Update: Ski season kicks off with A-Basin and Keystone | PostIndependent.com

Update: Ski season kicks off with A-Basin and Keystone

Skiers riding a chairlift at Keystone Resort.
Courtesy of Keystone Resort

FRISCO — Just as skiers and riders were getting excited for ski season to kick off Saturday at Keystone Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced at 1:45 p.m. Friday that it would start spinning the Black Mountain Express lift at 3:30 p.m. today.

The lift will run until 5:30 p.m., providing access to the High Noon intermediate trail. Tickets will cost $15.

The lift will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. After closing for the 2018-19 season July 4, A-Basin was closed for only 99 days, the shortest off-season in its history, according to a news release.

“We did this because the snow is really good, our people are anxious and we are ready to go,” A-Basin Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth wrote in his blog. “We thought it would be fun.”

Lift tickets Saturday will be priced at $95 for adults, $80 for youths ages 15-18 and $51 for children ages 6-14.

Keystone Resort will open Saturday, Oct. 12, its earliest opening in more than 20 years.

Keystone will operate the River Run Gondola and Montezuma Express lift with access to Schoolmarm, Silver Spoon and Last Chance runs. Skiing and riding will be open from the top of Dercum Mountain to the bottom of the Montezuma lift. At the end of the day, skiers and riders will download on the River Run Gondola to return to the base area.

In a press release, Keystone credited the early opening to significant investments in its snowmaking infrastructure, including an automated system that allows the resort to operate more efficiently during the early season.

“With Keystone’s early opening, and Breckenridge’s plan to operate through Memorial Day, the two resorts will offer one of the longest ski seasons in the country … ,” Keystone’s new vice president and general manager Jody Churich was quoted as saying in the release.

“Our mountain operations team put in a tremendous amount of hard work to get our new snowmaking system ready for Keystone’s early opening,” Churich said.

As part of its opening day festivities, Keystone will offer donut holes, hot chocolate and coffee at the base of the River Run Gondola. The first 100 guests in line will receive a free pancake breakfast at the Summit House atop Dercum Mountain.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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