ski, snowboard, Colorado

Colorado’s Ski and Snowboard Season Opens With Arapahoe Basin Winning Honors

Friday, October 19 2012 14:27   Winter Fun
The friendly competition to see which resort would be first to open Colorado's 2012-13 ski and snowboard season was won on Oct. 17 by Arapahoe Basin when it opened to the sound of blowing snow and energetic whooping and hollering.

Arapahoe Basin opened its Black Mountain Express lift at 9 a.m., servicing the intermediate High Noon trail, which is 1,000 feet long, and has an 18-inch base that was complete after 12 days of snowmaking.

arapahoebasin_opens_jackdempsey"The combination of cooperative weather, diligent work from Arapahoe Basin's snowmakers and pent up excitement from loyal skiers and riders has culminated in today's spectacle, hundreds queuing up to ski their first runs of the season," said Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO, Melanie Mills.

Arapahoe Basin's early opening also makes it the first ski and snowboard resort in the nation to open for the season.

"It's official, Colorado is open for ski business," Mills added. "Strong pass sales over Labor Day weekend were a pre-cursor to the recent chatter we've seen on social media, and the buzz has gathered momentum with snowfall in the mountains."

During the last 10 years, the traditional race to open first has been a friendly, yet competitive affair.

Last year's surprise candidate, Wolf Creek, opened on Oct. 8 after an early season storm piled up 44 inches. The excess snow almost precipitated Wolf Creek beating out Loveland's record 2009 opening of Oct. 7 for the earliest this century.

Loveland still holds the earliest opening (Oct. 7, 2009), most victories (five and one tie), and deepest Opening Day base depth (24 inches in 2004), in the past decade.

Colorado's Opening Day extravaganza - the cultural ski enthusiast's holiday - witnessed approximately 2,000 persons testing out Arapahoe Basin's product. The prevailing enthusiasm for the upcoming snow season was punctuated by a temperature of 21 degrees as first chair departed for the top of the mountain.

It is anticipated that Loveland Ski Area will be close on the heels of Arapahoe Basin in its Opening Day quest. With other Colorado resorts also making snow, CSCUSA projects that more resorts will open in the next several weeks.

"There has been an infectious optimism about the ski season ahead," said Mills.

For details about Colorado Ski Country and snow reports, visit the Website at For information on Arapahoe Basin, visit the Website at


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