Keystone, CO, Oct. 24--Keystone Resort started up the 1999-2000 ski season Friday, Oct. 22, taking honors as the second ski area to do so both in Colorado and in the U.S.
It seemed more like spring skiing than opening day. A blue sky, 50-degree sunshine, and an 18-inch base greeted all those who skied down the mile-long "Haywood" trail.
Approximately fifty people were already waiting in line at 8:00 am for the Argentine lift to fill the ceremonial first chair. "It was a typical crowd, size-wise, for a Keystone opening day with several hundred skiers and snowboarders," said Gary Dutmers, communications manager for Vail Resorts.
"The operation staff said it was the smoothest opening day they've ever seen," said Dutmers. Only a few lift tickets were pulled for "reckless" skiing. Ski patrollers positioned themselves every few hundred yards to enforce moderate and controlled skiing safety.
"After last year's high number of skiing-related fatalities, Keystone is sending a message this year that reckless skiing won't be tolerated." However, patrolling a single trail is much easier than an entire mountain.
Crews continue to make snow whenever the temperature dips below 30-degrees and, later this week, hope to open Silver Spoon and Schoolmarm tails served by the Peru Express lift.
Ticket prices for Keystone are $29 for adults aged 12-and-up and $17 for children under 12 through November 25.