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Arapahoe Basin ski area in Summit County looks like it will once again win the race to open first in Colorado, announcing on Wednesday it will open for the 2014-15 ski season on Friday, Oct. 17.
Nearby Loveland apparently is conceding the race, posting on its website:
“Congratulations to our neighbors Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on their Opening Day announcement! Our snowmakers are still working hard to get Loveland Ski Area open for the season. We’ll keep you up to date on our progress and any Opening Day news as we get them. We’ll be open soon, we promise.”
A-Basin won the race to open first in Colorado the last two seasons by cranking up its lifts on Oct. 13 last year and Oct. 17 the year before. Loveland followed closely behind on Oct. 17 and Oct. 23. A-Basin and Loveland both started snowmaking on Oct. 1 this year.
Copper Mountain and Keystone are scheduled to open after Loveland on Halloween (Friday, Oct. 31), but top U.S. Ski Team athletes will likely start training at Copper before then on the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain in preparation for the regular World Cup season and the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to be held at Beaver Creek Feb. 2-15. Beaver Creek also hosts the top men Dec. 5-7 for regular World Cup downhill, super-G and giant slalom races.
Aspen will host women’s World Cup racing action again this season after a one-year hiatus. Both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are set to open to the public on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, and the best female racers in the world will mix it up that weekend at Aspen, with the Aspen Winternational giant slalom on Saturday, Nov. 29, and the slalom on Sunday, Nov. 30.
Breckenridge and Wolf Creek (tentatively) are scheduled to open on Friday, Nov. 7, Vail on Friday, Nov. 21, and Beaver Creek the day before Thanksgiving on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
Here’s the full press release from A-Basin on Wednesday:
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin) will kick off Colorado’s 2014-15 ski and snowboard season on Friday, October 17, 2014. Skiers and snowboarders will be able to make turns on the intermediate High Noon trail starting at 9:00 a.m. Guests will take the Black Mountain Express high-speed quad chairlift to the top of the run at mid-mountain.
“Conditions have been outstanding for snowmaking and we are very excited to open this Friday,” said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin’s Chief Operating Officer. “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.”
A-Basin’s mountain operations team started making snow on October 2, 2014, and they were able to create the 18-inch base necessary for opening over the course of several days. The ski area also received about a foot of natural snow in the weeks prior to opening.
Skier services available opening day include ski and snowboard rentals, several dining options, and a sale in the Arapahoe Sports retail store. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the A-Frame lodge’s Legends Café; lunch will be served at both Black Mountain Lodge (at mid-mountain) and at the recently renovated 6th Alley Bar & Grill (in the base area). The A-Basin Mug Club sale will start at 8:00 a.m. in the A-Frame on opening day; each mug is $45 and the mug holder receives discounts throughout the season (limit one mug per person; must be 21 with valid proof of age).
Guests can find the guaranteed lowest price on A-Basin lift tickets by purchasing them in advance at ArapahoeBasin.com. Current lift ticket window pricing will run through December 19, 2014, with adult (ages 19-59) full-day tickets priced at $69, youth (ages 15-18) window tickets priced at $57 and child (ages 6-14) window tickets priced at $34. Children under age 5 ski free every day all season. Information about season passes and multi-day tickets can be found at ArapahoeBasin.com.