Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, Is First Ski Resort in Nation to Open for 2013-14 Season

Arapahoe Basin, one of the Colorado Ski Country USA member resorts, became the first ski resort in the nation to open for the 2013-14 season (photo: Jack Depmsey)

Arapahoe Basin, one of the Colorado Ski Country USA member resorts, became the first ski resort in the nation to open for the 2013-14 season (photo: Jack Depmsey)

Colorado’s 2013/14 ski season is officially underway with Arapahoe Basin opening its chair lift to crowds of animated skiers and snowboarders. On October 13, at 8:30 a.m.  with an 18-inch base and lifts running, Arapahoe Basin became the first resort in North America to open for the 2013/14 ski season. Arapahoe Basin’s opening, along with recently announced pass deals and new improvements at Colorado resorts, has skiers and riders eager for the season ahead.

Several resorts in Colorado have taken advantage of cold nighttime temperatures and ideal humidity conditions over the past several weeks. Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area began making snow on the evening of Friday, September 27, and have made snow or received natural snow most days since then. New snowmaking equipment upgrades, ideal snowmaking conditions, and recent natural snowfall have added to Arapahoe Basin’s base accumulation resulting in the resort’s current packed powder conditions. Today skiers and riders accessed the Black Mountain Express lift and enjoyed skiing on intermediate run High Noon.

For Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA), the exciting opening brings optimism for the season ahead. “Seeing skiers and snowboarders taking their first turns of the season is one of the highlights of the year,” said Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO, Melanie Mills. “Since the first high country snowstorms several weeks ago, we’ve seen the enthusiasm in skiers and snowboarders building towards this day. 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.”

The recent autumn snow storms and early winter season conditions brought a robust crowd to Arapahoe Basin today, signifying skiers and riders are more than ready to enjoy Colorado’s signature winter sports. “Resorts continue to focus on the guest experience, with everything from safety to service,” continued Mills. “Whether the emphasis is on families, learning or value, visitors can expect the same qualities from resorts this year that keep them coming back to Colorado season after season.”

Amid all of the Opening Day celebrations, Colorado’s Governor, John Hickenlooper, congratulated Arapahoe Basin on being first to open saying, “It’s still fall but the 2013/14 ski and snowboard season is open for business in Colorado.” He continued, “Tourism and recreation are some of our most visible and important industries in Colorado, not to mention key economic drivers, and with today’s grand opening we are looking forward to a fun-filled and snowy year on the slopes.”

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. 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.

Here is a current list of scheduled opening dates for CSCUSA member resorts (subject to change).

Listed by Resort Name:

Arapahoe Basin:                                    October 13, 2013 – Early June 2014

Aspen Highlands:                                  December 14, 2013 – April 13, 2014

Aspen Mountain:                                   November 28, 2013 – April 20, 2014

Buttermilk:                                            December 14, 2013 – April 6, 2014

Copper Mountain:                                  November 1, 2013 – April 13, 2014

Crested Butte:                                       November 27, 2013 – April 6, 2014

Eldora:                                                 November 22, 2013 – April 13, 2014

Howelsen Hill:                                       November 30, 2013 – March 16, 2014

Loveland:                                              Mid October 2013 – Early May 2014

Monarch Mountain:                                Mid November 2013 – April 13, 2014

Powderhorn:                                         December 12, 2013 – March 30, 2014

Purgatory:                                             November 29, 2013 – March 30, 2014

Silverton:                                              December 21, 2013 – April 13, 2014

Ski Cooper:                                          December 14, 2013 – April 6, 2014

Ski Granby Ranch:                                December 11, 2013 – April 6, 2014

Snowmass:                                           November 28, 2013 – April 20, 2014

Steamboat:                                           November 27, 2013 – April 13, 2014

Sunlight:                                               December 6, 2013 – March 30, 2014

Telluride:                                               November 28, 2013 – April 6, 2014

Winter Park:                                          November 13, 2013 – April 20, 2014

Wolf Creek:                                           November 8, 2013 – April 6, 2014

 

Listed By Open Date:

October 13:                                           Arapahoe Basin

Mid October                                          Loveland

November 1:                                         Copper Mountain

November 8:                                         Wolf Creek

November 13:                                       Winter Park

November 22:                                       Eldora

November 27:                                       Crested Butte, Steamboat

November 28:                                       Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Telluride

November 29:                                       Purgatory

November 30:                                       Howelsen Hill

December 6:                                         Sunlight

December 11:                                       Ski Granby Ranch

December 12:                                       Powderhorn

December 14:                                       Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Ski Cooper

December 21:                                       Silverton

 Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

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