Loveland to open Wednesday, A-Basin on Friday |

Loveland to open Wednesday, A-Basin on Friday

Alex Miller
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Kimberly Trembearth/A-BasinCold weather has allowed A-Basin, seen here, and Loveland to make snow for an early start to the ski season.

LOVELAND BASIN, Colo. – In the ongoing rivalry to see which Colorado ski area opens first, this year it was Loveland, which announced it will open Wednesday. Arapahoe Basin isn’t far behind, with plans to start turning the lifts for the 2009-’10 season Friday.

“Hopefully this is a sign of things to come,” said Loveland spokesman John Sellers. “With forecasters calling for el Nino, we hope it’s indicative of lots of snow.”

Oct. 7 marks the earliest opening day in Loveland’s 40-year history, Sellers said. Over at A-Basin, spokeswoman Leigh Hierholzer said they’ll beat their earliest opening by one day.

“We’re excited to get the season started,” Hierholzer said. “And kudos to Loveland to get open so early.”

Hierholzer said the two areas tied last year, with A-Basin scoring opening day the two years previous.

“You never know from year to year,” she said. “It’s a true, real race.”

Both Sellers and Hierholzer chalked up the early opening to good snowmaking conditions in the past few weeks. A-Basin started making snow Sept. 23, and Hierholzer said that, with the exception of a few days this past weekend, conditions have been excellent for snowmaking.

“We owe a lot to our snowmaking crew, who are out there in the wee hours in the cold,” she said.

Sellers said Loveland will continue to make snow Tuesday night in advance of Wednesday’s opening.

“We’ll be ready to go at 9 a.m. with an 18-inch base and tree-to-tree coverage,” he said. “It’ll be a nice, wide opening-day run.”

Loveland will have its Chair 1 turning, about 1,000 vertical feet and top-to-bottom skiing on one run comprised of the Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run trails.

“It’s a good mile in length,” Sellers said.

At A-Basin, the Exhibition lift will start turning for skiers at 9 a.m. Friday. The ski area will have an 18-inch base on the intermediate High Noon run, as well as six features in the High Divide Terrain Park. There will be no beginner skiing.

Snowmaking is also underway at Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain. Vail announced Tuesday it has started making snow in the Superfooter terrain park.

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