Arapahoe v Loveland

23rd September 2009, by Chris Gill

The temperature has fallen, the snowmaking machines are running and fingers are crossed for another early opening – but which will be first: Loveland or Arapahoe?

The traditional race to be the first resort to open in the US started this week, when cooler temperatures allowed Arapahoe Basin to fire up 16 of its snow guns on Tuesday (22 September) and Loveland to get going too. The resorts will continue to run the machines as long as it’s cold enough. Some natural snowfall has fallen this week too: a light covering to the highest slopes in the region.

Loveland has spent the summer upgrading its snowmaking system as part of a recent investment in the ski area, which has also included a bigger and better children’s zone and an expanded terrain park. The resort is the closest to Denver, so is a popular weekend ski area for the locals. Arapahoe Basin’s popularity has grown in recent seasons, since the resort has opened up new terrain and developed base facilities for day visitors (there is no accommodation there).

Last winter, both resorts opened in a neck and neck start on 15 October. This followed Arapahoe Basin’s two-year consecutive win before that; Loveland claimed six consecutive seasons up to 2005.

Does it matter? Well, it does if you live in Colorado. For everyone else, it’s another exciting sign that a new season is approaching …

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