It’s time to dig your gloves out of the closet, wax your snowboard and tune your skis: Ski season is officially here.
Over the weekend, the lifts started spinning at Arapahoe Basin, the first Colorado ski resort to open for the winter. And more will follow soon.
So that you can start to get stoked for the upcoming winter, here’s a quick snapshot of what’s new around Colorado resorts—and their anticipated opening dates.
Eldora Mountain Resort
You can expect the same amazing skiing and riding at Eldora as always. In the future, however, keep your eyes peeled for the new 12,000-square-foot Ski & Ride School building the resort is constructing in partnership with Ignite Adaptive Sports. Crews broke ground on the new facility in May and it’s scheduled to be finished sometime in 2024.
When it opens, you’ll find Ignite’s snowsports operations on the first floor and Eldora’s Ski & Ride School on the second floor.
Ignite is the second-oldest adaptive winter sports program in the state. Every year, its volunteers provide more than 1,200 hours of individual lessons to more than 300 students with disabilities.
“With this building comes the confidence of knowing that no potential athlete will be turned away due to space constraints,” says Tom Kissinger, Ignite’s board president.
Eldora will open for the season on Nov. 3.
This season, Copper is unveiling the Aerie, a brand new, 25,000-square-foot mid-mountain lodge at the top of the American Eagle lift. It’s got a food hall/cafeteria, a bar and lounge, a coffee shop, a private dining area for events and, perhaps most importantly, 270-degree views of the Gore and Ten Mile ranges. The two-story building also includes Copper’s first full-service, on-mountain restaurant, called Forage and Feast, so you can enjoy an elevated meal when you ski there this winter.
Copper will open for the season on Nov. 13.
There’s a lot to celebrate in Aspen this winter, whether you’re a skier or not. Aspen Mountain, aka Ajax, has added 153 acres of new terrain—and installed a high-speed, four-seat chairlift to reach the new area—called Hero’s. That’s a 20 percent increase to Aspen Mountain’s lift-served terrain, which is a big deal.
Aspen also has a new hotel: Mollie Aspen. It’s a 68-room boutique property that overlooks Paepcke Park in a quiet area of downtown Aspen.
And when you visit this winter, you’ll be able to enjoy a meal at Aspen’s first-ever Michelin-starred restaurant. Bosq—a fine-dining restaurant helmed by Barclay Dodge—earned one Michelin star when the guide came to Colorado this summer. Better make your reservation now, however, as this is an ultra-popular place.
Aspen Mountain will open for the season on Nov. 23.
New for this season, Keystone has constructed a new high-speed, six-passenger chairlift to access 555 acres of terrain in Bergman and Erickson bowls. Previously, the only way to reach this high-alpine area was to hike to it!
The new lift is called the Bergman Express and it deposits skiers and riders at a spot on the mountain that’s more than 12,000 feet above sea level. When you reach the top, you’ll be gobsmacked by the 360-degree views of surrounding peaks and you’ll have a choice of 16 new trails—13 in Bergman Bowl and 3 in Erickson Bowl. To help keep everyone safe, the resort also built a new, fully off-grid hut for ski patrol near the top of the new lift. It’s made entirely of beetle-kill pine wood, runs off solar power and is heated by a pellet stove.
Also check out the newly expanded Timber Ridge Lodge, which was already Keystone’s largest on-mountain lodge and restaurant. It gained an additional 6,000 square feet last year and will welcome a new taqueria station, complete with signature pork green chile tacos.
Keystone will open for the season on Nov. 1.
Steamboat Ski Resort
Steamboat is wrapping up its major three-year, $220-million “Full Steam Ahead” redevelopment project, which is the most extensive such project in the resort’s 60-year history. This winter, it will unveil 655 additional acres of double-black diamond expert terrain in Mahogany Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon, which will make Steamboat the second-largest resort in Colorado (behind Vail Ski Resort).
The resort also extended its Wild Blue Gondola to the summit of Sunshine Peak, which makes it the fastest and longest 10-person gondola in all of North America. It’s now a whopping 3.16 miles long, but goes from bottom to top in just 13 minutes!
Steamboat is slated to open for the season on Nov. 22.
Big news out of A-Basin this year: The resort is now operating with 100% renewable electricity and offsetting more than 2/3rds of its carbon emissions. To achieve this feat, the ski area is using on-site solar panels, as well as partnering with Jack’s Solar Farm in Longmont and Xcel Energy. Arapahoe Basin aims to be carbon neutral by 2025.
Arapahoe Basin opened for the season on Oct. 29.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Ahead of this winter, Breck created a new dedicated learning area at its Peak 8 base area and upgraded its 5-Chair to a high-speed four-seater called the Five SuperChair. Now, all four chairlifts that service Peak 8 are high-speed lifts, which should help improve the flow in the base area.
Over the summer, Breck also welcomed a new place to stay, The Carlin. This European-inspired inn has four luxurious rooms above a seafood-focused restaurant. In the basement, there’s also a tavern.
Breckenridge will open for the season on Nov. 10.
Winter Park Resort
Winter Park added a new, high-speed, six-seater chairlift called the Wild Spur Express for access to Vasquez Ridge. The new lift will be able to transport 2,800 skiers and riders per hour.
The resort also built a brand new employee housing complex called Conifer Commons that adds 330 new beds. It’s one of the largest workforce housing projects in all of Colorado, and employees will be able to walk to work.
Winter Park is also unveiling four new “pop up” dining spots around the mountain. When the resort opens, you’ll find these near the top of the new Wild Spur Express lift, the bottom of the Olympia lift, the Mary Jane base area and at the top of the Super Gauge lift. In the heart of the village, there’s also a new place to refuel called Sundog Tap Room, which has more than 30 serve-yourself taps of Colorado craft beers, plus wine, cocktails and snacks.
Winter Park hasn’t announced an opening day yet, but aims to open as soon as possible.