Arapahoe Basin Ski Area COO Henceroth chimes in on opening day | SummitDaily.com

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area COO Henceroth chimes in on opening day

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area chief operating officer Alan Henceroth provided this photo on his blog on Wednesday of A-Basin's lower mountain base area near its Black Mountain Express lift.

On Wednesday, in the wake of a massive early season storm that dumped more than a foot of snow at its summit, Wolf Creek Ski Area announced its plans to start spinning its chairs on Saturday.

The news of Wolf Creek opening for weekends only starting Saturday effectively meant that, for the first time in years, neither Arapahoe Basin Ski Area nor Loveland Ski Area will be the first Colorado ski area to open the state's ski season.

That said, A-Basin's chief operating officer Alan Henceroth wrote on his blog Thursday that the last three days at the ski area had been "tremendous."

"We have made lots of snow," Henceroth wrote. "And Mother Nature has delivered lots of natural snow. This storm has been a winner for us in another way. It is still early Fall. The sun will come out again and much of the snow of south-facing slopes will melt. That increases the streamflow, making more water available for snowmaking. All the way around, this has been a great weather event for us.

"Regarding opening," the COO continued, "it is still a little too early to call. The forecast is very encouraging. When you start seeing snowcats on the hill, that is a good sign we are getting close. As soon as I know when we are going to open, I will let you guys (know) when we are going to open. For now, go enjoy a weekend of skiing at Wolf Creek (kudos to those guys). Stay tuned for details on our opening."

On Wednesday morning, A-Basin's director of marketing and communications, Leigh Hierholzer, said via email that the ski area had yet to formalize an officially announced opening date. That said, the ski area has referred to a "budgeted opening date" of Oct. 19 since A-Basin closed down its lifts last June.

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Over at Loveland, snowmaking operations have continued in full at the ski area at the Continental Divide since it commenced on Monday. Loveland reported mid-day Thursday that the ski area has received 10.5 inches of natural snow since Monday.

Last season, A-Basin opened on Oct. 13 while Loveland opened on Oct. 20. Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort plan to open this year on Nov. 9 while Copper Mountain Resort is targeting an opening date of Nov. 16.