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A second Colorado ski area opens today as Loveland finally joins Arapahoe Basin despite the ongoing dry, warm weather and lack of natural snow in Colorado’s high country.
Loveland Ski Area opens for the 2016-17 season on Thursday, Nov. 10, joining A-Basin. Breckenridge and Keystone both indefinitely pushed back their opening days, while Copper Mountain postponed but now has set its opening for Friday, Nov. 18, when Vail is also scheduled to kick off its season.
“The waiting game is finally over,” said Rob Goodell, director of business operations at Loveland. “The persistent warm weather made things difficult this fall, but our snowmaking team has done an amazing job getting the mountain ready for opening day.”
Loveland Ski Area opened on Oct. 29 last season.
Lift 1 at Loveland will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. today and will offer snow riders access to one top-to-bottom run covered from tree-to-tree with an 18 inch base. The trails Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run make up this opening day, run which is over a mile in length and nearly 1,000 vertical feet.
“We already have great coverage on most of the run and just have to put the finishing touches on the lower portion of Home Run,” Goodell added. “While we are opening later than we had hoped, our opening day run will provide our guests with the exceptional early season snow they have come to expect at Loveland. We look forward to another long and snowy winter at Loveland and invite everyone to join us on Thursday to kick off the season.”
Loveland Ski Area will be open seven days a week until closing day in early May. Lift operating hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and designated holidays. Early season lift tickets are $59 for adults and $27 for children 6-14.
Arapahoe Basin hopes to open another run by the weekend after crews made a significant amount of snow on Ramrod the last few nights. While daytime temperatures in the mountains have been in the 50s and low 60s, nighttime temps have dipped into the 20s and the atmosphere has stayed dry, which is good for snowmaking.
Unseasonably warm, dry weather will persist for another week before a storm heads into the area late next week, according to Opensnow.com: “Colorado will experience dry weather with above average temperatures through the middle of next week. Some snowmaking will occur at night. Our next chance for a storm will be on Thursday, November 17th, ish. This will mark the beginning of a shift in the weather pattern.”