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Thanksgiving week storms take aim at Vail, Beaver Creek

November 25, 2019, 7:45 am
Earned turns on Meadow Mountain.

Snow riders will have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday week, according to forecasters who see a couple of storms in the Vail Valley’s very near future.

The Colorado Department of Transportation put out this statewide alert Monday morning, citing a National Weather Service warning: “A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for northern and central Colorado. Motorist can expect heavy winds, blowing snow, icy conditions, and possible road closures Monday p.m. into Tuesday a.m.”

Both Vail and Beaver Creek are open for the season after more than a foot of snow fell on the Vail Valley over a three-day period late last week.

And more snow will follow Tuesday’s storm, according to forecasters who say a second storm is heading into the area just after Thanksgiving. But first, a blast of powder to start the week.

“The next storm will approach on Monday,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Monday morning. “The most intense snow will fall on Monday night through Tuesday midday. I’ll hang firm with my forecast of 5-10 inches for the northern and central mountains, and I’ll update that to include some southern mountains as well. Areas east of the divide could see 10-20 inches. This translates to most mountains having a powder day on Tuesday.

“A second storm will then bring snow to the southern mountains from Wednesday night through Thursday night and all mountains will see snow on Friday into Saturday,” Gratz added. “This should mean additional powder days on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.”

In other good snow-riding news, the Vail Daily reports Ski Cooper will open on Saturday, Nov. 30. The small, Lake County-owned ski area atop Tennessee Pass on the border between Eagle and Lake counties, also announced a new expansion area that will open when conditions permit.

Called Tennessee Creek Basin, the new terrain will offer 19 expert runs and be served by a new T-bar lift, representing a 20% expansion of Ski Cooper, which is about 30 minutes from Vail on the way to Leadville. The ski area also has cat skiing on Chicago Ridge and a great Nordic skiing area including overnight huts and the legendary Tennessee Pass Cookhouse.

Closer to home, conditions were reportedly excellent at Beaver Creek for Saturday’s opening day, which came four days earlier than the originally scheduled opening day of Nov. 27. RealVail.com that day skinned up and skied down Meadow Mountain, an old ski area located between Vail and Beaver Creek on the way to Minturn. The cover is thin but the skiing was good; just stay light on your skis and watch for rocks and stumps.

But here’s a press release from Beaver Creek, where there’s plenty of snow on the groomed runs and the Birds of Prey racecourse is ready to go for men’s World Cup action Dec. 6-8:

Beaver Creek now open for the 2019-20 winter season

Beaver Creek Resort opened for the 2019-20 ski and snowboard season today, Nov. 23. Opening day celebrations began at 8 a.m. with a DJ, morning Cookie Time, and a special appearance by Willy the Mountain Safety Dog.

Beaver Creek Resort received more than 11 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, and 16 inches this week. For the second year in a row, Beaver Creek Resort opened early for the ski and snowboard season, thanks to the dedication and hard work of its snowmaking and mountain operations teams. The resort currently offers more than 70 acres of beginner and intermediate terrain on Gold Dust and Haymeadow, accessed by two lifts, Centennial Express Lift (#6) and Haymeadow Express Gondola (#1). With Beaver Creek open, Epic Pass holders now have access to skiing and riding at Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado.

New this year at Beaver Creek, an enhanced mountain-to-village experience awaits visiting families.With the expansion of Beaver Creek’s snowmaking system at Red Buffalo Park, a newly renovated Children’s Ski School, and a remodeled Village, family experiences will start earlier than ever at Beaver Creek Resort. Beaver Creek Resort is enhancing its early-season terrain offerings through the snowmaking expansion in Red Buffalo Park. The additional snowmaking capabilities at Red Buffalo Park will ensure more reliable early-season terrain in a key dedicated learning area of the upper mountain. An interior renovation of Beaver Creek’s Children Ski School facilities will improve the guest experience for the entire family, from sales and registration to rental equipment fitting. Additionally, a newly remodeled Village will welcome families for one-of-a-kind events and experiences throughout the season.

The resort will host a ribbon cutting at the renovated Children’s Ski & Snowboard School on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 1:00 p.m.

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition, Wednesday, Nov. 27

Beaver Creek’s World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition remains scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 27, with an exciting array of events. Five finalists will serve a total of 5,000 cookies to an eager crowd of cookie connoisseurs ready to vote for their favorite recipe beginning at 2 p.m, with the winner announced at 3 p.m.

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition Event Schedule:

  • 1 p.m.: Music begins in village. Guests can enjoy hot cocoa being served and begin lining up to taste cookies. Tasting booklets will also be available for guests to jot down notes on their favorite cookies.
  • 2 p.m.: Public judging begins in Beaver Creek Village, next to the Ice Rink. Guests can sample cookies from each of the finalists and vote for their favorite. Judging is completely free, but don’t be late – cookies go fast!
  • 3 p.m.: Winners announced on the fountain stage in Beaver Creek Village.
  • 3 p.m.: Cookie Time! (If you didn’t get your fill tasting cookies from the five finalists, the world-famous Cookie Time Chefs will be on hand with heaping trays of signature Beaver Creek cookies.)

Parking at Beaver Creek

Village Connect:

The Beaver Creek Village Connect app is available for download on the Apple App Store or Google PlayThe Village Connect app provides door-to-door, on-demand rides and information on fixed shuttle routes to property owners and guests in Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead. For additional information regarding parking, call (970) 949-4911.

Three Free Hours of Parking after 3 p.m.:

New for the 2019-20 winter season, Beaver Creek Resort will now provide up to three hours free parking in the Ford Hall and Villa Montane parking garages for guests that arrive after 3 p.m. The expanded complimentary parking in the evening will allow guests more time to explore and enjoy Beaver Creek Village. Beaver Creek Village features an array of evening offerings, including shopping until 8 p.m. during ski season, outdoor ice skating until 9 p.m. and palate-pleasing fare from casual to fine dining.

Early Season & Uphill Access

All guests are reminded that they must observe all posted signs, closures and slow zones, especially during the early season. Closed trails may contain hazards due to early season snow coverage. Accessing closed terrain is a violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act and will result in the loss of skiing privileges and could involve prosecution and a fine. Uphill access is currently closed. During the early season, uphill access routes will be very limited and are subject to change and/or close on a daily basis. For the safety of guests and employees, all uphill access users are required to call the Uphill Access Hotline before accessing the mountain—(970)-754-5907. For more information on the resort’s uphill access policy and guidelines, including designated routes during winter operations, visit the Mountain Safety page on beavercreek.com.

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