Beaver Creek to open with 558 acres

Melanie Wong
Avon resident Ben Koelker takes advantage of the new snow that fell in the mountains while out ski touring early Monday on Beaver Creek Mountain.
Justin McCarty | |

What will open at Beaver Creek?

Skiers and snowboarders will be able to access all levels of terrain on opening day beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday from the following lifts:

• Buckaroo Express Gondola (No. 1)

• Rose Bowl Express Lift (No. 4)

• Centennial Express Lift (No. 6)

• Cinch Express Lift (No. 8)

• Strawberry Park Express Lift (No. 12)

• Bachelor Gulch Express Lift (No. 16)

• Five surface lifts

BEAVER CREEK — With more than 15 inches of fresh snow during the past two days, Beaver Creek Mountain announced that it will open for the 2014-15 season on Wednesday at 9 a.m. with 558 acres of terrain. Open areas will include the Rose Bowl and Bachelor Gulch.

Resort officials said this is one of the best season openers in the past decade, with 30 percent of the mountain opening.

Vail opened Friday with 540 acres of terrain after winter storms made for good natural conditions and helped snowmaking crews. Not to be outdone by its sister resort, Beaver Creek enjoyed a blizzard weekend that will make for favorable Opening Day conditions.

Investments into a new state-of-the-art snowmaking system on Gold Dust trail, one of Beaver Creek busiest trails, allowed snowmaking crews to finish their work well in advance of previous years. Skiers and snowboarders will notice a softer snow surface that will be “refreshed” several nights a week in the heart of the season with the help of 24 automated fan guns.

“This is a huge winter for Beaver Creek and we’re very excited to debut our new lift and snowmaking system as well as other improvements, which will be on display to the world during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February,” said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer for Beaver Creek Resort. “Thanksgiving holidays guests can enjoy terrific skiing conditions along with our traditional holiday events in the village.”

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Opening festivities

For Day 1, skiers and riders will also get to experience the new Centennial combination gondola-chairlift on Wednesday. The new lift alternates one 10-person gondola cabin for every five chairs, which will carry six people per chair. The design is intended to offer easier access for beginners and ski school, while adding a 35 percent increase to uphill passenger capacity.

Commemorative pins celebrating the new lift will be handed out to Opening Day skiers and snowboarders while supplies last and a public ribbon cutting ceremony will take place when the lift opens at 9 a.m. Opening Day skiers and snowboarders will also enjoy hot cocoa and morning Cookie Time, as well as the traditional Beaver Creek Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition, which begins at 2 p.m.

More terrain in Vail

Meanwhile, Vail Mountain announced that it plans to open more terrain for Thanksgiving. The resort reported more than 2 feet of new snow since its Opening Day, and it now has 1,300 acres of terrain open.

The following lifts are in operation at Vail:

• Gondola One

• Avanti Express Lift (No. 2)

• Wildwood Express Lift (No. 3)

• Mountain Top Express Lift (No. 4)

• Game Creek Express Lift (No. 7)

• Born Free Express Lift (No. 8)

• Highline Express Lift (No. 10)

• Northwoods Express Lift (No. 11)

• Little Eagle Lift (No. 15)

• Eagle Bahn Gondola

Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and at Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.

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