Breckenridge Ski Resort welcomes back skiers and riders after moving up opening day
Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to reflect the proper name for the town of Breckenridge’s holiday celebration, “The Lighting of Breck”.
Though Breckenridge Ski Resort moved its opening day from Friday to Wednesday, plenty of people flocked to Summit County to take in the early ski and ride season experience.
After receiving 14 inches of snow over the weekend, Breckenridge Ski Resort decided to jump-start its 61st season. The last time the ski resort opened up earlier than its scheduled opening day was back in 2018.
“We got super lucky,” senior communications specialist Shayna Silverman said. “Around-the-clock-cold temperatures have really allowed us to keep up with the snowmaking. We have 110 new, low-energy snow guns that really made this all possible along with a lot of hard work from our team.”
With well over 100 people waiting in line — with another 100 or so filtering out from the gondola to Peak 8 — DJDC blared a mix of old and new dance music before the Colorado SuperChair started to churn for the first time this season right around 8:30 a.m.
With only the Colorado SuperChair and 5-Chair open people expected lines, but besides a little bit of a wait for the gondola, lines moved decently fast while guests munched on free waffles provided by the resort.
“We have a lot going on on opening day,” Silverman said. “We have waffles, we have people line up since four in the morning, so we are super excited. Today we are also opening with a lot of terrain, we have over 50 acres of terrain open. We are stoked to be out here on opening day starting two full days early.”
Once at the top, skiers and riders were met with near perfect opening day conditions: bluebird skies, mild fall temperatures and a slight wind slicing across the mountain.
The influx of snow from last week created great opening day snow. Unlike other ski resort’s opening days, Breckenridge was without any major icy patches that are often present early in the season.
Peak 8 provided a smooth skiing and riding experience, sending guests down the mountain at a high rate of speed for the first time since the ski resort closed for the 2021-22 season in May.
Before long, the first skiers and riders of Breckenridge’s season turned their way back to the bottom, pumping their arms and smiling from ear to ear.
Among Breckenridge’s first few skiers and riders of the season were several teenagers and children, enjoying opening day with their parents or ditching school for the slopes for a few hours.
Breckenridge local Rylan Simonton, 17, braved the crowds in order to celebrate the ski resort he calls home. Simonton was one of the first dozen people to drift back down to the Peak 8 base area, smiling and visibly excited to be back on the slopes in Breckenridge.
“It was really nice,” Simonton said. “First carves and everything — still feels nice.”
For Simonton, opening day was an opportunity to relive the Breckenridge opening days of the past before he leaves Summit County for college next year.
“I wanted to get opening day for my last year up here since I am going off to college next year,” Simonton said. “I am looking forward to learning new tricks, good snow and meeting new friends.
Breckenridge local and Grand Vacations employee, Derek Schade, was also thrilled to begin the 2022-23 season at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
“I am pretty pumped,” Schade said of Breckenridge moving its opening day up two days. “I watch the snow every day, so I figured they might be able to open a little early.”
In terms of overall excitement of the season, Schade was most excited to get his riding legs back underneath him and for more terrain to open.
“I’m excited to just start riding,” Schade said. “I ride every day, so I am ready for some real snow to come and for some real stuff to start opening up.”
Breckenridge’s opening day is just the beginning for opening week celebrations at the ski resort.
On Thursday, the town of Breckenridge and Breckenridge Ski Resort will host Wake Up Breck to celebrate the new season. On Friday, the ski resort will unveil the newly installed Rip’s Ride ski lift.
“Also just around the corner, in December, we are going to have the Lighting up Breck, Ullr Fest, Race of the Santas, and we get to ski and ride until May,” Silverman said. “We are looking forward to a long, extended season here at Breck.”
Breckenridge Ski Resort will continue to open new terrain when conditions comply. Breckenridge will now be open daily from 8:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. To purchase a lift ticket in advance, visit Breckenridge.com.
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