A-Basin kicks off 2013-14 ski season; Loveland set to open Thursday

By Real Vail
Real AspenOctober 14, 2013
The 2013-14 ski season officially kicked off Sunday with Arapahoe Basin becoming the first ski resort in North America to open to the public, according to Colorado Ski Country USA, and on Monday Loveland Ski Area announced it will open Thursday.

“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],” CSCUSA officials said in a press release. “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.”

A-Basin also won the race last year, opening on Oct. 17 and followed by Loveland on Oct. 23. Both resorts are ahead of that pace this season.

“Our snowmaking crew has done a tremendous job getting the mountain ready for opening day,” said Rob Goodell, Loveland’s director of business operations. “The snow guns are still firing and there is more snow in the forecast, so the first turns of the season are going to be exceptional.”
Opening day at A-Basin Sunday (Jack Depmsey/A-Basin photo).

Loveland’s Chair 1 will crank up at 9 a.m. on Thursday and will provide access to one top-to-bottom run, comprised of sections of Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run trails. The run will be more than a mile long and nearly 1,000 vertical feet.

Early season lift tickets are $49 for adults and $25 for children 6-14. Go to Loveland’s website for more information and to purchase season passes.

After opening on Sunday, A-Basin reported one inch of new snow Monday morning with more snow forecast to fall throughout the day and lingering snow showers through Tuesday. Another shot of colder air and possible precipitation is expected later this week.

“Since the first high country snowstorms several weeks ago, we’ve seen the enthusiasm in skiers and snowboarders building towards [opening day],” CSCUSA President and CEO Melanie Mills said in a press release. “Thanks to helpful weather patterns and the hard work of snowmakers and groomers, all of Colorado’s resorts will open with top-notch products our guests will enjoy.”

After Loveland opens Thursday, Copper Mountain and Keystone are scheduled to open for the season on Friday, Nov. 1, followed by Wolf Creek and Breckenridge on Friday, Nov. 8, Winter Park on Wednesday, Nov. 13, Eldora and Vail on Friday, Nov. 22, and Crested Butte and Beaver Creek on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The rest of the state’s ski areas open either Thanksgiving weekend or in early December.

A-Basin COO Alan Henceroth addressed those who criticized the resort for kicking off the ski season on a weekend, when crowds are always bigger.

“It was a little bit busy, but spirits were high,” Henceroth wrote on his blog. “There has been a lot of discussion and questions about opening weekday or weekend. Ideally, we like to open on a weekday, giving us a chance to ‘ease’ into the season.

“Obviously, we were ready to roll [Sunday] and opted to open. We would never remain closed on a weekend if we were ready. I enjoyed all the discussion others wrote about our opening strategy. I can really simplify it: ‘Our objective is to open as soon as the snow and all of our operations are ready, weekday or weekend doesn’t matter.’”

Now snow riders have all week to take laps at A-Basin, and Loveland joins the fray Thursday. The weather will continue to cooperate this week but then give way to warmer, drier conditions next week, according to Opensnow.com.

“Overall, it doesn't appear super-active after this week and through the rest of the month,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Monday. “But that's OK because it's October, and I'd rather have a lull in the weather now than in two months.”

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Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
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