Despite a slow start due to warm fall weather, the 2014-15 ski season got a boost on Wednesday with the news that Loveland Ski Area high atop the Continental Divide will open on Saturday, Nov. 1, joining Arapahoe Basin as the second ski resort in the state to crank up its lifts.
The announcement comes a day after two competing resorts — Keystone and Copper Mountain — both postponed their opening days originally scheduled for Friday, Oct. 31.
“We had to wait out a few unseasonably warm weeks, but everyone’s patience will be rewarded on Saturday,” said Rob Goodell, director of business operations for Loveland. “We are still putting the finishing touches on the base area, but our snowmaking team has done a tremendous job on the upper portion of the mountain and we are proud to offer our guests the exceptional early season conditions they have come to expect at Loveland.”
Loveland typically battles Arapahoe Basin to be the first resort to open in Colorado, if not all of North America, but this season had to push back its traditional mid-October opening date. A-Basin has had limited terrain open since Oct. 17. Copper Mountain will open Nov. 7, the same day as Breckenridge. Keystone still has not set a new opening day.
U.S. Ski Team athletes are returning from last weekend’s World Cup action looking for training venues. Copper Mountain will host the team at its speed center throughout November.
As Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin won her 10th career World Cup event in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday and will be among the favorites when the Aspen Winternational World Cup returns Thanksgiving Weekend. Both Aspen and Snowmass are set to open Wednesday, Nov. 26.
At Loveland, Chair 1 will run from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday and will provide skiers and riders with access to one top-to-bottom run covered tree-to-tree with an 18-inch base. The trails Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run make up the opening day run, which is more than a mile long and nearly 1,000 vertical feet in elevation drop.
Loveland Ski Area opened on Oct. 17 last season.
Loveland Ski Area will be open seven days a week until closing day in early May. Lift operating hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends and designated holidays. Early season lift tickets are $51 for adults and $25 for children ages 6-14. Go to the Loveland website for more information.
Warm, dry weather will persist through Saturday before a cold front brushes the state Sunday into Monday, providing colder temperatures for snowmaking, according to Opensnow.com.