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Vail, Beaver Creek both opening early for 2018-19 ski season

Top-to-bottom skiing at both local mountains starting Wednesday, Saturday

November 12, 2018, 7:30 am
pepi's face full of snow at Vail

Tracks on Pepi’s Face in Vail last week, where abundant early-season snowfall has the mountain opening early on Wednesday, Nov. 14 (David O. Williams photo).

Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek will open early for the 2018-19 ski season after yet another fall snowstorm rolled through the Vail Valley over the weekend. Both ski areas will open with top-to-bottom skiing.

Forecasters say the cold storm that blew through over the weekend, leaving more snow on the Front Range than in the mountains, is heading out, and we’re now heading into a warming and drying trend for the next week or so.

“Sunday’s storm is moving away and Monday morning is cold with mountain temperatures around 0F. Snow totals ranged from a dusting to 15 inches with a few surprises in spots,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Monday. “The rest of this week will be dry, then a weak storm could bring a few inches of snow to the eastern mountains on Saturday. Early Thanksgiving week will be dry as well, then the chance for storms will increase on or just after Thanksgiving.”

Here’s the full press release on the early openings from Vail Resorts:

Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort to Open Early for the 2018-19 Winter Season

Resorts to Open with Top-to-Bottom Skiing and Most Vertical in Colorado

Vail Resorts logoA combination of some of the best early-November snowmaking conditions and more than four feet of natural snowfall last week have allowed both Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort to open early for the 2018-19 ski and snowboard season. Vail, originally slated to open on Friday, Nov. 16, will open for the season on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m. Beaver Creek will open Saturday, Nov. 17, four days ahead of its scheduled Nov. 21 opening date.

Vail will offer skiing and riding out of both Vail Village and Lionshead Village, with upload and download access to the Mid-Vail area via Gondola One and top-to-bottom skiing and riding through Lionshead Village. Complimentary breakfast burritos from Vail Mountain and hot cocoa will be provided for early risers on opening day while supplies last.

 Beaver Creek will open the mountain all the way to the top with intermediate terrain on Gold Dust accessed via Centennial Express (#6), plus beginner terrain in Red Buffalo Park accessible via the Cinch Express (#8) and last year’s new Red Buffalo Express (#5), and Haymeadow Park and the Haymeadow Express Gondola (#1). Opening day festivities will include a special Cookie Time in the morning.

 “We are thrilled to be kicking off the 2018-19 season by opening early and truly setting the tone for the season to come at both Vail and Beaver Creek,” said Doug Lovell, Vail chief operating officer. “This is the first time we’ve been able to open both resorts early in more than 10 years. We owe a big thank you to our mountain operations teams for their hard work in making this possible for our loyal guests and season pass holders.”

Beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 14, skiers and snowboarders will have access to the following lifts and more than 500 acres of skiable terrain accessible via the following lifts on Vail Mountain:

  • Gondola One
  • Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19)
  • Born Free Express Lift (#8)
  • Avanti Express (#2)
  • Wildwood Express Lift (#3)
  • Mountain Top Express Lift (#4)
  • Little Eagle Lift (#15)

Beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, skiers and snowboarders will have top-to-bottom skiing on more than 220 acres of beginner and intermediate terrain accessible via the following lifts at Beaver Creek:

  • Centennial Express (#6)
  • Cinch Express (#8)
  • Red Buffalo Express (#5)
  • Haymeadow Express Gondola (#1)

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 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.

At Vail, the Golden Peak base area and the Riva Bahn Express Lift (#6) are a designated race training area only and will open to the public at a later date.

Epic Pass: Secure the Greatest Season Pass Value in the Ski Industry before Sunday, Nov. 18

The last chance to purchase the 2018-19 Epic Pass Epic Pass and the entire lineup of Epic Season Pass options – including the Epic Local, Epic 7-Day, Epic 4-Day, and Epic Military Pass – is Sunday, Nov. 18. The Epic Pass provides skiers and riders with the greatest multi-resort pass value in the ski industry, offering access to more than 65 resorts in eight countries for $949. New for the 2018-19 winter season, the Epic Pass will now feature unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at 19 mountain resorts including Crested Butte, plus seven days at Telluride, in addition to unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. The entire lineup of passes is available for purchase at www.epicpass.com.

Vail Mountain Early-Season Offerings:

10 Days of Epic

To celebrate 10 years of the Epic Pass, Vail Mountain will offer 10 days of specials on Fridays and Saturdays from Nov. 16 through Dec. 16. Some specials include complimentary fries with the purchase of an Epic Burger; 50 percent off ski school group lessons; après at Express Lift Bar featuring $3 drink specials; and 20 percent off Epic Mountain Express rides to and from Vail. Additional details are available at www.vail.com/readysetsnow

Snow Days

From Dec. 13 to 16, Vail Snow Days features an expanded four-day lineup of events and activities from free concerts, a Pray for Snow Bonfire, pub crawls, and more. Visit www.vail.com/snowdays for a list of all activities.

 On-Mountain Dining

The Marketplace at Eagle’s Nest and Mid-Vail will open for the season for daily operations on Wednesday.

Vail Ski & Snowboard School

Beginning Wednesday, the Lionshead and Vail Village Ski & Snowboard School offices will be open. Walk-ins are accepted. For the best price guaranteed, guests are encouraged to book in advance online at www.vail.com or by calling (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

Vail Mountain Nordic School

The Vail Mountain Nordic School, located in Golden Peak, opens Wednesday with guided backcountry, snowshoe and cross-country ski tours in the mountains around Vail. For more information, visit www.vail.com or call (970) 754-3200.

Lift Tickets

The Ticket and Season Pass Offices located in Lionshead and Vail Village will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about Vail Mountain visit www.vail.com, stop by the Mountain Information Center, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

 Vail Sports

Vail Sports locations in both Vail and Lionshead Villages will be open on Wednesday, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Guests can also book their rentals online in advance atrentskis.com.

Beaver Creek Early-Season Offerings:

On-mountain Dining

Spruce Saddle Lodge will open for the daily operations on season for Nov. 17. Beginning on Nov. 17, Toscanini will be open for dinner in Beaver Creek Village, and the Beaver Creek Starbucks store opens on Nov. 12 for the season.

 Beaver Creek Ski & Snowboard School

Beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, the Beaver Creek Ski & Snowboard School offices will be open with lesson offerings and will operate four magic carpets for lessons. For the best price guaranteed, guests are encouraged to book in advance online at www.beavercreek.com or by calling (970) 754-5300.

Parking at Beaver Creek

Paid parking in the Bear and Elk Lots will begin on Nov. 17. Parking is $10 per day and is complimentary after 1 p.m. A 10-day punch pass is available for purchase for $75 and is available at the Ticket Offices in Beaver Creek Village. Complimentary direct shuttle service is provided from each lot to Beaver Creek Village. The Beaver Creek Village Connect app is now available for download on the Apple App Store or Google Play. The new Village Connect app provides door-to-door, on-demand rides and information to property owners and guests in Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead. For additional information regarding parking, call (970) 949-4911.

Lift Tickets

The Ticket and Season Pass Offices located in Beaver Creek Village will be open daily beginning Nov. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Ticket and Season Pass Offices are currently open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For more information or advanced lift tickets, visit www.beavercreek.com.

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition

Beaver Creek’s World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition remains scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 21, with an exciting array of events. Five finalists will serve up their delightful creations to an eager crowd of cookie fans and one person will walk away $1,000 and bragging rights as the Official Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe of Beaver Creek for the 2018-19 winter season. At 2 p.m., the aroma of 5,000 cookies will fill the air in Beaver Creek Village, as the judging begins and cookies are doled out to eager guests.

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony 
On Friday, Nov. 23, Beaver Creek’s 38th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony ushers in another world-class ski season and the beginning of the holiday season at Beaver Creek. A Thanksgiving week tradition, Beaver Creek’s 38th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony brings families together to celebrate the magic of winter, skiing in the mountains, and the holidays. Set in the heart of Beaver Creek Village, enjoy a wide range of entertainment, culminating in the lighting of the tree and fireworks.

Experience Winter’s Extraordinary Start at Beaver Creek:

From being back on snow, to world-class events and special offers, four extraordinary weeks of celebration await. Early season celebrations include Opening Weekend, Nov. 21-25; Xfinity Birds of Prey Men’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup Nov. 29-Dec. 2; Winter’s Welcome, Dec. 7-9; and the Haymeadow Park Grand Opening on Dec. 15. www.beavercreek.com/explore/winters-extraordinary-start


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