KEYSTONE, Colo. — The race to be the first ski resort to open for the new season is on after Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Loveland Ski Area announced Thursday morning they had started making snow.
A-Basin is almost always in a battle every year with Copper Mountain, which said Wednesday it started making snow, and Loveland in the race to be the first resort to open.
Officials at A-Basin said it fired up the snow guns Wednesday night after cold temperatures and natural snow hit the Summit County resort.
“It takes approximately two weeks from the start of snowmaking to create the 18 (inches) of base necessary to start skiing on the first trail to open, the intermediate High Noon run,” the resort said in an emailed statement. “After that, we focus our snowmaking efforts on the neighboring Ramrod and Sundance runs, and if the snowmaking season is prime, we move to the upper mountain. We hope to see a strong early snow season to buttress our efforts (and bring the snow to the powderhounds in Colorado!).”
At Loveland, it reported 7 inches of snow fell on the slopes and its 17 snow guns were turned on after temperatures dropped enough.
“Our first night of snowmaking was very productive,” said Bobby Babeon, trail maintenance and snowmaking manager at Loveland. “Mother Nature got us off to a good start and our team is ready to finish the job. We will keep making snow around the clock as conditions permit and the slopes should be ready for the first skiers and riders in just a few weeks.”
Like A-Basin, Loveland officials say it takes about two weeks for the snow guns to cover the 1,000-foot vertical run with an 18-inch base. Loveland started making snow last year on Sept. 27 and opened Oct. 27. It’s hoping for a mid-October opening this year.