Colorado’s 2013/14 ski season is underway as Arapahoe Basin began running its chair lift to crowds of dedicated skiers and snowboarders on Sunday.

At 8:30 a.m., October 13, with an 18-inch base, Arapahoe Basin became the first resort in North America to open for the 2013/14 ski season. The race to host Opening Day is one of the highlights of the ski season, a title often held by A-Basin or Loveland Ski Area, both resorts perched atop the Continental Divide giving them higher elevations, earlier frosts and colder temperatures. This location also allows them to stay open through spring each year.

So far it’s been prognosis positive for the impending ski season as high country snows began falling mid-September. Several resorts in Colorado have taken advantage of cold nighttime temps and ideal humidity over the past several weeks to fire up their snow guns and lay down a base. A-Basin, Loveland, Keystone and Copper Mountain began making snow around Sept. 27 and have made snow and/or received natural snow most days since then.

Snowmaking equipment upgrades, ideal snowmaking conditions and natural snowfall added to The Basin’s base accumulation, which hundreds from Colorado’s Front Range and mountain communities came out to celebrate. While not the earliest opening in recent memory, it is the best early season conditions in three seasons.

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) said the opening brings optimism for the season ahead.



“Seeing skiers and snowboarders taking their first turns of the season is one of the highlights of the year,” said Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO Melanie Mills. “Since the first high country snowstorms several weeks ago, we’ve seen the enthusiasm in skiers and snowboarders building toward this day. Thanks to helpful weather patterns and the hard work of snowmakers and groomers, all of Colorado’s resorts will open with top notch products our guests will enjoy.”
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper congratulated A-Basin on being first to open. “It’s still fall but the 2013/14 ski and snowboard season is open for business in Colorado,” he said. “Tourism and recreation are some of our most visible and important industries in Colorado, not to mention key economic drivers, and with today’s grand opening we are looking forward to a fun-filled and snowy year on the slopes.”

Below is a current list of scheduled opening dates for CSCUSA member resorts (listed By Open Date):

Mid October:                                         Loveland
November 1:                                         Copper Mountain
November 8:                                         Wolf Creek
November 13:                                       Winter Park
November 22:                                       Eldora
November 27:                                       Crested Butte, Steamboat
November 28:                                       Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Telluride
November 29:                                       Purgatory
November 30:                                       Howelsen Hill
December 6:                                         Sunlight
December 11:                                       Ski Granby Ranch
December 12:                                       Powderhorn
December 14:                                       Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Ski Cooper
December 21:                                       Silverton

Following are the dates for Vail Resorts' properties opening dates:

Beaver Creek: November 27
Breckenridge: November 8
Vail: November 22
Keystone: November 1 
Heavenly: November 22
Kirkwood: November 22
Northstar: November 22
Mt. Brighton: November 27