Map indicates “Closed-Avalanche Area."
Denver Post File Photo

“I bet they call it skinning because it sounds painful,” I grumbled to my husband. My chest heaved with exertion as I slid one ski in front of the other.

It was early on a Saturday and the two of us were on the side of Georgetown’s Guanella Pass somewhere between Highway 285 and the 11,670-foot summit. Laden down with packs full of backcountry skiing gear and calorie-dense snacks, we focused on our singular objective: find Geneva Basin.

Originally dubbed Indianhead Ski Area, Geneva Basin is easily Colorado’s most famous abandoned ski resort. It first opened in 1963 with two chairlifts: a double known as the Duck Creek lift and a T-bar called Sundance. Two more Poma lifts were added in the 1960s to provide additional access to bowl and beginner-friendly terrain.

However, ambitious planning couldn’t supersede the ski resort’s financial woes. In 1965, Geneva Basin succumbed to bankruptcy, and former Gov. Roy Romer purchased it, along with the Burke family.

But their ownership didn’t last much longer. Between 1972 and 1984, Geneva Basin changed hands numerous times, and the resort fell into disrepair due to minimal funding. The lack of maintenance became grossly evident in 1984 when a chair fell from the cable on the Duck Creek lift. As a result, the Colorado Tramway Board closed the resort until adequate maintenance could resolve the issues.

Read more via The Denver Post.

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