The fall storm that has gripped the state of Colorado with new snow and cold temperatures offers some good news for skiers –and those who serve the ski market. Keystone Resort announced that it will be able to open earlier than expected. The Vail Resorts-owned ski area located 75 miles west of Denver will open Thursday, November 5 (a day earlier than planned) with top-to-bottom skiing and snowboarding as well as more than 20 terrain park features from its award-winning A51 Terrain Park.
Keystone joins two other Colorado ski resorts that are already open for business. Loveland opened October 7 as the first ski resort in the country followed by Arapahoe Basin October 9. The October openings proved to be the earliest start to the Colorado ski season in 40 years.
To encourage skiers and snowboarders to visit this year, ski resorts around the country are offering early-bird deals on lift tickets and lodging. Vail Resorts' Epic Pass offers more than 200 days of skiing at six resorts - Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly and Arapahoe Basin - for $599. The only trick for many of these deals is the early booking dates. For the Epic Pass, it's November 22.
Other deals like the free Holiday Night Package at the Keystone Lodge and other Vail Resort hotels are only offered through October 31 and require a minimum night stay. In Breckenridge, if you book seven nights of lodging at select properties, like Crystal Peak Lodge or The Great Divide Lodge, you get free skiing all season long with an included Summit Season Pass with your stay. See www.rockresorts.com for all of the details.
To calculate the 200 days of skiing: Arapahoe Basin opened October 7 and usually is one of the last resorts in the country to close for skiing, with a typical closing date in May or even June, which should result in at least 200 days of skiing on the Epic Pass. Of course, it's all weather dependent.