Ryan Schramm expects to increase not only the number of skiers and snowboarders at Powderhorn Mountain Resort, but also the number of mountain bikers.
The new general manager at Powderhorn will bring to the effort experience in running a ski area, increasing snowmaking capacity and developing resort lodging. As a teenager, he also worked in his father’s ski and bike shop.
“One of the reasons I’m very much looking forward to being at Powderhorn is the opportunity to build the two sports I ’m passionate about,” Schramm said in a news release announcing his hiring.
Pacific Group Resorts Inc. hired Schramm under a long-term lease with the owners of Powderhorn to operate the resort on the Grand Mesa east of Grand Junction.
Schramm worked for five years as general manager at Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire and before that, director of alpine ski racing.
Vern Greco, chief executive officer of Pacific Group Resorts, said Schramm constitutes an “ideal” fit for Powderhorn given plans to install more snowmaking equipment, develop additional lodging and add more mountain biking trails.
“While Ryan was at Ragged Mountain, they installed over 250 energy efficient snowmaking guns and increased their snowmaking water storage capacity from about 8 million gallons to 40 million gallons, which allowed them to increase their early season coverage dramatically,” Greco said.
“Ryan also will be able to help us with the lodging initiatives at Powderhorn,” Greco said. “As GM at Ragged, he oversaw the conversion of an historic estate property into the charming New Hampshire Mountain Inn and its integration into another lodging option for their guests.”
In addition, Schramm was involved in the same Mission: Affordable season pass program that’s doubled the number of season pass holders for the upcoming season at Powderhorn. He also was involved in free learn-to-ski programs and serves on the National Ski Areas Association growth committee.
“One of my objectives at Powderhorn is to increase the number of skiers and snowboarders because the number of snow sports participants in the U.S. has been about the same for the past 20 years,” Schramm said. “Ragged Mountain’s free learn-to-ski program and serving on the NSAA’s growth committee have afforded me the opportunity to provide a path to continue those efforts at Powderhorn because obviously, it’s good for the resort, but I also think it’s good for the overall growth of the Grand Valley from both economic and lifestyle perspectives.”
Additional mountain biking trails also are planned at Powderhorn, including a connection to the proposed Palisade Plunge, a 32-mile trail dropping 6,000 feet from the Grand Mesa to Palisade.
“I think the combination of the existing bike trails in Fruita and Grand Junction combined with the lift-served trails we can provide at the resort, all tied together with the Palisade Plunge, give us the opportunity to turn this into one of America’s iconic mountain biking destinations,” Schramm said.
Greco said Schramm’s broad background will serve him well in his latest role. “He was involved with auto racing as a driver and mechanic for five years, and he was in the commercial food service industry for 10 years. From his ski racing background to his experience with snowmaking installations to his expertise in food service to his commitment to community involvement, we think Ryan is an ideal fit for Powderhorn.”