Loveland, A-Basin begin making snow | VailDaily.com

Loveland, A-Basin begin making snow

Daily Staff Report

Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsA snowboarder blasts through the powder last season at Arapahoe Basin, which is again in a contest with neighboring Loveland to be the first mountain in Colorado to open its slopes.

GEORGETOWN In an effort to continue the five-year tradition of being the first ski area in the U.S. to open, Loveland Ski Area started making snow last week.At nearby Arapahoe Basin, 11 snow guns started firing for the first time Monday morning. The two areas on the Continental have competed over the last few years to be the first to open in Colorado. Consistent overnight lows in the 20s have allowed the mountains to make snow. Weve been working on getting everything ready and have had everything in place for a couple days now, said Mark Abrahamson, snowmaking and trail maintenance manager at Loveland, we just needed the weather conditions to cooperate.Loveland Ski Area created a Web site last year to keep up with the high volume of requests for snowmaking updates. Skiers and riders can visit http://www.skiloveland.com/snowmaking to view the snowmaking progress and access updates.Opening first is important, but we will not open for the season until we have a quality product to offer our guests, said John Sellers, marketing director.Last season, Arapahoe Basin opened Oct. 22, earlier than it ever had before. The mountain again plans to open in late October depending on man-made and natural snowfall, General Manager Alan Henceroth said. The snowmaking system has aided the ski area and guests by giving the ski area a more predictable opening date, it helped weather-proof the business, Henceroth said. Our goal is to be the first ski area to open and were poised and ready to go.Vail, Colorado

Consistent overnight lows in the 20s have allowed the area to fire up its fleet of snow guns. The traditional battle in recent years to open first involves Loveland and Arapahoe Basin. A-Basin’s Alan Henceroth said the resort plans to begin making snow as soon as they see similar temperatures.So far, Loveland has a head start.”We’ve been working on getting everything ready and have had everything in place for a couple days now,” said Mark Abrahamson, snowmaking and trail maintenance manager, “we just needed the weather conditions to cooperate and last night they did.”Loveland Ski Area contracts the services of year-round professional snow makers, who will return from New Zealand for a sixth consecutive season to cover the mountain trails with snow for opening day.”Opening first is important, but we will not open for the season until we have a quality product to offer our guests,” said John Sellers, marketing director.

Loveland Ski Area created a Web site last year to keep up with the high volume of requests for snowmaking updates. Skiers and riders can visit http://www.skiloveland.com/snowmaking to view the snowmaking progress and access updates.Arapahoe Basin hasn’t fired up its snow guns yet, but nevertheless, is looking forward to an Oct. 21 opening date, one day earlier than last year.”Our goal is to be the first ski area to open and we’re poised and ready to go,” Alan Henceroth said.Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsVail, Colorado