The countdown to ski season in Colorado is officially on as wintry weather inspired several Front Range resorts to begin making snow over the weekend.
Snowmakers at Arapahoe Basin, Keystone Resort and Loveland Ski Area fired up the guns on Saturday after a storm dropped several inches on the mountains overnight. A-Basin received about 5-6 inches of natural snow Saturday, Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth reported, adding crews were still making snow through Sunday.
— Loveland Ski Area (@LovelandSkiArea) October 10, 2021
While the ski areas have yet to set official opening dates, the promise of a snowstorm to come this week certainly bodes well for snowmaking conditions. “We should be able to make good progress over the next few days,” Loveland spokesperson John Sellers said.
A-Basin, Keystone and Loveland annually race to be the first Front Range ski areas to start the chairlifts, often earning the title of first ski area to open for the season in the United States. All hope to open in October this year, after unusually warm temperatures pushed back the start of ski season to November in 2020. Keystone Resorts was first to open on Nov. 6 last year, taking the title for the first time since 1997.
“Keystone plans to open as early as possible this month to kick off the winter season,” spokesperson Loryn Roberson said in a statement. “The resort’s automated and energy-efficient snowmaking system helps to create a better early-season snow surface by detecting ideal snowmaking windows based on temperature and humidity, and also helps the resort to open more terrain more quickly in the early season.”
Additionally, Keystone had a new, six-person lift installed this weekend called the Peru Express Chair.
Copper Mountain began making snow Oct. 7, but those operations are exclusively focused on preparing the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center race track for ski racers to begin training at the end of the month or the first week of November. Copper still plans on opening to the public on Nov. 22. See other Colorado ski resorts planned opening dates here.
The Denver Post reporter John Meyer contributed to this report.