Keystone Resort to open Friday with 40 acres of terrain

A snowcat grooms Schoolmarm, one of Keystone Resort's opening day runs. The resort announced Thursday, Oct. 21, that it would open Friday, Oct. 22.
Keystone Resort/Courtesy photo

Keystone Resort has announced an opening day: Friday, Oct. 22.

The resort announced via social media Thursday afternoon that it would open the following day at 9 a.m. with “40 acres of terrain and nearly 2 miles of trail.”

While Keystone didn’t beat its opening day rival Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to the punch — A-Basin opened Sunday, Oct. 17 — the resort will meet its goal of opening in October.

Keystone drummed up some anticipation with a tweet following A-Basin’s opening day announcement stating that “teams have been out putting the finishing touches on the mountain, and we’re aiming to open with more than 40 acres very soon.”

Some speculated that Keystone might try to pull a move like A-Basin did in 2019, when it surprised everyone with a day-of announcement that it would open in the afternoon shortly after Keystone announced its plans to open the following day. Keystone added to the hype by posting a photo on social media Oct. 15 of a snowcat grooming Schoolmarm, one of the resort’s opening day runs.

Alas, A-Basin’s opening day came and went without a surprise announcement from Keystone. The later opening day at Keystone comes with its own excitement as it means half of Summit County’s ski areas will be open starting this weekend, ushering in the winter ski season.

“We are so excited to kick off the ski season at Keystone tomorrow,” spokesperson Sara Lococo wrote in an email. “Our team has been working incredibly hard to get the mountain ready to open as early as possible this season for our guests, and our operations team made the call (Thursday) that we were ready to go.”

The resort’s opening day runs will be Schoolmarm and Silverspoon, which will be accessed by the River Run Gondola and Montezuma Express chairlift, according to a news release. Skiers and snowboarders will make their way down the runs from the top of Dercum Mountain to the bottom of the Montezuma Express lift and will return to the base area by downloading via the gondola.

Both Schoolmarm and Silverspoon are beginner runs, offering a difference in ability level compared with last weekend’s opening day at A-Basin, which opened with an intermediate run.

Operating hours to start off the season are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Later in the season, the mountain opens a half-hour earlier Fridays through Sundays. Keystone also offers night skiing from 4-8 p.m. on weekends and holidays starting on Thanksgiving.

The release noted that the resort will continue to make snow “at every opportunity” to expand terrain as much as possible in the early season. The goal is to open the Mountain House base area and Peru Express lift, which is being replaced with a six-person chair, in mid-November.

Keystone will kick things off Friday with a DJ and free donuts and hot chocolate at the base of the River Run Gondola. Other early season activities include a Halloween scavenger hunt, snow forts and passholder first tracks events Nov. 12, Nov. 19 and Dec. 3.

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