Eldora Mountain Resort suffered a power outage Saturday morning that resulted in some skiers and snowboarders being stranded at the base of one lift in frigid temperatures.
The resort, located in Nederland, lost power early Saturday morning, according to Eldora spokesman Rob Linde.
"Our feed from Xcel Energy was out so we were operating on our own generator power for about half of the day," Linde said.
The outage impacted some lifts, Linde said, including the Corona lift, which he estimated lost auxiliary power for about 20 minutes around mid morning.
As the power came on and went off again, resort employees got everyone off the lift but did not allow other people to board at the bottom, Linde said.
This caused a backup Linde estimated at 75 people. They were given to option of hiking to another lift, or being towed out in small groups by a crew of snowmobiles.
Boulder resident Mark Riegel was among the skiers who was stuck at the bottom of the Corona lift Saturday, and he disputed Linde's version of events, especially that the lift was only disabled for 20 minutes.
"We sat there and waited for 20 minutes before everyone was told they should either hike out or have snowmobiles slowly come and get people," said Riegel, 32, who estimated as many as 100 resort visitors were stranded.
Noting that it was about 15 degrees at Eldora around 10:15 a.m., Riegel said he and many others chose to hike out instead of waiting. He said it took him about an hour to get to the lodge in his uncomfortable ski boots, leaving him too tired and sore to continue skiing.
"I started at 9:30 a.m. and basically got two runs in," he said. "At 10 a.m., the lifts failed."
Riegel said he has a four-day pass to Eldora and was among several skiers that asked to be credited for a free ski day. Instead, he said, resorts staff members offered him a coupon for a free soft drink.
"It seems from my knowledge that if their equipment failure causes you distress, it's pretty standard business practice that they are going to credit your ski day back at least," he said.
Linde said that while some vouchers were issued to skiers on Saturday, the resort did not give one to everyone who dealt with the issues at the Corona lift.
"Our policy with stuff like that is we don't issue full-day refunds for a 20 minute closure," he said. "It's really, really unfortunate when we get power interruptions from Xcel like we did."
Xcel spokeswoman Michelle Aguayo confirmed that a wire servicing Eldora went down at 7:16 a.m. due to weather, but said that line was operational again by 10:26 a.m.