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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.