After a scary dearth of it in November and a long string of 70 and 80 degree days, snow came down like a blanket on Denver yesterday. In the mountains, resorts – many of which delayed their opening days – are finally accumulating enough snow to welcome skiers.
After pushing its opening day back a week, Keystone Resort is opening to the public today, November 18. Continue reading for what's new at the resort this year, insider info, how and where to splurge and some ski-bum tips.
What’s new: The resort is doubling down on its family friendly Kidtopia offerings for the 2016-’17 season (kids twelve and under ski free with any two-night lodging package).
Signature experience: For a full taste of Kidtopia, bring the family for the Kidtopia Mountain Spectacular, December 16-18, and the grand opening of the Kidtopia snow fort on Dercum Mountain at the top of the gondola. Keystone’s surprisingly steep and exhilarating snow-tubing hill also opens that weekend, and there will be Bigfoot adventure walks, ski patrol dog meet-and-greets and hot chocolate.
Insider info: Skip the paid lots and park for free in the Montezuma lot by the River Run Village, the Pika lot by the Mountain House base area, or a new free family parking area in the Porcupine lot, also near Mountain House.
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Splurge: Keystone Adventure Tours runs in-bounds guided cat skiing in the Independence, Erikson and Bergman Bowls, which are also open to hikers but aren’t (yet) lift-serviced. The cost is $275 per person and covers ski demos, avalanche-beacon loaners, catered lunch at a yurt in the Indy Bowl, and breathtaking views of the Tenmile Range. Fresh powder tracks are guaranteed: the guides will refund your money and won’t run the tour if they aren’t confident that they can make good on the promise.
Ski bum tips: Not ready for the $275 snowcat splurge? Bring a $10 bill for a ride on the Outback Shuttle, running from the top of the Outback Express lift to the 12,354-foot summit of Wapiti Peak.
Drink local: 9280’ Tap House not only boasts the best après deck in River Run Village, but also a host of Colorado microbrews on tap and specialty cocktails,” says Keystone spokesman Russell Carlton. Also, check warrenstation.com for event listings, concerts and parties.