Vail ski area opens, Beaver Creek will wait |

Vail ski area opens, Beaver Creek will wait

Edward Stoner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK ” Another opening day, another delay.

Beaver Creek Mountain, which was supposed to open today, has pushed back its opening to Friday.

“With the warm temperatures, it slowed our snowmaking efforts,” said spokeswoman Christina Schleicher. “Looking at the forecast, it looks like we’ll get some cold temperatures this week, which will be great for making snow.”

Little natural snow has fallen in the area over the last couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Vail Mountain, whose opening day was originally set for last Friday, opened today. Its opening was also pushed back because of dry, warm weather.

Steamboat, Eldora and Grand Targhee have also delayed openings.

The announcement of Beaver Creek’s delay came Tuesday afternoon as temperatures approached 60 degrees at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain.

“We’re trying to imagine what it looks like covered with snow,” Diana Hardesty, a visitor from Birmingham, Ala., said as she walked with her family at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain.

She said her family had planned to ski Beaver Creek today.

Piles of man-made snow were separated by swaths of grass above the Centennial lift.

Randy Rosenthal and Kenny Zach, both of Omaha, Neb., are staying at Beaver Creek with their families. They were trying to rent skis at Aalta Sports on Tuesday.

“Worst case, we’ll drive to Copper,” Rosenthal said, adding that he knew that early-season conditions would be chancy.

But, ideally, they wanted to ski at Beaver Creek, Zach said.

“That’s kind of why you stay at a ski mountain,” he said.

Matt Bilsky, a worker at Aalta Sports, said he was unhappy with the timing of the announcement, coming just 20 hours before the Beav’ was set to open.

“Them keeping it hush-hush is typical corporate America,” he said.

With the late announcement, visitors had no time to cancel their visits, Bilsky said.

Anthony Mirpuri, a manager at Princess World Jewelers in Beaver Creek, said he was hoping for the best of conditions, but there are some things you can’t control.

“We’re nothing in front of Mother Nature,” he said.

Vail will open one lift, the Born Free Express, and one trail, the intermediate-level Born Free, at 9 a.m. today out of the Lionshead area. The lift serves about 1,600 vertical feet.

“We don’t have any powder, but people want to ski, so if we open, they’ll come,” said Troy Goldberg, owner of Troy’s Ski Shop in Vail Village.

Goldberg is hoping to head up the mountain today. He’s been driving over to Summit County to ski at resorts that are already open there.

“It’s good just to get your legs under you over on Born Free,” he said.

Some terrain will be available for beginners at the base of Lionshead, said spokeswoman Jen Brown.

Chair 15 at the top of the gondola is supposed to open Friday. Until then, free, scenic gondola rides will be offered, with lunch available at Eagle’s Nest.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

Historical perspective

This isn’t the first time Beaver Creek has struggled with early-season conditions. In its first year, the area saw warm and snowless weather. The resort premiered on Dec. 15, 1980, with Gerald Ford and Jean-Claude Killy skiing among brown spots. The next day, the resort closed due to poor conditions and did not reopen until Christmas Day.

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