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Winter weather has finally arrived in the Colorado high country, with Vail pushing back its opening day by one week to Friday, Nov. 25, and Beaver Creek also shifting its opening day to Friday, Nov. 25. Due to an unusually warm and dry fall, Beaver Creek was forced to cancel its annual Birds of Prey World Cup ski races in early December.
Forecasters predict another half a foot of new snow by Tuesday, after a storm dropped a little more than that on Thursday. Then two more weak storms will roll through later in the week, and a larger, more powerful storm is targeting the state by the beginning of next week.
“Snow will begin in the southern mountains on Sunday night and then will spread across all mountains on Monday evening, ending by Tuesday afternoon,” Opensnow.com forecaster Joel Gratz wrote Sunday morning. “Amounts over 1 foot are likely in the southern mountains with perhaps half that for other mountains. Two more weak storms will bring snow to the northern mountains on Thursday and Saturday, then a stronger storm could hit Colorado between Nov 28-30.”
Here are two press releases from Vail Resorts on Vail and Beaver Creek and one from the Town of Vail on paid parking kicking in on Friday, Nov. 25:
Vail opens on Friday, Nov. 25
Vail Mountain, one of the largest and leading ski resorts in the world, will open for the 2016-2017 ski and snowboard season on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 with limited terrain accessed out of Lionshead Village and sightseeing via the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Breakfast burritos from Vail Mountain and hot cocoa will be provided for early risers, as supplies last.
Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 25, the resort plans to operate Born Free Express (#8) accessing Born Free trail. The Eagle Bahn Gondola will also operate from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for sightseeing, dining at Eagle’s Nest, guided snowshoe or hiking tours, and access to the Forest Flyer alpine coaster.
Vail Mountain lifts will open at 9:00 a.m. throughout the early season to accommodate early-morning operations. Skiers and snowboarders are reminded to observe all posted signs and closures, especially during the early season. The Golden Peak base area and Chair 6 are a designated race training area only and will open to the public at a later date.
The Marketplace at Eagle’s Nest and the Bistro Fourteen bar will open for the season for daily operations on Nov. 25.
Vail Ski & Snowboard School
Beginning Nov. 25, the Lionshead Ski & Snowboard School offices will be open with limited lesson offerings. The Small World Nursery at the Golden Peak Children’s Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted. For the best price guaranteed, guests are encouraged to book in advance online at www.vail.com.
Vail Mountain Nordic School
The Vail Mountain Nordic School opens Nov. 25 and from Nov. 25-27 will offer free guided hiking or snowshoe tours, conditions permitting, at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola for sightseeing guests. The tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and meet at the Ski and Snowboard School desk in the Pavilion at the top of Eagle’s Nest.
The Ticket and Season Pass Offices located in Lionshead and Vail Village will be open daily from 8:00 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).
Beaver Creek shifts opening day to Friday, Nov. 25
Beaver Creek, Colo., Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 – Beaver Creek Resort, originally slated to open on Wednesday, Nov. 23, will instead open for the 2016-2017 season on Friday, Nov. 25. The resort will offer scenic gondola rides via the Centennial Express Lift on Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Thursday, Nov. 24, and Spruce Saddle Lodge will be open for on-mountain dining. Weekend overnight temperatures were not as conducive for snowmaking as hoped, but with the current weather forecast for the next several days, the resort operations team is confident that they will be able to open on Friday.
“Our snowmaking and mountain operations teams have been taking advantage of every opportunity to make snow, but the weather was just too warm at night over the weekend to make a Wednesday opening,” said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer Beaver Creek Resort. “The forecast is for cold weather to return on Tuesday night through the weekend, which will enable us to make the snow we need to open by Friday.”
The forecast for Colorado is calling for snowfall tonight into Tuesday with a second storm predicted for the weekend and into early next week.
Kids Winter Camp
The Beaver Creek Children’s Ski and Snowboard School will offer ‘Winter Camp’ on Tuesday, Nov. 22 and Wednesday, Nov. 23 for children ages 3 to 10. The camp will operate between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. with both indoor and outdoor, weather permitting, activities. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Children’s Ski and Snowboard School Office, and no reservations are required. For more information, please call 970-754-5464.
Free Ice Skating
The ice rink located in the Beaver Creek Village will offer complimentary ice skating from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Thursday, Nov. 24 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25.
World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition
Beaver Creek’s World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition is still scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 23 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 2016-2017 winter season. At 2 p.m., the smell of 5,000 cookies will fill the air in Beaver Creek Village, as the judging begins and cookies are doled out to eager guests.
2 p.m.: Public judging begins in Beaver Creek Village, next to the Ice Rink. Judging is completely free, but don’t be late – cookies go fast
3 p.m.: Winners announced on the Plaza 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.)
Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Scheduled for Friday, Nov. 25
Beaver Creek’s 36th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony ushers in another world-class ski season and the beginning of the holiday season at Beaver Creek. The Tree Lighting Ceremony features a holiday poetry contest, ice skating show, performances by various artists, an early visit from Santa Claus, and spectacular fireworks over the Beaver Creek Village.
Paid parking starts in Vail on Friday, Nov. 25
Paid parking in Vail’s parking structures and outlying lots will coincide with the start of Vail Mountain’s 2016-17 ski and snowboard season, which is now scheduled for Friday, Nov. 25. Parking passes are available for purchase from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the season on the lower level of the Vail Municipal Building, 75 S. Frontage Rd. Bring proof of eligibility as restrictions apply and ask about incentives for early purchase. Note: The parking office will be closed on Thanksgiving.
The town is offering five parking pass options which provide significant discounts over the standard daily rates. Value card holders from previous seasons are asked to stop by the Municipal Building to activate new cards. Please bring proof of employment, residency or property ownership to meet qualifications.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the North and South Frontage Roads will be returned to their two-way alignment and the West Vail Green transit service will be reactivated for the winter season following completion of phase 2 of the Vail I-70 Underpass project. In addition, Vail Transit will be adding service to the East Vail, Sandstone, Golf Course and Lionshead Loop routes to supplement the early winter season prior to implementation of the full winter schedule on Dec. 12. Additional frequency will be added to routes with the start of the regular winter schedule which runs to mid-April.
For information on parking pass sales and descriptions, call the parking sales office at 970-479-2104 or visit the town’s new parking portal at vailgov.com/parking. For information on bus schedules, call 970-479-2178 or vailgov.com/transportation-services.