Loveland Ski Area honors former owner with symbolic first chair to open season |

Loveland Ski Area honors former owner with symbolic first chair to open season

Skiers and riders exude happiness as they become the first shredders to officially ride Loveland Ski Area's new high-speed quad chairlift, "Chet's Dream," at the ski area's opening day for the 2018-19 season on Saturday morning.
Courtesy Casey Day / Colorado Ski Photography

On Saturday morning at Loveland Ski Area, the first skiers and riders to officially take a trip up Loveland’s newest chairlift had to settle for second chair.

That’s because first chair was reserved for the spirit of the ski area’s late owner Chet Upham Jr. and his wife Virginia. Rather than have skiers and riders take first chair, Loveland Ski Area employees hung a pair of red and blue Loveland ski jackets formerly worn by the couple from the top of Chair 1, in honor of Chet and Virginia.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Loveland opened for the season while also debuting its new high-speed quad chairlift, “Chet’s Dream.” The chairlift’s name is in honor of Upham, who became a partner in Loveland Ski Tow Company in 1956 and, not soon after, convinced the company’s other partners to install Loveland’s first chairlift and only the third in Colorado. Upham then bought out the other partners in 1972, and his family has owned and operated Loveland Ski Area ever since.

As for the new lift itself, on Saturday it serviced three beginner runs that provided guests with access to one top-to-bottom run pushing 1,000 vertical-feet, covered from tree-to-tree with an 18-inch base. Those three trails, “Catwalk,” “Mambo” and “Home Run” are only three of the 19 trails Chet’s Dream will service, including intermediate, advanced and expert terrain formerly serviced by Loveland’s Lift 1.

Loveland Ski Area also opened on Oct. 20 last season. Loveland’s snowmakers will continue to make snow on Home Run and around the base of Chet’s Dream before moving on to opening additional terrain.

Lift operation hours at Loveland are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends and designated holidays. Early season lift tickets at Loveland are $65 for adults and $31 for children 6-14.

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