In the wake of a significant snowstorm and cold temperatures that kicked its snowmaking operations into high-gear, Keystone will open for skiing and riding on Saturday, Oct. 12, the resort’s earliest opening since 1995.
Arapahoe Basin seems poised to open as well. There hasn’t been an announcement yet, but that area’s chief operating officer, Alan Henceroth, hinted in a blog post Friday that their opening day trail was being groomed, adding, “It’s going to be a fantastic weekend.”
At Keystone, skiers and riders will take the River Run Gondola to the summit, skiing three trails to mid mountain, then taking the Montezuma Express back to the top. At the end of the day, they will have to download on the gondola from the summit to the base.
“With Keystone’s early opening, and Breckenridge’s plan to operate through Memorial Day, the two resorts will offer one of the longest ski seasons in the country, providing even more value for our Epic Pass holders,” said Jody Churich, Keystone’s new vice president and general manager. “Our mountain operations team put in a tremendous amount of hard work to get our new snowmaking system ready for Keystone’s early opening.”
A-Basin has been the first in the Front Range to open for seven of the last 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, one day earlier than this year.
Keystone hasn’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.