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Arapahoe Basin will stay open for skiing on weekends through July 4; God bless America

It's official: For the first time since 1997, Arapahoe Basin has enough snow on the slopes to stay open on weekends through the 4th of July. As of this morning the ski area is reporting a mid-mountain base of 50 inches and, get this, about a half an inch of new snow in the last three days.

The ski area had previously committed to staying open weekends through June 19; on Saturday (after receiving a bit of new snow) they made the announcement Colorado skiers and snowboarders have been waiting for:

"The snow is good. People want to ski and ride. We will be skiing at The Basin on the 4th of July," reported A-Basin COO Alan Henceroth. "We will re-open for two more weekends, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday June 24, 25, and 26 and Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday July 1, 2, 3, and 4. Break out the red, white, and blue and enjoy an Independance Day you will never forget. Look for developing details on the Summer Skiing page of our website. Thanks for being part of this extraordinary season."

For the best fireworks you'll see this year, grab a drink and a good spot near "Lake Reveal" -- as the snow melts, it forms an ever-growing pond at mid-mountain that makes for some spectacular pond-skimming. Henceroth reports he's been fishing gear (skis, poles, sunglasses, bits of clothing) out of the lake for the last few weekends, and the ski area will be going out with a splash, as always.

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