Loveland, A-Basin open today |

Loveland, A-Basin open today

Jonathan Batuello
Summit County CO, Colorado
Special to the DailySnowmaking at A-Basin allowed skiers and snowboarders a chance to get on the slopes early this year, Oct. 15.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado ” Meyer, who had slept in his car at Arapahoe Basin ski area Monday night, packed up when he learned on Tuesday morning that neighboring Loveland ski area also would be opening this morning ” and a half hour earlier.

No sooner had he done that, though, A-Basin officials announced that they, too, would be opening at 8:30 a.m., matching their first-to-open rival in bragging rights.

“It was a gentleman’s agreement between the two GM’s, so, we are basically calling it a tie,” A-Basin spokeswoman Leigh Hierholzer said.

Loveland will open its Chair 1 lift and one run, linking Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run. It is offering an 18-inch base with tree-to-tree coverage.

“It’s very exciting to be the first place in the country to open and get the chairlifts running,” said Dustin Schaefer, the group-sales coordinator for Loveland. “We are going to offer some great early-season skiing and snowboarding. There is no need to bring out rock skis. You can bring good skis out.”

The cold temperatures over the past few days allowed Loveland to run its snowmaking guns around the clock, Schaefer said, matching A-Basin flake for flake.

Loveland’s hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the cost for a pass will be $44 for adults and $21 for children ages 6-14.

A-Basin will open its intermediate High Noon run and part of the High Divide terrain park. Costs for A-Basin tickets will be $49 for adults, $44 for youths ages 15-19 and $25 for children ages 6-14.

Those who have purchased but not yet received their Vail Resorts’ Colorado Passes or Epic Passes ” which allow for skiing and snowboarding at Arapahoe Basin as well ” are being directed to visit a Front Range sales location or the River Run pass office at Keystone, which will be open today.

Although A-Basin will have to share the first-to-open distinction after being the sole winner for the past two years, officials there aren’t too upset because they still can claim bragging rights, Hierholzer said.

“It’s great for the whole ski industry,” she said. “That’s great they are able to do that, as well.”

Another race occurring is who can be the first on the chairlift.

Breckenridge resident Nate Dogggg is seeking that distinction at Loveland for the 13th year now, joining Meyer and a few others in their posse.

Dogggg and his friends have been camped at the Loveland parking lot over A-Basin because they felt it offered a more comfortable setting. Loveland allows them to leave their cars in the lot and sleep in them overnight, something they said A-Basin doesn’t permit.

“(Loveland) hasn’t had it the past two years, and (at) A-Basin, you can’t camp out at the bottom lot,” Meyer said.

As a result, they have had to camp on the dirt to get that coveted first chair, meaning they are happy to get back to Loveland.

“It’s just a little bit easier to work with,” Meyer said. “…It will be nice to sleep on the back of my truck.”

Meyer had been at A-Basin and camped out Monday night before getting news Tuesday morning of Loveland opening. Meyer, Dogggg and others then decided to head over to Loveland for the night.

“The last couple of years have been pretty mellow (the night before),” Dogggg said. “Usually just 10 to 15 of us will show up early, and we talk smack to each other all night long.”

The night around a bonfire with the anticipation of the first run kept the crew excited, not to mention time on the mountain before the masses arrive.

“You know you get your recognition nationwide, and then you are looking at the first couple of runs. You don’t have to deal with that many people,” Dogggg said. “Then it gets a haymaker with everyone everywhere.”

Jonathan Batuello can be reached at (970) 668-4653 or

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