The start of the 2020-21 ski season in Colorado is playing out, so far, like no other.
That was to be expected with pandemic restrictions in place which had already led Vail resorts to say that as kits ski areas open this month only season pass holders will be able to ski at its resorts this month, and for one of the usual early-openers, Copper Mountain, to delay their opening this year, among many other restrictions.
However more random factors are also at play besides the virus – a rather warm, dry autumn and some major forest fires.
These are being given as the reason why several of the states high ski areas – Arapahoe Basin and Loveland – have not yet opened, when they’re usually among the first to open in October and snowmaking efforts have now been ongoing, on and off, for over a month.
They’re also why Winter Park has decided to delay its opening until the end of November. In a statement the resort says,
“After careful consideration, we have decided to push back the opening of our 2020/21 winter season originally set for November 18, 2020, to help ensure the best guest experience possible. Based on current information, we anticipate opening no earlier than November 30, 2020, but that is subject to change based on public health and weather circumstances. The health and well-being of employees, guests and the community remains the highest priority for the resort.
The impacts of the East Troublesome Fire on Grand County, combined with public health guidelines, and current weather conditions have made this decision necessary and the right thing to do. It is in the best interest of all to allow time for more terrain to open to have more space for skiers and riders on the mountain. We can’t wait to welcome you back when the time is right, and we truly appreciate your patience as we navigate these unprecedented times.”
But the news isn’t all gloomy. A major snowfall is forecast for Colorado at the end of this week which could see as much as two feet (60cm) of snowfall for some.
And Colorado is already open for the season as Wolf Creek ski area (Pictured last Thursday through this report) did manage to open in October after a 22cm (55cm) snowfall there.
Keystone say they plan to open on Friday, November 6th as planned. This will make the first opening of one of Vail Resorts ski centres in the northern hemisphere since the mass closedown in March. It did have Perisher in Australia open from June to October too.
Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are yet to confirm opening days. Loveland said on Tuesday it has been too warm for snowmaking but that they hope to open still at the end of this week or early next week with the promising snow forecast.