Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area Tie for First Resort in North America to Open for 2008-09 Ski and Snowboard Season
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denver, Colo. – October 15, 2008 – Colorado is ready for skiing as Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin both started up their lifts and opened their doors to skiers and riders this morning. In an unprecedented tie, the two perennial challengers became the first resorts in North America to open for the 2008-09 season. While many Americans have been focused on the presidential race, skiers and snowboarders have been focused on the race to open for the ski season.
Thanks to cold temperatures recently bestowed on the Rockies, snowmaking teams at each resort have been busy employing state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment to lay a base for their opening runs. A-Basin opened the Exhibition chairlift that offered visitors an 18-inch base on the intermediate High Noon run and some features in the High Divide Terrain Park.
On the other side of the Continental Divide at Loveland, skiers and snowboarders enjoyed a top to bottom run consisting of 1,000 vertical feet via Chair 1. The trails Catwalk, Mambo and Homerun made up this opening day run which is longer than a mile.
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is excited about the 2008-09 ski season, and as the crowds today at Loveland and A-Basin demonstrated, skiers and riders are more than ready. “All of us who work in the ski industry are optimistic by nature,” explains Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. “We are confident that with the wide variety of resort enhancements and great value that our members are offering to visitors this season, Colorado will remain a top destination choice for winter vacationers, even in the current economic climate.”
The competition to be Colorado’s first ski area to open is a CSCUSA tradition. For many years, the bragging rights have been claimed by either Arapahoe Basin or Loveland. These two resorts are generally the front runners in the race due in part to their high elevations, which bring colder temperatures and earlier frosts.
Loveland won the opening day challenge for six consecutive seasons, from 1999 to 2005. Arapahoe Basin took the title the past two seasons, 2006 and 2007.
Media are invited to download video footage and photos from opening day by visiting: www.ColoradoSkiCountryVideo.com.
Keeping skiing attainable in a sluggish economy has been a top priority for CSCUSA members. Therefore, resorts have developed creative programs and deals to help streamline, recession-proof, and add value to the Colorado ski vacation. For example:
- Crested Butte Resort is giving a credit of $15 per passenger, each way, to cover their first bag when they book a four day or more vacation through Crested Butte Vacations (CBV) before November 1, 2008.
- Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort is offering their It Pays to Travel Plan. When guests book their vacation to Purgatory Mountain by November 27th, they will receive an instant 10 percent travel credit on their vacation*. It Pays to Travel applies to a minimum of 2 night stays at any Durango Mountain Resort property. Some restrictions apply.
- Copper Mountain has made renting equipment more convenient with two options that help counter baggage fees. First, Copper’s guests can rent from any of their three villages. Second, with their new web based rental program, www.skiandboardrentals.com, prior to arrival at Copper, guests can book rental equipment for pick-up in locations throughout Colorado’s Summit and Eagle counties, including Copper Mountain.
- New for this season Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation unveiled its Bags Fly Free* program, in conjunction with the resort’s Early Rewards package. When guests book an Early Rewards air-inclusive package through Steamboat Central Reservations® between August 15th and November 3rd, the resort will offset the baggage fee from the airlines to the tune of $25* per booked air seat through an American Express pre-paid gift card. Steamboat’s Early Rewards package offers saving up to 20 percent on lift tickets and lodging when purchased and paid in full by November 3, 2008.
- Monarch Mountain has increased their demo fleet for the coming ski season by 300 percent, giving guests even more selection of the newest skis and snowboards.
- Winter Park Resort has updated the quality of their rental offering having purchased more than $250 thousand dollars worth of new gear. All rental skis will be under the new Salomon Syncro rental system, which means faster fitting for a, more effective rental process.
- Powderhorn resort is providing shuttle service to the resort on all weekends and holidays. In addition, starting in January, when a guest purchases 10 gallons of gas or more at any Phillips 66 station, they will receive a 'buy one, get one free' lift ticket.
- Silverton Mountain recognizes that they can’t lower fuel prices but they can lower their lift ticket prices. For the 2008/09 season, guests can experience today’s Silverton Mountain skiing at 2005 lift ticket prices.
For more information on Opening Day, CSCUSA or any of CSCUSA’s 22 member resorts, please visit www.ColoradoSki.com.
Media are invited to download video footage and photos from opening day by visiting: http://www.ColoradoSkiCountryVideo.com.
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing Colorado’s 22 ski & snowboard resorts. CSCUSA is the global voice of the Colorado ski industry. The Association’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy and public relations. Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com. This release and other press information can be found in the online press room at media-ColoradoSki.com.