Arapahoe Basin First Ski Resort in the Nation to Open for the Season
Colorado’s 2016-17 ski season is underway today as a crowd of enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders celebrated with the first runs of the season at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. At 9:00 am, atop an 18-inch base of packed powder, the Black Mountain Express high-speed quad chairlift began delivering eager snow riders to the top of the intermediate High Noon trail.
Over the past several weeks resorts in Colorado have taken advantage of cold nighttime temperatures to start their winter operations. Loveland Ski Area and Copper Mountain began making snow the evening of Monday, October 3, with Purgatory, Eldora and Winter Park also making snow since then. Recent cold weather and natural snowfall at higher elevation allowed Arapahoe Basin to win the friendly #RacetoOpen this year.
Following a record year with over 13 million skier visits in Colorado, and a summer and fall of major upgrades and improvements at Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts, Arapahoe Basin’s opening has skiers and riders across the country looking forward to the ski season ahead. “Our snowmakers, groomers and operations crews have been working day and night over the last several weeks to get ready for opening day and it’s fantastic to see so many skiers and riders out here to kick off the start of another great Colorado ski season,” said CSCUSA President and CEO Melanie Mills
Colorado Ski Country USA’s 21-member resorts are aiming to build on last year’s successful season with capital improvements, program upgrades and increased access to their resorts. “Colorado’s world-class ski resorts continue to focus on ways to ensure guests have a great experience during their visit,” continued Mills. “From on and off-mountain dining upgrades and new ski lifts to the return of the ski train and new flights providing more access across the state, our resorts’ commitment to improving their guests experience 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 either Arapahoe Basin or Loveland Ski Area. Both resorts are perched atop the Continental Divide, which provides higher elevations, earlier frosts, and colder temperatures and 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*.
October 21: Arapahoe Basin
November 4: Wolf Creek
November 11: Copper Mountain
November 16: Winter Park
November 18: Eldora
November 19: Purgatory
November 23: Steamboat
November 24: Aspen, Crested Butte, Telluride, Snowmass
November 26: Howelsen Hill
Late November: Monarch
December 9: Sunlight
December 10: Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Cooper
December 15 Powderhorn
December 17: Granby Ranch
December 29: Silverton
*Dates are subject to change.