Bankrupt ski hill sold for $4M

Echo Mountain sold last week for $4 million. (Aaron Kremer)

Echo Mountain sold last week for $4 million. (Aaron Kremer)

The owners of a troubled Front Range ski hill handed over the snow cat keys to a new owner who hopes to open the slopes in December.

The Echo Mountain Resort – which had been operating under bankruptcy protection since February – sold last week for around $4 million to SkiEcho, an entity owned by Minnesota native and University of Denver alumnus Peter Burwell. BusinessDen first reported a pending deal in August.

Fred Klass, SkiEcho’s new GM and a college classmate and ski buddy of Burwell’s, said the business can cater to skiers who don’t want to make the schlep farther into the mountains.

“You’re not going to spend as much time in traffic, or pay as much for a lift ticket,” Klass said. “You can ski for a few hours and head back to the Front Range.”

Klass said SkiEcho hasn’t finalized the prices for a season’s pass or lift ticket.

The deal, which hasn’t yet been recorded by Clear Creek County, includes 226 acres, a triple chairlift, snow making equipment and a restaurant.

Echo Mountain Resort was forced into bankruptcy after falling behind on mortgage payments. Previous owner Nora Pykkonen, who declined to comment for this story, operated the ski hill as a private mountain for a few years until opening up to the public last season. Pykkonen bought the ski hill in 2012 for around $1.5 million.

All of Echo Mountain’s creditors were paid in full, according to Lee Kutner, a lawyer with KutnerBrinen who worked the case for Echo.

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