Ski resorts gear up for the upcoming season

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CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. -- Fresh snow in the mountains means the race is on: Who will be the first ski resort to open for the season?

Flurries were flying on Monday morning.

“It’s like a blizzard over there,” snowboarder, Beckham Davis said.

Snow guns launched white powder onto the slopes.

“Skiing and snowboarding every year. We look forward to it,” Carmen Davis said.

Chairlifts spun around the bend as ski resorts have are preparing for the upcoming season.

The resorts said they’ve been patiently waiting for long periods of consistently cold temperatures so the snow will stick.

“Once we see those first snowflakes, we just put it in high gear,” said Leigh Hierholzer, director of marketing for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

Loveland Ski Area said it needs an 18 inch-base, tree to tree, to open. On Monday, Mother Nature was cooperating nicely.

“It’s like Christmas and your birthday all in one. We’ve got natural snow and you can hear the snow guns going,” said John Sellers, marketing and communications director for Loveland Ski Area.

Each year, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area partake in a friendly competition over the pass to see who will open first.

“We have won the race to open the last couple years,” Hierholzer said.

Arapahoe Basin is ready to defend its title, while Loveland said it's hungry to take the win.

“We’ve been opening really close to each other, so we’re hoping we can take home the title this year,” Sellers said.

Either way, families are eager to shred the slopes, especially after last year’s below-average snowpack.

“Last year was tough. So hopefully this is a good start to the snow season and we get some good snow pack,” Ryan Davis said.

This season, Arapahoe Basin boasts more than 400 acres of new terrain. Loveland is debuting a new high-speed lift that will take riders up the mountain in half the time.

Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are aiming to open by the end of next week.

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