Aspen and other ski resorts offer early-season deals but need snow
SKI AREA OPENINGS
Arapahoe Basin — opened
Loveland — ‘early November’
Keystone — Nov. 11
Wolf Creek — Nov. 11
Copper Mtn — Nov. 11
Winter Park — Nov. 16
Vail — Nov. 18
Beaver Creek — Nov. 23
Steamboat — Nov. 23
Aspen Mtn — Nov. 24
Snowmass — Nov. 24
Colorado ski resorts have got the early-season deals in place. Now they just need the snow.
Several members of Colorado Ski Country USA, a state ski-industry trade group, are offering discounts to try to get customers to book early-season trips.
Aspen Skiing Co. is among the resorts trying to spur early business. Customers who book a minimum of two nights lodging for trips between Nov. 24 and Dec. 18 receive 40 percent off lift tickets and 15 percent off Four Mountain Sports equipment rentals. The trips must be booked at least seven days in advance.
Skico also is offering two complimentary lift tickets to customers who book at least three nights at the Little Nell Hotel for vacations prior to Dec. 18.
Sunlight Mountain Resort in Glenwood Springs is teaming with Iron Mountain Hot Springs to offer a Slope & Soak 4-Pack again this season. Buyers get four full-day lift tickets plus four day passes to the hot springs, which has 16 hot springs soaking pools.
Colorado Ski Country USA said its members are offering deals featuring discounted lift tickets, lessons, equipment rentals and early-bird discounts on lodging and season passes.
Crested Butte is offering 20 percent off lodging when four or more nights are booked.
Steamboat is kicking off the season with the Boat Launch pass, which includes three days of skiing from Nov. 24 to Dec. 18 for only $169.
Skiers and snowboarders might be skittish if the dry conditions persist. The Aspen Times reported Thursday that October conditions were drier and warmer than average.
A quick-moving storm is forecast to roll through this weekend, but warm and sunny weather will return next week, according to the National Weather Service.
Some Colorado resorts have postponed their openings. Arapahoe Basin opened Oct. 21. Loveland, which typically competes with A-Basin for the earliest opening, hasn’t announced an opening date beyond “early November.”
Keystone and Wolf Creek pushed back their openings one week to Nov. 11. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain also are scheduled to open Nov. 11.
Winter Park is opening Nov. 16.
Vail Mountain is scheduled to open Nov. 18 and Beaver Creek on Nov. 23. Steamboat also will open Nov. 23.
Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to open Nov. 24.
The most recent report by DestiMetrics, a research firm that tracks bookings and occupancy at ski resorts throughout the West, said a “good start to the winter 2016-17 season is already beginning to emerge.”
Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics, said in a prepared statement that occupancy for the winter through March 30 was up 8.9 percent compared with this time last year for resorts as a whole. The performance on individual resorts could differ.
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Kevin Warner started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in 2001. Now he’s taking over the key position as Aspen-Sopris District Ranger.