Avid skiers and snowboarders who’ve been tossing and turning with dreams of being slopeside, have to wait only one more night before they can start taking turns down the mountain at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
“There are those people who start thinking about skiing or riding as soon as the first snow hits, and I’m one of those people,” said Adrienne Saia Isaac, the ski area’s marketing and communications manager. “Whether you are a novice skier or rider or have been doing it for 30 years there’s nothing like getting out and sliding down the hill. It never gets old.”
A-Basin is set to open on Sunday, Oct. 13 — four days earlier than last year, thanks to recent precipitation, low temperatures and snowmaking upgrades.
The Black Mountain Express lift will start at 8:30 a.m. to shuttle guests to the top of the intermediate High Noon trail at mid-mountain.
“This was just a perfect confluence of early season snow, absolutely tremendous snowmaking and a little bit of good luck,” Isaac said.
A-Basin will be not only the first ski area in Colorado to open, but also the first ski area in the United States to open and stay open for the season, A-Basin representatives said.
“This is a very exciting time for us, and all of Colorado,” Alan Henceroth, A-Basin vice president and COO, said in a news release. “We’ve had tremendous early season snowmaking and natural snow, and we can’t wait to kick off the 2013-14 ski and ride season.”
The push to open the mountain has been a group effort, ski area officials said.
“We’ve had the whole team out there. It’s an all-hands-on-deck sort of thing to get open,” Isaac said.
Skier services that will start opening day include ski and board rentals; dining at Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain and in the A-Frame at the Legends Cafe; and retail sales in Arapahoe Sports.
The $1 million renovation to A-Basin’s popular 6th Alley Bar & Grill is projected to continue until late 2013, but a temporary bar will be set up in the A-Frame lodge. A-Basin Mug Club sales will take place as normal on opening day; mugs are $40 and entitle the owner to discounts in the 6th Alley Bar and a free beer to kick off the season. Mugs are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, one mug per customer.
Guests can find the guaranteed lowest price on A-Basin lift tickets by purchasing them in advance at ArapahoeBasin.com. Current lift ticket window pricing will run through Dec. 20, 2013, with adult (ages 19-59) full-day tickets priced at $67, youth (ages 15-18) tickets priced at $55 and child (ages 6-14) tickets priced at $32. Children under age 5 ski free every day all season.
A-Basin representatives said they hope the early start at the ski area serves as a great kickoff to an amazing season.
“This early season precipitation I’m hoping is a good omen for the season. We had a really solid spring and I’d love to capitalize on that by keeping it going this winter,” Isaac said.