Ski and snowboard season returns: Arapahoe Basin to open Friday

ARAPAHOE BASIN, Colo. -- The race to be the first North America ski resort to open for the new season appears will be won by Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

The resort announced Wednesday that it will open the 2016-17 at 9 a.m. Friday.

Skiers and snowboarders will be able to access the intermediate High Noon trail by the Black Mountain Express lift.

Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area generally battle to be the first ski areas to open for the new season in North America.

Overnight snow in the high country and better snowmaking conditions at Arapahoe Basin and Loveland helped push things closer to an opening day.

Loveland has not announced when it will open but hopes to do so in the next week or two.

Loveland is focusing its snowmaking on the lower sections of the Mambo and Homerun runs.

“This is going to be a tremendous start to the ski season at Arapahoe Basin and in the state of Colorado,” said Alan Henceroth, Arapahoe Basin chief operating officer. “We’ve been fortunate to have optimal conditions for our snowmaking team to get a base on the High Noon trail, and offer our guests skiing and snowboarding in October.”

Tickets are on sale at or at the resore from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pricing through Dec. 16 will be $76 for a full-day ticket for adults ages 19 to 59, $64 for youth ages 15 to 18 and $38 for children 6 to 14. Children 5 and younger ski free every day of the season.

Last year's opening day was Oct. 29.