Beaver Creek to serve up warm cookies, fresh snow on Opening Day
Skiers and riders will be able to access more than 70 acres of beginner and intermediate terrain Saturday
BEAVER CREEK — Talk about perfect timing.
Beaver Creek Resort made the big announcement earlier in the week that it would open Saturday, four days ahead of schedule, and then the flakes started flying.
The most recent snow report from early Friday morning had 10 inches of new snow in the previous 48 hours … with snow continuing to fall throughout Friday.
So, yeah, it’s going to be sweet — and that’s not even mentioning the famed fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that guests can expect on their way to the chairlift.
Skiers and riders will be able to access more than 70 acres of beginner and intermediate terrain via Centennial Express Lift (No. 6) and Haymeadow Express Gondola (No. 1). There will be beginner terrain on Haymeadow and intermediate terrain on Gold Dust.
It’s the second year in a row that Beaver Creek has opened early, thanks to some heavy October snow and colder temperatures and the hard work of the snowmaking and mountain operations teams.
Nadia Guerriero, who spent the last three years at Northstar in Lake Tahoe, is the new chief operating operator, succeeding Beth Howard, who took the top job at Vail.
Guerriero, in an interview last month, said the transition should be seamless.
She succeeded Howard at Northstar as well.
“I get to follow her again here,” Guerriero said. “Part of the benefit of that is that Beth leaves things in really good condition. She’s really good at relationships and she’s a really strong leader.”
Guerriero said Howard imparted to her “the importance and value of the stakeholder environment here. How to think about that and how to navigate it.”
Guerriero also spent quite a bit of time in the offseason with Chris Jarnot, Vail Resorts’ outgoing executive vice president of the company’s mountain division, talking about all the different business relationships in play with the resort and its village.
“Our pursuit is to be the world’s best luxury family resort,” Guerriero said. “We do that through our legendary attention to detail, our rarified experiences, and then acting as perpetual hosts for all of our guests who come here.”
New this year is the complete renovation and remodel of the children’s ski school. Guerriero said the changes aren’t just cosmetic.
“It’s also the flow,” she said. “Everything from the minute you walk in the door until the time the children get up to leave to get on the snow. That’s something that we’re really excited about. I think Beaver Creek is the best place to come learn to ski and so it supports that.”
Guests can also expect a refreshed entrance to the village with its iconic covered bridge entrance.
“We’re doing a complete refresh of the bus shelter there and so there will be a fire pit and some seating areas and that will highlight the natural beauty of Beaver Creek as well,” Guerriero said. “Some of our merchants have done some major remodels. — Base Mountain Sports, Blue Moose Pizza. Hooked has a new extended patio. We’re really excited about some of those things, as well as programming. A lot of family-friendly events, starting with Birds of Prey, coming up the weekend after Thanksgiving. That will be our 20th time producing and hosting that event. “
The resort got some great news about its famous men’s World Cup races on Friday when the track received a positive snow control from the International Ski Federation. The positive snow control means ski racing can commence Dec. 6-8 on the Birds of Prey course, which is considered one of the top downhill tracks on the men’s circuit.
Snow usually comes and goes in this part of the state. A forecasted storm is expected to stick around for a while. Forecasters are calling for snow to persist throughout the weekend in the high country, with a prospect of a couple of feet of powder by the time the storm starts to diminish on Monday.