The annual race to be the first mountain to open Colorado's ski season will go to Arapahoe Basin again, thanks to six inches of natural snow last night and a couple of weeks' worth of ideal snowmaking conditions.
"This is a very exciting time for us, and all of Colorado," said Arapahoe Basin Vice President and COO Alan Henceforth in a statement today. "We've had tremendous early- season snowmaking and natural snow, and we can't wait to kick off the 2013-'14 ski and ride season."
Henceroth has been blogging about weather patterns and snowmaking efforts on Al's Blog, where recent photos of golden aspen leaves have turned to shots of snow-dusted slopes over the last two weeks.
If you're after first-chair honors for the season, the Black Mountain Express lift will start turning at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to A-Basin spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac. The rental and retail shops will be open if you need some gear, as will the mid-mountain Black Mountain Lodge and the base-area Legends Cafe. Renovations to the 6th Alley Bar & Grill are still under way, but a temporary bar will be set up in the A-Frame lodge.
Full-day early season tickets (through December 20) are $67 for adults, $55 for youth (15-18) and $32 for kids (6-14).
Loveland Ski Area, A-Basin's traditional competitor for first turns of the season, began its snowmaking operations on September 28 but has not yet announced its opening day.
"We're opening as quickly as we can, probably some time next week," says Loveland spokesman John Sellers. "It's looking like a great start to the season here in Colorado."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.