With less than 48 hours before the lifts start spinning at Arapahoe Basin, operations crews took to the mountain Friday for final preparations for opening day.
Officials at A-Basin expect as many as 1,000 skiers to take to the hill for their first day of the season. The renovations and expansion to the A-frame base lodge will not be finished in time, but are expected to be completed some time in December. The base lodge will be open while under construction.
One eager area resident, who referred to himself only as “Nate Dogg,” was already at the base of the mountain prepared to lay claim to the first chair of the season. He said that he has claimed first chair in Colorado for 17 years now. He and a few friends planned to stay overnight Friday and Saturday in order to hold their reservation.
Loveland Ski area officials told the Daily that they won’t be opening this weekend, but are making good progress with snow making and will likely open later in the week.
“We want to say congrats to A-Basin for getting the season started,” Loveland marketing director John Sellars said. “After this weekend, we should be in a position to make an announcement early next week. We’re excited to be opening soon.”
The two ski areas have maintained a friendly competition over the years for who can be the first to open. Arapahoe has claimed the last two seasons, Wolf Creek snuck in to the competition three seasons ago thanks to an early storm, and Loveland won the year prior. Neither resort acknowledged that a mountain in Minnesota was able to beat them last year, citing that resort only opened a tow lift and closed after a day.
Keystone and Copper Mountain are both scheduled to open November 1, with Breckenridge following suit November 8.