Denver, Colo. – October 17, 2014 – Colorado’s 2014/15 ski season is underway today as a crowd of ecstatic skiers and snowboarders celebrated at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Atop an 18-inch base of packed powder, at 9:00 a.m. the Black Mountain Express high-speed quad chairlift began delivering eager snow riders to the top of the intermediate High Noon run for their first turns of the year.
Several resorts in Colorado have taken advantage of cold nighttime temperatures to commence their winter operations over the past several weeks. Copper Mountain began making snow on the evening of Monday, September 29, and in addition to Arapahoe Basin, Loveland Ski Area, Winter Park Resort, and Telluride Ski Resort have made snow since then as well. Ideal snowmaking conditions and recent natural snowfall at high elevation allowed Arapahoe Basin to win the friendly Race to Open for the third consecutive year.
Following a record year for skier visits in Colorado, and a summer of major upgrades and improvements at Colorado SkiCountry USA (CSCUSA) member resorts, Arapahoe Basin’s opening has skiers and riders looking forward to the season ahead. “Since the first high country snowstorms several weeks ago, snowmakers and groomers have been working diligently to deliver a memorable Opening Day, and we’re thrilled to see our guests enjoy their first day of the season”, said CSCUSA President and CEO Melanie Mills.
Colorado’s ski areas are aiming to build on last year’s successful season with capital improvements, program upgrades, and new technology. “As always, Colorado resorts are focused on delivering a great guest experience”, continued Mills. “From innovative instructional programs and award-winning dining facilities to groundbreaking smartphone apps and multi-mountain pass products, our resorts’ ongoing dedication to quality, safety, and value is what keeps visitors coming back to Colorado season after season.”
The race to host Opening Day is one of the highlights of the ski season, a title often held by Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin or Loveland Ski Area. Both resorts are perched atop the Continental Divide, giving them higher elevations, earlier frosts, and colder temperatures. This also allows them to stay open long into the spring, giving Colorado one of the longest ski seasons in the country. Below is a current list of scheduled opening dates for CSCUSA member resorts.
Mid October: Arapahoe Basin, Loveland
October 31: Copper Mountain
November 7: Wolf Creek
November 12: Winter Park
November 26: Crested Butte, Monarch, Steamboat
November 27: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Telluride
November 28: Purgatory
Late November: Howelsen Hill
December 5: Sunlight
December 11: Powderhorn
December 13 Buttermilk, Ski Cooper
December 14: Aspen Highlands,
Mid-December: Ski Granby Ranch
December 20: Silverton