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Vail will start snowmaking operations on lower Golden Peak at the end of the week if a winter storm materializes as forecast Wednesday night into Thursday.
“We are excited to see snow in the forecast for Colorado!” Vail and Beaver Creek spokeswoman Hannah Dixon said in an email. “As conditions allow, we do plan to start snowmaking on lower Golden Peak toward the end of this week. We are wrapping up work in our snowmaking expansion areas and look forward to starting snowmaking in those areas in the coming weeks. It will be an exciting season of snowmaking kickoffs with Vail’s new and enhanced equipment!”
Forecasters are calling for four to eight inches of fresh snow on Thursday.
“Tuesday and Wednesday will be beautiful and warm days, then snow will begin on Wednesday night around Steamboat and spread over the northern and central mountains on Thursday,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote on Tuesday.
“Snowfall will favor the northern mountains with 4-8 inches, decreasing to a few inches in the central mountains and maybe a dusting in the southern mountains,” Gratz added. “Snow will end on Thursday night, though Friday will still be a cold day. The next chance for a storm should be around October 18-23.”
Vail, which will open on Friday, Nov. 15, is in Colorado’s northern mountains, as is Beaver Creek, which is scheduled to open Wednesday, Nov. 27.
New this season, Vail will open with skiing out of Vail Village on Gondola One, in addition to the traditional Chair 8 Lionshead opening, because of a dramatically expanded and improved snowmaking system. Beaver Creek will open with expanded snowmaking at Red Buffalo Park.
Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are all currently making snow in a bid to open first for the 2019-20 ski season, with Keystone back in that race due to its own snowmaking upgrades.
According to Vail Resorts:
“This summer, Keystone upgraded its snowmaking to a state-of-the-art, automated, energy-efficient system. These investments in snowmaking are positioning Keystone to be one of the first resorts to open in Colorado and the U.S. this season and beyond, and provide guests with a consistent, high-quality early season ski experience. Annually, Keystone will plan to be one of the first resorts to open in October and Breckenridge will plan to operate through Memorial Day. Combined, the two resorts will offer one of the longest ski seasons in the country, providing even more value for our Epic Pass holders.”
That’s significant because Arapahoe Basin over the summer switched to Alterra’s Ikon Pass.