Loveland lost the annual race to open first this season to the neighbors at Arapahoe Basin, but first chair tomorrow at 9 a.m. will still be a hot ticket when the ski area marks the start of its 75th anniversary season with a top-to-bottom run on the Catwalk, Mambo, and Homerun trails.
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Beyond the high-tech snowmaking that makes such an early opening possible, not a whole lot has changed at Loveland over the years: it's still family-owned and family-friendly, still gets more snow on average than any of its Front Range or Summit County competitors, and is still a favorite for Front Range skiers, due to its proximity to Denver (53 miles along a straight shot up I-70).
Oh, and affordable tickets help as well. Early-season adult lift tickets good for tomorrow's opening are $49, while many of Loveland's Colorado competitors will be priced over $100 this season.
Here's the official announcement posted to Loveland's Facebook page last night:
"The news all of you have been waiting for! Loveland Ski Area will open for the 2012-2013 season on Tuesday, October 23rd at 9:00am! Our snowmakers have done a great job getting the run ready with great coverage from top to bottom. Our park crew will have 5 features set up (mini wall ride, lift tower rail, single barrel shotgun and two flat boxes). Thanks to our snowmaking crew and staff for all their hard work. Thank you for your patience! Get ready, ski season is almost here! See you Tuesday morning.
Saving your "sick" days up until there's more snow? Mark your calendars for the official 75th anniversary celebration at Loveland January 12-13, 2013. And if big anniversaries are your thing, don't miss the 100th annual Winter Carnival at Howelsen Hill -- the only continually-operating Colorado ski area older then Loveland -- in Steamboat Springs, February 6-10.
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For more on Loveland's 75th anniversary season and an insider's guide to all of Colorado's best skiing and snowboarding, don't miss The Edge, the annual Westword Winter Activity Guide, hitting stands on November 8.