Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announces opening day set for Friday |

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announces opening day set for Friday

Alli Langley
In this 2013 file photo
File photo | Colorado Ski Country USA


Denise Wylde: “Color me there! No school/work Friday this week! Perfect timing A-BAY --- thanks! You guys SO rock!!! Love you all!”

Russell Chesebro: “What were you closed, like two months? That’s awesome!”

Loveland Ski Area: “Congrats on the Opening Day announcement! Save a parking spot for the Loveland Subaru. We’ll be over Friday for first chair to give you guys high-fives!”


Troy Haas: Radical. Wait in the lift line for 2 hours to ski 800 feet. Lets go skin instead ;)”

Robin Day: “White Ribbon of Death”

Amy Manning: “Its great that your opening but a weekend opening is pretty stinkin lame.”

Tatiana Clark: “amaz-balls”

Jamie Calvey: “It’s go time!”

Kris Sutten: “Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!!!!”

Dan Griswold: “Well done snow crew.”

Source: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s Facebook page

Here we go.

The Colorado ski season will officially begin when Arapahoe Basin Ski Area becomes the first resort to open Friday, Oct. 17.

The resort announced around 2 p.m. Wednesday that skiers and snowboarders will be able to make turns on about 700 vertical feet of the intermediate High Noon run starting Friday at 9 a.m.

“Conditions have been outstanding for snowmaking, and we are very excited to open this Friday,” said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin’s COO. “It is always great to watch people have fun skiing and riding. I look forward to catching up with old friends and getting The Basin rolling.”

On Friday, A-Basin will win the annual race to open between itself and neighboring Loveland Ski Area.

“We’re working hard to get open as quickly as we can,” said John Sellers, Loveland spokesman.

Loveland won’t open Friday, he said, and Saturday and Sunday are unlikely as well.

The resort aims to open about 1,000 vertical feet of the green run off Chair 1, from Catwalk to Mambo to Home Run, and Loveland’s snowmaking system doesn’t allow crews to make snow along the entire run at the same time. Workers start at the top, and the base area, at 10,800 feet, still needs some work, he said.

“We’re getting there,” he said. “As soon as we know we’ll get the word out.”

Loveland’s announcement, like A-Basin’s, typically comes 24 to 48 hours before opening day, so excited skiers should stay tuned.

A-Basin’s mountain operations team started making snow early on Oct. 2, and were able to create the 18-inch base necessary for opening. The ski area also received about 12 inches of natural snow this fall.

The resort could be the first to open in the country, said spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac, if you don’t count Timberline Lodge, the Mt. Hood, Oregon, resort on a glacier that offers the only year-round skiing in North America.

The resort will be open seven days a week starting Friday, with rentals, lessons and dining at both the mid-mountain restaurant and the base area 6th Alley Bar & Grill.

The A-Basin Mug Club sale will start at 8 a.m. in the A-Frame on Friday. Each mug is $45, and the mug holder receives discounts throughout the season. Isaac said the line for the mug club sometimes looks almost as long as the opening day line to ride the chairlift.

The cafeteria at the base area will be open only for breakfast in the beginning, and for those who enjoy skinning, uphill access will not be allowed for at least the first couple weeks until the ski area can move snowmaking equipment and open more terrain.

A-Basin will keep making snow on the High Noon run and then work on opening the adjacent run, Ramrod. Skiers can expect the top of the resort above the mid-mountain restaurant to open November.

Since snowmaking started at A-Basin in 2001, the resorts earliest opening day was Oct. 9, 2009. Last year, the ski area closed after 241 days of skiing on June 22.

Nate Dogggg, the man known for camping out every year to ride the first chair at whichever resort opens first, was spotted in A-Basin’s main parking lot Wednesday.

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