Vail set to open six days early
Vail officials say record snow has convinced them to open six days ahead of schedule, moving opening day from Nov. 22 to Nov. 16.”This is the most snow that we have seen on Vail Mountain as of Nov. 1 in the ski area’s 40-year history, according to our records,” said Bill Jensen, chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.The area recorded a 20-inch base at Mid-Vail Nov. 1, breaking the previous record of 19 inches recorded at the top of the mountain.The resort will open in big style, opening 762 acres of terrain, 50 trails, the Eagle Bahn Gondola and lifts 1, 2, 4, 8, and 15.More than eight feet of snow have fallen on Vail Mountain since September, and nearly five of that has come in the past two weeks alone.The early opening has “accelerated the process” of hiring employees and preparing the mountain for visitors, according to one Vail official.Beaver Creek has not changed its opening date of Nov. 23, but in the past it has been the policy of Vail Resorts to open early at either Vail or Beaver Creek, but not both.Beaver Creek is open to World Cup skiers, however. The Austrian and U.S. Ski Teams are training at Beaver Creek beginning Nov. 11, and skiers from Australia, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland join them on Centennial run Nov. 16.Vail Resorts’ other Colorado ski resorts are set to open this month. Keystone opened Friday, Nov. 8, and Breckenridge opens on Friday, Nov. 15. Arapahoe Basin, which has a joint marketing deal with VR, opens Nov. 27, debuting its new snowmaking system for the first time.Other resorts gearing up are Winter Park (Nov. 13), followed by Eldora and Silverton Mountain Nov. 15. As of Nov. 11, Loveland, Wolf Creek and Copper Mountain were the only resorts open in the state.