Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to open this weekend
A-Basin is the 1st Summit County ski area scheduled to open for the season. Other Summit County ski areas need more snow before circling an opening day
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area plans to open this weekend.
A-Basin announced it will open at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17. While A-Basin won’t be the first in Colorado (Wolf Creek will open Saturday, Oct. 16) it will be the first in Summit County — that is unless Keystone Resort has a trick up its sleeve.
A-Basin will open with its Black Mountain Express lift, bringing opening day skiers and snowboarders to its single opening day run: High Noon, which is intermediate. The ski area plans to stay open into June 2022.
This is a much earlier start to the season than last year, when A-Basin opened Nov. 9 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a news release, the ski area has received just over a foot of natural snow, which continues to fall. A-Basin spokesperson Katherine Fuller said the ski area started making snow Oct. 9 and hasn’t stopped since.
“We’ve had some perfectly cold days that help fill the snowmaking-machine reserves that mixed with some help from Mother Nature, which all contributed to being able to make a ton of snow,” Fuller said.
Due to the amount of snow that has been made over the past few nights, mixed with the snowstorms the past two days, Fuller is certain the ski area will be ready to go by Sunday.
“It feels really good to open,” Fuller said. “We are really hoping for a normal season after how hard last year was for everybody on multiple fronts. It will feel so good to be able to ski and ride again, which for so many of us is our favorite thing to do.”
With two ski areas opening this weekend, many are left wondering when other areas might start spinning their lifts, but nothing has been released by Keystone Resort or Loveland Ski Area, which is outside county limits.
Loryn Roberson, spokesperson for Keystone, said Thursday that the resort does not start officially reporting snow totals until after Friday, Oct. 15.
“Our patrollers, however, have said that we’ve seen about a foot of snow over this last storm cycle,” Roberson said.
She also talked about how the recent low temperatures have helped in the production of man-made snow.
“Our teams are working hard to prepare the mountain for opening, and we’re hoping to open as soon as possible,” Roberson said.
John Sellers from Loveland Ski Area echoed that sentiment.
“Our team has been very productive with the recent favorable conditions,” Sellers said. “The natural snow is also helping, and we are making snow whenever conditions permit.”
According to Sellers, Loveland has received a good amount of natural snow over the past 48 to 72 hours.
“We had 2 inches on the snow stake Tuesday morning and 7 inches on Wednesday,” Sellers said. “As of Wednesday, we had 15 inches of snow in the month of October.”
Seller said there is no opening day circled on the calendar but that Loveland will be ready to open when the mountain has an 18-inch base.
“I can’t quantify what we need in terms of natural or man-made snow, but we still have some work to do,” Sellers said.
Summit County’s other resorts already have opening days scheduled. Breckenridge Ski Resort will open Nov. 12, and Copper Mountain Resort will open Nov. 22.
While A-Basin appears to be the winner of the annual race to open in Summit County, anything can happen.
On Oct. 11, 2019, Keystone announced it would open the following day. Shortly after the announcement, A-Basin surprised everyone with an announcement that it would start spinning its lifts at 3:30 p.m. that day.
Taylor Sienkiewicz contributed to this report.
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