Copper Mountain and Keystone Resort open today |

Copper Mountain and Keystone Resort open today

Paige Blankenbuehler
summit daily news

Special to the Daily/Tripp Fay, Copper Mountain

Summit County and Front Range commuter skiers are in for a double dose of ski area opening days today as Copper Mountain and Keystone Resort debut their slopes to the public.

Chairlifts for Copper and Keystone depart at 9 a.m. today to kick off the start to the 2012-2013 season.

The two resorts are offering free food, entertainment, and chances to win prizes to mark the start of the opening weekend.

Copper is opening with the Main Vein, Rhapsody and Easy Rider trails offering top-to-bottom skiing. Access to all trails will be via the American Eagle Lift.

Free koozies will be given to the first 100 skiers in line at Copper Mountain, giving them drink specials all day long at Endo’s Adrenaline Cafe.

“We can’t wait to see all of the excited season pass holders that are able to get out of work for the first day of the season,” said Austyn Williams, spokeswoman for Copper Mountain. “There’s always an energy among everyone, and having the bragging rights of being there on the first day of the season and seeing the first chair go up the mountain is really a sense of pride among a lot of our guests. We’re embracing all of that.”

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The first chair privilege at Copper’s Mountain’s opening are reserved every year for Frank Walter, an owner and skier at the resort since the 1970s. Walter, who’s been called “Father Time,” in a Warren Miller film he was featured in, skied every single day of the 2011-2012 season at 89 years old.

“He’s a personality that truly encompasses not only Copper’s history, but Copper’s spirit,” Williams said.

Keystone kicks off the season today with top-to-bottom skiing available on the Spring Dipper and River Run trails, offering intermediate skiing. For those wanting to ease into the season or are learning for the first time, Keystone’s Endeavor trail learning area with carpet lift will be open.

On the other side of the spectrum, Keystone’s A51 Terrain Park will be open with 25 features accessed by its own chairlift.

“We’re excited to begin another season,” said Laura Parquette, spokeswoman for the resort. “Our snow makers, groomers and terrain park teams have done an amazing job preparing the snow and we can’t wait to let people enjoy it.”

Keystone’s newest product also kicks off today. All kids 12 years old and younger ski for free with the purchase of two or more night’s lodging at the ski area’s accommodations.

“This is the industry’s most unrestrictive pass,” Parquette said. “There are no blackout dates, giving families the freedom to take advantage of the deal during holidays and weekends.”

Opening day guests will also be able to take advantage of free hot chocolate, coffee and warm donuts from Keystone’s pastry chef Ned Archibald at the base of the River Run Gondola.

“It’s going to be really special,” Parquette said. “Our chef is world class and we really want to treat our guests on this exciting day.”

Another added bonus: The first 100 skiers in line are entered into a raffle to win various prizes, with the grand prize being a special GoPro prize pack.

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