Friday, December 08, 2023

NY Times spotlights Turner

| January 4, 2005 11:00 PM

By Heidi Desch Western News Reporter

Although Turner Mountain is still not open to skiers, it did receive national attention last week when The New York Times ran an article featuring the ski hill.

Bruce Zwang, president of Kootenai Winter Sports, said although Turner has been featured in magazines like Outside and Powder this is the first time it has been in a national paper.

³You can¹t buy that kind of advertising,² he said. ³It will most likely bring people here.²

The Dec. 30 article about small ski resorts highlights Montana as an example of why the days of ³pot-bellied stoves and warming huts² aren¹t gone.

In particular, Turner with its volunteer-run lifts and snack bar, a 43-year-old warming shed and portable outdoor toilets is different from larger ski hills.

But that¹s not the only thing that sets Turner apart from the others.

Low ticket prices may also be a reason why skiers are choosing these small resorts.

At Turner a daily adult lift ticket costs $24. This compared with a high-profile place like Aspen, Colo., where $74 a day is charged.

According to the article, the National Ski Areas Association noted in a recent report that these areas are on an upswing because of their ³lower prices, family friendliness and convenient locations.²

Zwang agreed that this is why Turner appeals to skiers.

³We¹re (priced) way lower than larger hills,² he said. ³We also have a small-town feel.²

Another reason skiers may be coming to Turner is because of what the article calls Turner¹s intrinsic charm and history.

The article sites the fact that the majority of Turner¹s runs are for advanced skiers and that the hill has been built and is run by volunteers as examples of that charm and history.

Turner isn¹t the only ski hill to benefit from an increase in skier and snowboarder participation over the past three years, according to the article.

Moonlight Basin, a new ski area near Bozeman is seeing rising growth.

Moonlight, which is called the ³opposite of Turner,² opened for the first time last season and is seeing housing developments that include log cabins, condominiums and penthouse suites.

As of Monday, Turner had 25 inches of snow at the top and six inches at the base.