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It’s almost time to ski in Clear Creek County — snow-making efforts are well underway at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Loveland Ski Area, and mother nature should be contributing soon, too.
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Part of the excitement of opening day is that ski areas don’t know the date until, well, they know.
But staff at A-Basin and Loveland say the day is nearing, and both resorts are ready to welcome back skiers.
Surprise! A-Basin opened for the season on Oct. 23. Loveland predicts opening towards the end of October, beginning of November.
During the off-season, A-Basin was busy making some improvements: the main lift has been replaced in an effort to cut down on lift lines. The lift ride will be shorter, and the chairs can now accommodate six people. This lift should be opening in November, weather permitting.
A new restaurant also is opening at A-Basin; a German-style alpine hut featuring Colorado-made sausage, pretzels, beer and more. It is located between mid-mountain and summit. The European bistro at the summit is also reopening this season. This restaurant serves charcuterie and wine and is the highest-elevation restaurant in North America.
Loveland also replaced a lift which should be ready in November. Lift 6 has been replaced with a fixed-grip triple, the cable has been spliced and the chairs are being hung, according to Loveland staff.
Loveland has some other improvements this year, too. It completed the expansion on the Valley Lodge facilities, added a children’s center and added a new ski and ride check-in center. Loveland also plans to launch SnowCat tours in Dry Gulch in January, weather permitting.
Parking and traffic can be the one damper on a perfect powder day at A-Basin or Loveland. Staff from the ski areas have some tips on avoiding the worst of it.
“This year we are really, really asking people to get back to carpooling,” said Katherine Fuller, senior communications manager for A-Basin.
Fuller said people got out of the carpool habit because of COVID but advises everyone to start again.
John Sellers, marketing and communications director for Loveland, pointed out that the location of Loveland ski area being before Eisenhower Tunnel makes it a great location for missing most of the mountain traffic.
“Get off before the tunnel and skip the traffic on the other side,” he said.
In an effort to reduce lift lines and improve the overall experience, A-Basin is limiting season pass sales and ticket sales on a daily basis. The ski area does not sell lift tickets on-site.
“If you want to come on opening day, don’t show up without a ticket,” Fuller said.
Loveland will not be restricting sales of passes or tickets and sells both on-site and online.
To find out exact opening day information, keep an eye on A-Basin and Loveland websites and social media sites.
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