KEYSTONE, Colo., Oct. 28 — Keystone local Ryan Hall camped out for more than 100 hours waiting for the first chair of the season at Keystone Resort. The 22-year-old snowboarder shared his “tent” — a 16-square-foot gondola cabin — with four other people.
Today, Hall, one of the contestants in “The Fox” radio station’s Master Survivor promotion, was joined by thousands of other snowboarders and skiers on the slopes of Keystone Resort.
“Every year, we usually have a few people camped out in their cars or tents waiting for the start of the season at Keystone,” said Ginny Sak, senior marketing manager for Keystone. “This is the first time we’ve ever had anyone camp out in a gondola cabin.”
After spending more than 100 hours in a 16-square-foot gondola cabin, Hall jumped on another chairlift for a 12-minute ride up the mountain early this morning. He got first tracks at Keystone, along with dozens of other snowboarders and skiers.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for,” Hall said. “I’ve been playing hangman and just trying to stay busy in the gondola. I got up early. I got my pass. I was ready to take a break and get first tracks.” The contestants are allowed to take five 15-minute breaks throughout the day. Hall used two of his breaks to take a mile-long run down Keystone’s intermediate trail, Haywood.
If Hall outlasts the other three remaining survivors he’ll win $20,000. “Then, I’ll be riding all the time,” he said. “The first thing I want to do is to take all my buddies with me and do helicopter drops in Alaska, then I’ll enroll (in college) from there, maybe take a trip to Mexico and do the whole Corona commercial thing. You know, sip on a Corona, throw my cell phone into the ocean and change my whole latitude.”
In the meantime, Hall’s mother continues to check up on him via the Web cam on “The Fox” radio station’s site, thefox.com. “Yeah, now she knows where I am every night,” he said.
The other survivors include 23-year-old Denverite Kimberly Dickey, 26-year-old stripper Tenell and 30-year-old Durango resident Jamie Carlos Manzanares. On Friday morning, the contestants voted 46-year-old Rex Reckseen, the fifth survivor, out of the gondola.
The Survivor contest is part of Keystone’s opening day festivities. “It’s definitely a source of amusement for skiers and snowboarders,” Sak said. “The contest brought an extra element of fun to our opening day this year.” Along with the Survivor contest, Keystone will kickoff its 30th anniversary season with a new high-speed, six-person chairlift, 30 percent more grooming on beginner and intermediate runs and new deals, including the Colorado Deal.
Keystone, located 90 minutes west of Denver, is a year-round resort with world-class skiing and snowboarding, championship golf, the largest conference center in the Rocky Mountains and incredible vacation deals. Recently, the resort was ranked the eighth best ski and snowboard area by “SKI Magazine” and “Snowboard Life Magazine.”
For more information about Keystone’s snow conditions, events and lodging packages, visit keystoneresort.com or call 1-800-404-3535.