Video: Aspen, Snowmass welcome Thanksgiving opening day | AspenTimes.com

Video: Aspen, Snowmass welcome Thanksgiving opening day

Staff reports

When turkeys and snowmaking collide, you get an opening day on Thanksgiving that features a big helping of top-to-bottom skiing and riding.

Welcome to a sunny start for the 2017-18 season, everyone!

The first group in line Thursday morning showed up about 6 a.m. and opened the morning with a bottle of champagne. James Harvey, who learned how to saber a bottle while working at the St. Regis Aspen, was first in line and used his snowboard to saber a bottle of bubbly this morning (see video below).

SLIDESHOW: Checkout photos from opening day

The forecast for opening day Thanksgiving weekend calls for sunny skies and highs each day for the next week in the mid- to upper-50s, according to the National Weather Service.

Here's what was going on at Aspen Mountain when the lifts started turning at just before 9 a.m.

ASPEN MOUNTAIN

OPENING DAY VIDEO: Watch as the Silver Queen gondola starts up with the Aspen crowd

EARLY-BIRD VIDEO: First-chair crew sabers a bottle of bubbly with a snowboard. That’s Aspen.

The Silver Queen Gondola and Ajax Express chairlift will be turning and the 100 acres of open terrain includes Silver Dip, Upper Copper, 1 & 2 Leaf, Deer Park, Spar Gulch and Little Nell.

Lift tickets at Aspen Mountain are $94 a day for adults and $54 for children, teens and seniors. Sightseeing tickets are $35 for adults and $24 for children, teens and seniors and include a $10 restaurant voucher.

Food will be served up on the Sundeck at the top of the gondola and Ajax Tavern.

At Aspen Mountain, the party at the base of the gondola will start at 7 a.m. as family and friends of Angus Graham have a get-together at the place Graham had become a staple the past few years. The ski instructor and artist died this past summer in a car crash.

SNOWMASS

Only the beginner areas of  Elk Camp Meadows and Fanny Hill will be open for skiing and riding on Thursday.

Lift tickets at Snowmass are $45 for adults and $24 for children, teens and seniors. Sightseeing for the Elk Camp Gondola at Snowmass Mountain is free on Thanksgiving Day only.

The Elk Camp Restaurant will be serving Thanksgiving favorites from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with traditional Thanksgiving cuisine.

And if you're looking for restaurants serving the traditional Thanksgiving fare, check out a list of some of the places serving turkey and the sides in Aspen and Snowmass.

The ski schools will be open at both mountains, and parking in Aspen is free on Thursday only.

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