Vail, Beaver Creek to open early for 2018-19 season

Staff Report
Vail Mountain, opening, Blue Sky Basin

A large snowstorm hit Vail and Beaver Creek in early November, including at the snow stake in Blue Sky Basin.

VAIL — With more than 4 feet of natural snowfall last week and cold temperatures helping with snowmaking conditions, Vail and Beaver Creek mountains will join other Colorado resorts in opening early for the 2018-19 season.

Vail, originally slated to open Friday, Nov. 16, will open for the season on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m. Beaver Creek will open Saturday, Nov. 17, four days ahead of its scheduled Nov. 21 opening date.

Vail will open with skiing and riding out of both Vail Village and Lionshead with more than 500 skiable acres and access to seven lifts:

  • Gondola One
  • Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19)
  • Born Free Express Lift (#8)
  • Avanti Express (#2)
  • Wildwood Express Lift (#3)
  • Mountain Top Express Lift (#4)
  • Little Eagle Lift (#15)

Beaver Creek will open with more than 220 beginner and intermediate skiable acres with access to four lifts:

  • Centennial Express (#6)
  • Cinch Express (#8)
  • Red Buffalo Express (#5)
  • Haymeadow Express Gondola (#1)
Beaver Creek, opening

Early snowfall and cold temperatures for snowmaking have helped Vail and Beaver Creek mountains push up their opening days. Photo by Jon Resnick.

Vail will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding through Lionshead Village as well as upload and download access to the Mid-Vail area via Gondola One. Complimentary breakfast burritos and hot cocoa will also be available for early risers. (At Vail, the Golden Peak base area and Riva Bahn Express Lift are a designated race training area only.

Beaver Creek will have top-to-bottom access via Cinch Express, as well as the beginner terrain in Red Buffalo Park. Opening Day festivities include a special Cookie Time in the morning.

Slow down, cowboy

All skiers and snowboarders are reminded that they must observe all posted signs, closures and slow zones, especially during the early-season. Closed trails may contain hazards due to early snow coverage. Accessing closed terrain is a violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act and will result in the loss of skiing privileges and could involve prosecution and a fine.

“We are thrilled to be kicking off the 2018-19 season by opening early and truly setting the tone for the season to come at both Vail and Beaver Creek,” said Doug Lovell, Vail chief operating officer. “This is the first time we’ve been able to open both resorts early in more than 10 years. We owe a big thank you to our mountain operations teams for their hard work in making this possible for our loyal guests and season pass holders.”

Passes and Parking

Epic Pass: The last chance to purchase the 2018-19 Epic Pass is by Sunday, Nov. 18. The pass provides access to more than 65 resorts in eight countries and costs $949. The entire lineup of passes is available for purchase at

Parking at Beaver Creek: Parking is $10 per day at the Bear and Elk lots at Beaver Creek, and complimentary after 1 p.m. A 10-day punch pass is available for $75 at ticket offices in the village. Free shuttle service is provided from each lot. For more information regarding parking, call 970-949-4911.

For more information, visit and

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