A-Basin opens Monday | VailDaily.com

A-Basin opens Monday

Staff and wire reports
Vail, CO Colorado
Casey Day | Special to the DailyLoveland Ski Area opened Sunday morning at 9 a.m., becoming the first Colorado ski resort to fire up its lifts this season.

GEORGETOWN, Colorado – Loveland Ski Area became the first ski resort in Colorado to open on Sunday, just as forecasters said a major storm could bring up to 16 inches of new snow to parts of the state.

Travelers can expect icy and snow-packed roads and gusty winds on Vail, Rabbit Ears, Red Mountain and other high mountain passes on Monday, said Ellen Heffernan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

“It is a major winter storm, especially coming this early,” Heffernan said.

Mountains north of Interstate 70 are expected to get 8 to 16 inches of snow, and the west Elk Mountains of southwest Colorado could get 6 to 12.

The San Juan range could see 4 to 8 inches of snow, Heffernan said.

One run at the Loveland resort opened at 9 a.m. Sunday with an 18-inch base of snow, resort spokesman John Sellers said.

He didn’t know how many skiers showed up but said it was more than usual for an opening day because it fell on a weekend.

“This is the first time we’ve opened on a weekend in at least eight years,” he said.

It’s the second straight year Loveland was the state’s first resort to open, but it came much later than last year’s start, on Oct. 7, when the weather was colder.

Arapahoe Basin is scheduled to open today, with the new Black Mountain Express lift taking skiers from the base area to mid-mountain.

The lifts will start turning at 9 a.m. The intermediate High Noon run and some terrain park features will be open.

A ribbon cutting celebration for the new lift will take place just before 9 a.m. Opening day adult lift tickets will be available for $54, youth tickets ages 15-19 will be $49 and child tickets age 6-14 will be $29.

Keystone and Copper are expected to open Nov. 5. Vail’s opening day is Nov. 19, while Beaver Creek is set to open Nov. 24.

Sunday River in Maine opened for the season Friday but wasn’t planning to be open on weekdays yet. Timberline Lodge and Ski Area in Oregon started its season Oct. 1, but lifts are running only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October, weather permitting.

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