Vail, CO, Jan. 6, 2000--Vail ski resort opened more than 500 acres and three high-speed detachable quads open today for snowriders. The remainder of the 885-acre expansion and a fourth high-speed quad will open for the 2000-2001 season.
"The skiing back there is real good," said Warren Miller films ski star ChrisAnthony of Vail. "There are a lot of natural terrain variations back there that Vail doesn't have on the rest of the mountain, so that's going to add a lot adventure and fun."
Blue Sky Basin is located to the south of Vail Mountain's Back Bowls, on the south side of the Two Elk Creek. The area was a part of Vail's initial master plan in 1962, although construction of the new area did not begin until October of 1998. The ridge between Pete's and Earl's bowls offers some of the most spectacular views at Vail, including the including the Mount of the Holy Cross.
The area includes gladed and naturally open terrain, as well as conventional trails in Pete's Bowl and Earl's Bowl. Facilities, amenities and services available as of today include:
520 acres of terrain, or nearly 60 percent of the total project.
73 percent intermediate and 27 percent advanced terrain.
Two high-speed quad chairlifts. The first will run from the bottom of Tea Cup Bowl up the ridge between Pete's Bowl and Earl's Bowl providing the main access to the area. The second quad will run up the east side of Pete's Bowl where skiers and riders can access acres upon acres of gladed terrain.
A third high-speed quad , in Tea Cup Bowl, the Tea Cup Express, will improve skier circulation to the west wall of China Bowl and access from the bottom of Blue Sky Basin back to the front side of Vail Mountain.
A warming hut, ski patrol outpost, and restroom facilities will be located at the top of the ridge between Pete's and Earl's bowls. Again, this is the primo spot for views at Vail, including a good vantage of the Mount of the Holy Cross. Vail will commemorate the opening of Blue Sky Basin with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Vail founders Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, ski resort officials, ski industry dignitaries and others at 10 a.m. at the skier's bridge crossing Two Elk Creek, located below the Orient Express Chairlift (Chair #21). "We've been looking forward to this day for many years," said Andy Daly, president of Vail Resorts. "Skiers and snowboarders will find an experience unlike anything else found on Vail Mountain in Blue Sky Basin--from the rustic character of the buildings to the views, the snow and the incredible gladed skiing--it's truly different." After the ceremonies, public skiing will begin in Blue Sky Basin today, at 11 a.m.