Currently home to 28 officially designated ski resorts, Colorado is a top spot for snow enthusiasts of all skill levels. Destinations like Vail and Telluride are internationally known and recognized for their slopes, but other places have had less luck making it in Colorado's competitive ski resort industry.

For example, an attempt at building a ski resort in the canyon near Fort Collins was ultimately unsuccessful. And, the Sharktooth ski area existed in Greeley for just 15 years.

The same can be said about Colorado's former Arapahoe East Ski Area - a place that was in business for a mere 12 years.

Established in 1972, Arapahoe East Ski Area was located on the south side of Interstate 70 in Golden about 20 minutes away from Denver. It was originally owned by Larry Jump, who also founded Colorado's Arapahoe Basin.

Set on 30 acres, the small ski resort had five trails, one double chair lift, a Poma lift, and a rope tow. The base was situated at an elevation of 6,785 feet. They also had a base lodge with a cafeteria, a ski school, and a rental shop. In 1978, Arapahoe East sought to add an alpine slide, but the permit was denied.

During the '70s and '80s, daily adult passes were priced at approximately $10 on weekdays and $12 on the weekends. Kid's tickets ranged between $5 to $8. Arapahoe East marketed itself as being an affordable, budget-friendly resort.

Arapahoe East also offered night skiing from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. to cater to the "working person."

According to former guests, Denver Playboy Club bunnies were frequent visitors at Arapahoe East. After-hours parties were allegedly often held after the slopes had closed for the night with many bunnies in attendance.

LOOK: This Colorado Alpine Ski Resort is a Hidden Gem

The area was renamed Ski Golden in 1982 for its remaining two seasons of operation. In 1984, the Colorado Tramway Board cited the ski area for multiple violations including staff drinking on the job, ultimately leading to its closure.

The lifts and towers were removed in 1996.

Nowadays, the former ski resort is part of the Bear Creek Ranch property. Denver's prominent Medved family recently sold the scenic Jefferson County property at a whopping price of $14.705 million.


Colorado is Home to a Free Terrain Park for Skiers + Snowboarders

A terrain park open to skiers and snowboarders has been operating in Colorado since 2007 and is completely free of charge.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde