Earliest opening in Arapahoe Basin’s 63-year history
ARAPAHOE BASIN, Colorado – It was the earliest opening day in Arapahoe Basin’s 63-year history, but for some skiers and riders, the day didn’t come early enough.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for six months,” said Jordan Eygnor, 16, of Highlands Ranch.
So had hundreds of others – by 9:15 a.m. on Friday, Arapahoe Basin’s main parking lot was full and cars were parking in the upper parking area, which was filling up fast. The day was gray, but it didn’t stop the diehards from coming out in droves.
Chris Corkadel, a Denver attorney, told his secretaries he’d be at a “very important hearing all day.”
“The best part is they can’t call me when I’m in a hearing,” Corkadel, 29, said.
It didn’t matter, because cell service at A-Basin is practically nonexistent. Corkadel knew the lines would be long and the snow would be sub-par, but he had ulterior motives – he needed to get his hands on a beer mug. It’s part of the loyal following of devout beer drinkers who show up early every opening day to get the first-come, first-served beer mugs that hang from the roof in the base area bar.
The numbered mugs get their owners $1 off draft beers for the entire ski season, and the mugs provide a sense of belonging and ownership at the mountain.
And for people like Corkadel, a cold one is just part of the culture at A-Basin. He was ready to retire to the bar after his first run of the day – it took more than 30 minutes to get to the front of the lift line and Corkadel figured he’d hang out in the bar rather than wait all day.
Some skiers and riders didn’t care about the waits, though. Many come year after year and know exactly what to expect.
“I have to be here the first and last day every year,” said Warren Rosenkranz, a Summit County resident for more than 20 years who works as a chef at the Keystone Science School. “I came here [today] to get some runs and my mug.”
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