Boulder, CO, Oct. 7--One week after ski resorts in Vermont and Colorado began blowing snow, the race to open first in the nation is heating up.
Temperatures have remained cold enough for Loveland Ski Area, CO to make snow nightly since Sunday, September 26. "We've rounded the corner and are headed for home," exclaimed Scott Fortner, director of marketing for Loveland Ski Area. As the snow begins to reach the bottom of Chair 1 the excitement level is rising. "The place is buzzing with activity because we know the start of the season is close at hand," said Fortner.
Back East, Sugarbush Resort, VT, started snowmaking before any other eastern ski area and only a day after Loveland, CO. Last Monday, Sugarbush also got a boost in their efforts with two inches of fresh snow. While several other Eastern ski areas also saw brief snow flurried, most do not plan on turning on the snow guns, let alone opening their lifts to the public, until mid-November.
Killington, which claims to have opened first in the East in over the last 38 years, ran 15 of the resorts 2,000 snow guns on the Upper Cascade trail from 6 p.m. last night to 8:30 a.m. this morning.
"I had the pleasure of skiing on Cascade this morning," said Amy Phalon, Killington news bureau director. Killington hopes to open by the end of next week. "Loveland beat us in the opening day race last year," said Phalon. "But we're not going to let it happen again."
For now Loveland and Killington seem to be neck-to-neck. Loveland Ski Area hasn't put a finger on when they will open, but it's expected to happen within the next two weeks. Sugarbush is aiming for a late October opening.
Nearby both Keystone and Breckenridge are also making snow and have set tentative opening dates of Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, respectively. So, weather permitting, the ski season countdown is underway. Check back with SkiNet for updates.