By: Jason Blevins
August 29, 2012
Nora Pykkonen was ready to move her family to Vail to keep her kids’ passion for ski racing aflame.
“Kids really need to spend a lot of time on snow to become very good skiers and we were spending most of our time in the car,” said the mother of four.
But instead of moving, Pykkonen purchased the 226-acre Echo Mountain ski area and is converting the Clear Creek County hill into a ski-racing training facility focusing on school-aged racers. The sale price was not disclosed in the deal that closed Tuesday.
“This all started with asking how do you keep your kids in the great schools we have in the Front Range and still keep your kids in ski racing?” said the co-founder of Slalom Consulting, a management consulting firm with 1,300 employees and more recently founder of the Front Range Ski Club.
The club will call Echo home, with a roster of top-tier ski coaches, including World Cup skiers Sarah Schleper-Gaxiola, Petter Brenna, Patrik Järbyn and Mike Farny.
Echo will open in November.
Pykkonen plans to upgrade the resort with ski-race training in mind. Her team will set up the mountain as a gym, with stations designed for honing skills like jump starts and sliding. Two surface lifts will rush racers back to the top more speedily than the chairlift. Racers will finish each run in a video tent, reviewing their form before grabbing another lap.