According to the National Ski Areas Association, night skiing is offered by more than 200 NSSA-member resorts, and makes up some 7% of annual ski visits. Night skiing can officially be described as skiing after sundown, but as the lights are usually turned on around dusk, it is in reality an extension of day skiing.
Night skiing however is a totally different experience than skiing during the day. With “artificial” lighting, the whole look to the terrain is different. Light is directional, creating interesting contours and shadows, and alters the skier’s depth perception. From a “user’s” perspective, night skiing affords the opportunity to locals who work during the day to get a few hours in after their shifts. With fewer crowds and no ice, it’s also great for people who love to party, and basically anyone who just can’t get enough skiing in during the day.
Keystone is home to the largest single-mountain night skiing experience in North America: it opens early and closes late and has the best night-skiing in Colorado. Keystone uses wind power to run its high-pressure sodium lamps that offer a 50-percent reduction in ambient light pollution over the old halide lamps.
Keystone’s Area 51 is Colorado’s largest terrain night park and stays open until 9PM and sometimes 10PM on weekends. With 2,340 vertical feet (714 m) of night skiing and snowboarding on 17 trails covering 235 acres (95 ha) serviced by 7 lifts, including a high-speed base-to-summit gondola and the Summit Express, that restriction in no way limits your enjoyment after the sun goes down. From Friday 9AM until Saturday 9PM December 1st – 2nd 2006, Keystone offered “36 hours of Keystone” to publicize its night skiing operation.
Private Night Skiing Parties are offered at Sol Vista (Granby Ranch) in Grand County. Night skiing for Groups is available on the slopes of the East Mountain. Rates include 3-hours of skiing, lift tickets, inside gathering area and optional catering/bar services. Hours are 5-8pm any day of the week and cover intermediate trails only. However, free night skiing is open to everyone on 6 evenings during the season: 12/27/06; 01/06/07; 01/13/07; 02/3/07; 02/17/07; 03/24/07 from 5PM until 8PM on East Mountain. Live music adds to the party atmosphere. For more details, go to the Granby Ranch website.