Boulder, CO, Sept. 28--The race to open first in Colorado, and in the U.S., just heated up a little more. Loveland Ski Area, which opened first last season on Oct. 13, began making snow this past weekend. Last night, Keystone Resort started up 30 snowmaking guns around midnight, and just down the road, Breckenridge fired up their snowmaking team too.
"Evening temperatures have been in the low 20's which is fine for making snow, but lately the daytime temperatures have been too warm to sustain any new snow," said Gary Dutmers, spokesman for Keystone Resort. "However, a recent report of a cold stretch over the next few days should keep the newly minted snow from melting."
Indeed, the timing is perfect as an early September snowstorm is blanketing nearby Denver, and most of Colorado's Front Range, with 4-8 inches of snow.
Keystone will utilize most of their equipment from the past winter, replacing only a few snow-guns and parts. "Keystone's snowmaking infrastructure is well established and in pretty good shape," said Dutmers. Keystone started snowmaking at the top of the Peru Express lift that services intermediate runs Silver Spoon and Haywood.
Loveland's four new Lenko snow guns have been giving their love to the beginner and intermediate trails under Chair 1. Loveland hopes to open with at least a one-foot base on a nearly one-mile long run from mid-mountain. Loveland is aiming to open either next week or the week after.
Keystone anticipates an October 22 opening, and Breckenridge is aiming for October 29. Of courese, weather plays a big part in determining these opening dates, so stay tuned for updates and don't change that bookmark.