Spring snow brings extended ski season

Never mind those epic closing-day celebrations last weekend at Vail, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, and Powderhorn: All four resorts have announced they'll be spinning the chairlifts again this weekend and reopening Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21, to make the most of massive dumps of late-season snow.

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"We've received some of the best snow we've seen in years at Vail over the last few days," writes Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. "With the tremendous conditions we felt this was a great opportunity to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary season for one more weekend at Vail and to thank our loyal guests and local partners."

Vail is offering $50 lift tickets for the occasion (and $25 lift tickets for season-pass holders from other resorts), as well as honoring all 2012-2013 Vail Resorts season passes. Lift tickets are even cheaper at Copper Mountain: $40, in honor of the bonus days added to the mountain's fortieth anniversary season.

"Mother Nature is a fickle business partner and apparently she wasn't ready for the ski season to be over. We can't think of a better way to thank our loyal guests for celebrating our fortieth anniversary season with us," writes Gary Rodgers, president and general manager of Copper Mountain Resort. "I personally invite everyone who didn't get enough snow days in this season to come take advantage of the amazing conditions that we still have to offer."

The powers-that-be at Breck came to a similar conclusion. "After skiing some amazing powder turns on Closing Day and more heavy snow in the forecast this week, we just don't have the heart to shut down Breck's lifts just yet," writes Pat Campbell, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Breckenridge Resort. "We can't deny how great the conditions are, so this is a great opportunity for all of our guests to take advantage of a few extra days and enjoy more of the spring skiing and riding we all love here in Breck."

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Other Colorado ski areas still open for action include Aspen Highlands (open daily through April 21, as scheduled, and re-opening for a bonus weekend on April 27-28), Winter Park (scheduled to close this weekend, with $40 lift tickets and free concerts by Julian Marley & The Uprising on Saturday and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe on Sunday), Loveland (closing out its 75th anniversary on May 5 and currently offering $36 lift tickets to anyone with a season pass from another ski area), and Arapahoe Basin.

"The way things are going, we are gong to be open until at least June 2," writes Arapahoe Basin's chief operating officer, Al Henceroth. "Who knows, maybe longer?"

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