BEAVER CREEK - Beaver Creek Resort is set to open Wednesday at 9 a.m. with 101 acres of terrain and three lifts providing skiing on the main mountain and in Bachelor Gulch. Skiers and snowboarders will be greeted in the morning with hot chocolate and warm chocolate chip cookies, setting the stage for the afternoon's Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition, which takes place in the village at 2 p.m.
Beaver Creek plans to offer skiing and snowboarding on Opening Day on Latigo and Hay Meadow trails accessed by the Centennial Express Lift (No. 6) and Buckaroo Gondola (No. 2) on the main mountain. Sawbuck trail in Bachelor Gulch also will be open, and the terrain can be accessed by riding the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift (No. 16) in Bachelor Gulch. At this time, the terrain in Bachelor Gulch will ski like a bowl. There is a shuttle that runs between the Ritz-Carlton in Bachelor Gulch and Centennial Station in Beaver Creek Village.
"We are incredibly excited to open on Wednesday with over 100 acres of terrain, which will offer a good-quality snow surface for Thanksgiving holiday skiers and snowboarders," said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek Resort. "Beaver Creek traditionally kicks off the season with a number of events from Day 1 and our teams are poised to offer a great experience for everyone on and off the slopes."
For beginners during opening week, the Buckaroo Gondola and portions of specially designed learning terrain in the area will allow for Beaver Creek Ski School to provide top-quality instruction. Some of this beginner terrain will be served by surface lifts.
The resort's snowmaking system, one of the largest in North America, has allowed for consistent snowmaking simultaneously on trails for recreational skiing, as well as the Birds of Prey downhill course for the World Cup races taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
Spruce Saddle Restaurant at the top of Centennial Express Lift will provide hungry skiers and riders with a variety of healthy lunch options. The Ski and Snowboard School will be open, providing group and private instruction for adults and kids. The Small World Playschool Nursery also will be open, providing day care for kids from 2 months to 6 years.
At promptly 2 p.m. Wednesday, Beaver Creek's ninth annual Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition gets under way in the village. Skiers and snowboarders will sample five different cookies and vote for the resort's Official Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe for the season. Five finalists will bake and serve 1,000 cookies each for Opening Day, and the winner will be announced that afternoon. Cookie Time is Beaver Creek's guest service program where at 3 p.m. each day, Cookie Time chefs greet skiers and snowboarders at the foot of the slopes with warm chocolate chip cookies. Nearly 500,000 cookies are served each season.
New this season, skiers and riders will be able to take advantage of 17 new acres of expert terrain when Kestrel, a new trail built over the summer as part of the new women's speed course for the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships, opens to the public in the coming weeks.
Resort parking will be available for free in the Bear and Elk parking lots along U.S. Highway 6 in Avon, and skiers may take a short shuttle ride to the village. Beaver Creek Village paid parking will begin Wednesday.
For complete details on all of Beaver Creek's upcoming events, including the Opening Day Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition, Holiday Tree Lighting and Gingerbread Competition, World Cup and weekly family programming, visit www.beavercreek.com.