Not so fast, Keystone.
Two hours after Keystone announced it would open for the season on Saturday to become “the first ski resort to open in North America,” Arapahoe Basin said it would open Friday from 3:30-5:30 p.m.for its earliest opening since 2009.
Both areas benefited from a significant snowstorm this week and cold temperatures that kicked their snowmaking operations into overdrive. Keystone’s opening will be its earliest opening since 1995.
A-Basin has been the first in the Front Range to open for seven of the past eight years, tying with Loveland in 2015. Wolf Creek in southern Colorado beat them both in 2011, opening on Oct. 8. Two years ago, Arapahoe Basin opened on Oct. 13.
Keystone hadn’t even attempted to open in October since 2002, conceding the battle for opening day honors to A-Basin and Loveland, but Vail Resorts significantly upgraded Keystone’s snowmaking system this year. Company officials made no secret of their desire to compete with Arapahoe Basin to get open first. The two ski areas are four miles apart.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.