Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin) opened for the 2016-17 ski season today, Friday, October 21, 2016; this marks A-Basin’s 70th season of operation. Just after 9 a.m. MT this morning, the Black Mountain Express lift began whisking skiers up to mid-mountain, where a groomed mixture of man-made and natural snow greeted them on the intermediate High Noon trail—the only run currently open.
“This is going to be a tremendous start to the ski season [here] and in the state of Colorado,” said Alan Henceroth, Arapahoe Basin chief operating officer. “We’ve been fortunate to have optimal conditions for our snowmaking team to get a base on the High Noon trail, and offer our guests skiing and snowboarding in October.”
Adrienne Saia Isaac, marketing and communications manager for Arapahoe Basin, shed further light on the conditions, noting, “Stoke is high in Colorado, we’re excited to get everyone back on the hill. We’ve got a couple thousand people [here] today. People just want to get those first turns in. You can expect an 18-inch base on the High Noon trail. We’re already making snow on Ramrod which will be the next trail to open.”
Arapahoe Basin is often the first ski area to open in North America seasonally. With a base elevation of approximately 11,000 feet, “A-Bay” benefits from cold temperatures that enable snowmaking in early October. Skiers are encouraged to exercise caution while skiing at this early stage of the season; with just one trail open until further notice, skier congestion can be high at times.
All told, today’s opening is to be celebrated by skiers all across North America; deep powder days are nigh. Here’s to a great ski season, folks.
Know before you go:
Tickets and passes are on sale at arapahoebasin.com or on-site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Current lift ticket window pricing will run through December 16, 2016, with adult (ages 19-59) full-day tickets priced at $76, youth (ages 15-18) window tickets priced at $64 and child (ages 6-14) window tickets priced at $38. Children age 5 and under ski free every day of the season. Information about season passes and multi-day tickets can be found at arapahoebasin.com.
Other skier services available on opening day include ski and board rentals in the Winter Sports Center (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and retail sales, temporarily located in the Kids Center (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Snowsports value season private lessons are available starting opening day. Dining options include: limited hot and grab-and-go breakfast items at the 6th Alley Bar & Grill from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; full lunch and après service in the 6th Alley Bar & Grill starting at 10:30 a.m.; and lunch service at Black Mountain Lodge (mid-mountain) starting at 10:30 a.m. A-Basin Mug Club sales start opening day at 8 a.m. in Marnie’s Bar on the 2nd floor of the A-Frame; mugs are $45 and entitle the owner to beverage discounts in the 6th Alley Bar & Grill and a free beer to kick off the season. Mugs are sold on a first-come, first-served basis; limit one mug per customer – must be 21 years of age.