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New snow, storms as Vail, Beav’, Breck, Loveland, A-Basin prep for openings

November 8, 2020, 9:26 am
A snowboarder Friday at Keystone (Alexandra Garcia, Keystone Resort photo).

A warm southern storm pushed through the Eagle River Valley Saturday night into Sunday, starting as heavy rain and then depositing seven inches of new snow on Vail and Beaver Creek.

Another storm favoring the southern mountains is in the forecast Sunday night through Tuesday, with a few more inches and much colder temperatures expected in Eagle County.

Keystone Resort on the Vail Resorts Epic Pass opened for the season on Friday, implementing its new COVID-19 reservation system, and the Summit County ski area saw four inches of new snow from the latest storm.

Wolf Creek, first to open in the state, was again the big winner with more than foot of fresh snow and much more in the short-term forecast.

Other ski areas not on the Epic Pass — Loveland and Arapahoe Basin — are expected to open this week. The Epic Pass resorts of Breckenridge (Friday, Nov. 13), Vail (Friday, Nov. 20), Beaver Creek and Crested Butte (both Wednesday, Nov. 25) are all still scheduled to open soon.

“I think this will be the last weekend of the fall that we are not going to be open for skiing,” Arapahoe Basin COO Alan Henceroth wrote on Friday. “The delayed opening has been caused by some challenging snowmaking conditions. It looks like a lot of that is changing Saturday night. I am starting to feel pretty good about opening sometime next week. Let’s see what happens with this upcoming storm and cold snap.”

A-Basin and Loveland, which also reported it will be opening soon, typically race to be the first ski resort in Colorado to open for the season. Wolf Creek beat them to the punch this season.

After the storms to start the week, still more snow is expected to roll in on Saturday, Nov. 14. Here’s the summary from Opensnow.com meteorologist Sam Collentine:

“Snow totals are ranging from 2-15 inches on Sunday morning,” Collentine wrote on Sunday, Nov. 8. “Following a short break, our next round of snow will push into Colorado on Sunday night, with southern CO favored for more healthy totals through midday Monday. Much colder air arrives on Monday evening, along with a slight uptick in snowfall for northern CO on Monday night. Light snow possible Wednesday, stronger storm next Saturday.”

Here’s a press release from Keystone on its successful opening on Friday, Nov. 6:

With new protocols in place to prioritize guest and employee safety, Keystone Resort kicked off the 2020-21 ski and ride season today. The resort turns 50 years young this year, originally opening for its first winter season in November of 1970. Opening Day skiers and riders had access to top-to-bottom skiing and riding out of River Run Village on more than 3 miles of trail across approximately 60 acres, accessed by the River Run Gondola, Summit Express and Montezuma Express Lifts. 

Keystone’s new state-of-the-art, energy-efficient snowmaking system, installed in summer 2019, aided the resort in getting terrain ready for Opening Day and the resort plans to continue making snow at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit. With continued snowmaking efforts and snow in the forecast this weekend and next week, Keystone is looking to expand terrain as soon as possible and work towards opening up the Mountain House base area to skiers and riders. 

This season, safety takes on more importance than ever at Keystone, and across all Vail Resorts mountains. A few of the key ways the resort is prioritizing safety this winter include: 

1.       Face Coverings: Guests are required to wear a face covering in all aspects of the operation, including in line, while riding lifts and gondolas and in all facilities.

2.       Reservations: Reservations are required for all guests so that the resort can manage access and allow for physical distance.

3.       Re-Imagined Mountain Experience: New operating procedures are in place across the resort, including lift and gondola loading, in Ski School, F&B and rental locations.

4.       Cashless Transactions: For the best experience, book and pay online in advance. 

Learn more about this winter’s operations and new safety procedures on the Winter Experience page at KeystoneResort.com. 

Get Priority Access with Your Epic Pass  

Don’t forget to lock in a 2020-21 Epic Pass for priority access this winter season. Pass holders have exclusive access to early season skiing and riding and can lock in reservations for the core season in advance! The entire lineup of Epic Pass options is on sale now for a limited time at epicpass.com

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