There’s a reason they call it Loveland Ski Area (aside from Loveland Pass’ homage to William A.H. Loveland, former president of the Colorado Central Railroad). People love it and so do I. It’s decidedly home grown, boasting a dedicated group of die-hard locals from the Denver Metro Area as well as surrounding towns like Georgetown, Silver Plume and Dillon. They don’t come to Loveland to eat farm-to-table cuisine, drink mixologist-crafted cocktails or lounge in luxury accommodations. They come for the skiing, and never is that attitude more apparent than on opening day.
The cars arrive at the parking lot in droves before the sun has risen and the eager snow sliders line up at Chair 1 hours before it begins to spin. While the air is thin at Loveland’s base area, situated at 10,800 feet, the excitement among the locals is always thick. We attended Loveland’s 2017-18 opening day—today, October 20, 2017—and settled on 7 reasons that Loveland’s opening day is a can’t-miss for Colorado skiers.
Catching the sunrise on the Continental Divide
Seeing the sun’s first rays blanket the slopes beneath Loveland’s Chair 9 is remarkable. Anytime you witness the sunrise is a pleasure, but seeing it and then clicking into your skis makes the day that much sweeter.
Lift lines don’t exist
At many ski areas across Colorado’s Front Range, attending opening day equates to one or two runs and a whole lot of standing in line. Not at Loveland. It’s ski-on, ski-off all day long, allowing you to rebuild those early season ski legs that much faster.
Donuts… lots of donuts
Colorado Ski Country—the trade association representing many of the Centennial State’s ski areas—shows up to the base of Chair 1 with a table full of donuts. From glazed to jelly-filled, frosted and more, there’s plenty of donuts around to fill your belly and prepare you for your first day of shredding.
You can daydream about how good it’s going to be when Chair 9 opens
From the top of Chair 1 you can gaze out to the west and just imagine how sweet it will be once the terrain off of Chair 9 fills up with snow. From steep chutes to cliff drops and wide open bowls, Chair 9 is home to some of Loveland’s most badass terrain. Keep daydreaming and keep building up those ski legs.
Loveland’s locals are… eccentric. They like to have a good time. They’ll come out to opening day in costume and some will even bring some games to play in the parking lot. I have to say, this was the first time I saw an electric pinball machine in a ski area lot. I wasn’t mad about it.
You may run into R2D2
R2D2, that lovable droid from the Star Wars films, showed up for Loveland’s 2017-18 opening day, along with a few lightsaber-wielding snowboarders. He was a hit, to say the least.
Early season park laps
Most resorts have an early season terrain park set-up for the jib-enthusiasts, yes, but Loveland takes time and effort to put together a thoughtful arrangement of features that flow seamlessly with the Mambo run. And with the lack of lift lines, there’s no pressure to spend all day hiking up the park to maximize your laps.
In case you haven’t heard, we’re giving away a pair of Loveland’s No Restrictions 4-Pak lift tickets. Click here to enter.