Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announces opening day set for Friday | SummitDaily.com

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announces opening day set for Friday

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

Here we go.

The Colorado ski season will officially begin when Arapahoe Basin Ski Area becomes the first resort to open Friday, Oct. 17.

The resort announced around 2 p.m. Wednesday that skiers and snowboarders will be able to make turns on about 700 vertical feet of the intermediate High Noon run starting Friday at 9 a.m.

"Conditions have been outstanding for snowmaking, and we are very excited to open this Friday," said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin's COO. "It is always great to watch people have fun skiing and riding. I look forward to catching up with old friends and getting the Basin rolling."

On Friday, A-Basin will win its annual race with neighboring Loveland Ski Area to open first.

"We're working hard to get open as quickly as we can," said John Sellers, Loveland spokesman.

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Loveland won't open Friday, he said, and Saturday and Sunday are unlikely as well.

The resort aims to open about 1,000 vertical feet of the green run off Chair 1, from Catwalk to Mambo to Home Run, and Loveland's snowmaking system doesn't allow crews to make snow along the entire run at the same time. Workers start at the top, and the base area, at 10,800 feet, still needs some work, he said.

"We're getting there," he said. "As soon as we know we'll get the word out."

Loveland's announcement, like A-Basin's, typically comes 24 to 48 hours before opening day, so excited skiers should stay tuned.

MAKING SNOW

A-Basin's mountain operations team started making snow early on Oct. 2, and were able to create the 18-inch base necessary for opening. The ski area also received about 12 inches of natural snow this fall.

The resort could be the first to open in the country, said spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac, if you don't count Timberline Lodge, the Mount Hood, Oregon, resort on a glacier that offers the only year-round skiing in North America.

The guaranteed lowest price on A-Basin lift tickets is found by buying in advance at ArapahoeBasin.com. Current lift-ticket window pricing will run through Dec. 19, with adult (ages 19-59) full-day tickets priced at $69, youth (ages 15-18) tickets at $57 and children's (ages 6-14) tickets at $34. Children under age 5 ski free every day all season.

The resort will be open seven days a week starting Friday, with rentals, lessons and dining at both the midmountain restaurant and the base area. The 6th Alley Bar & Grill will open its bar at 8 a.m. and lunch service starts at 10:30.

The A-Basin Mug Club sale, a tradition for at least 10 years, will start selling $45 mugs at 8 a.m. in the A-Frame on Friday. Mug holders receive discounts throughout the season. Isaac said the line for the Mug Club sometimes looks almost as long as the opening-day line to ride the chairlift.

The base-area cafeteria will be open only for breakfast at the beginning of the season, and for those who enjoy skinning, uphill access will not be allowed for at least the first couple of weeks until the ski area can move snowmaking equipment and open more terrain.

A-Basin will keep making snow on the High Noon run and then work on opening the adjacent run, Ramrod. Skiers can expect the top of the resort above the midmountain restaurant to open in November.

FIRST CHAIR

Since snowmaking started at A-Basin in 2001, the resort's earliest opening day was Oct. 9, 2009.

Last year, the ski area closed after 241 days of skiing on June 22.

Nate Dogggg, the Summit County local known for camping out every year for nearly two decades to ride the first chair at whichever resort opens first, was spotted in A-Basin's main parking lot Wednesday.

SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ

Denise Wylde: “Color me there! No school/work Friday this week! Perfect timing A-BAY — thanks! You guys SO rock!!! Love you all!”

Russell Chesebro: “What were you closed, like two months? That’s awesome!”

Loveland Ski Area: “Congrats on the Opening Day announcement! Save a parking spot for the Loveland Subaru. We’ll be over Friday for first chair to give you guys high-fives!”

Michael DiMarko: “YES YES YES YES YES YES I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS DAY SINCE I LAST RODE LAST SEASON JUNE 13th AT THE BASIN! SO F’N EXCITED!”

Troy Haas: “Radical. Wait in the lift line for 2 hours to ski 800 feet. Lets go skin instead ;)”

Robin Day: “White Ribbon of Death”

Amy Manning: “Its great that your opening but a weekend opening is pretty stinkin lame.”

Tatiana Clark: “amaz-balls”

Jamie Calvey: “It’s go time!”

Kris Sutten: “Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!!!!”

Dan Griswold: “Well done snow crew.”

Source: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s Facebook page