A-Basin to join the race to open first | SummitDaily.com

A-Basin to join the race to open first

SUMMIT COUNTY – Arapahoe Basin will fire up its snowguns later this month, joining Loveland in the race to see which resort will be the first to open in the United States.

“We are throwing down the gauntlet now that we have our new snowmaking equipment at 100 percent this year,” said Arapahoe Basin marketing director Leigh Heirholzer. “We plan to be contenders with Loveland for many years to come.”

In past years, Loveland and Keystone Resort raced to be the first to open in the nation. Last year, Loveland opened first as A-Basin’s new snowmaking equipment sat unused when natural snow fell. Keystone declined to compete.

Copper Mountain, which specializes in early season ski race training, will crank up its guns at the end of September or early October to prepare the slopes for athletes, and plans to open to the public Nov. 1, said Ben Friedland, communications manager for the resort. Copper doesn’t, however, plan to race for the bragging rights.

Keystone and Breckenridge don’t plan to open until Nov. 14.

Arapahoe Basin might already have a head start on the race, as the mountains at higher elevations were heavily dusted during a storm Monday night. Breckenridge officials reported one to three inches of snow Tuesday, and more is expected to fall later this week.

“This time of year, with the first dustings of snow, skiers and snowboarders can’t help but to get a rush of excitement,” said Rob Perlman, president of Colorado Ski Country USA. “It’s time to trade in the golf equipment for those skis and snowboards.”

This year there are more than bragging rights at stake. The first resort to open will be awarded a traveling trophy and the loser must treat the winning resort to a party.

For information on Colorado’s ski resorts, go to http://www.coloradoski.com. In late October, snow reports can be obtained at (303) 825-SNOW.

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