Ski season starts today with the first U.S. ski resort openings of the year

Oct 11, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Each year, there’s an unofficial race to see which ski resort will be the first one in the United States to start running lifts up and down the mountain.

And now we have our winner.

Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin), after teasing a “coming soon” announcement, will technically be the first North American ski resort to open as of today, October 11.

Meanwhile, with its earliest opening in two decades, Keystone Resort about 80 miles west of Denver in Colorado is set to open for the season tomorrow — Saturday, Oct. 12. For a few hours today it looked like they would be the first resort to open this year, before A-Basin’s last-second announcement.

That whole area just got a solid snowfall this week, but that’s not the only secret behind the early opening. The very family-friendly Keystone Resort has set a goal of an early start and worked toward that goal with, as they put it, “significant investments to its snowmaking infrastructure and installing a new state-of-the-art, automated snowmaking system that allows the resort to operate more efficiently and productively during the early season.”

Loveland, meanwhile, has tweeted that it will not open this weekend as there is still a good amount of snow to make for the bottom half of the mountain.

On Keystone’s opening day, there will be access to the River Run Gondola and Montezuma Express lift that can take you up to the long and winding Schoolmarm, Silver Spoon and Last Chance. Keystone shares that Skiing and riding access will be offered from the top of Dercum Mountain to the bottom of the Montezuma Express lift. Day one riders and skiers can also help themselves to hot chocolate, donuts and coffee at the River Run Gondola — with the first 100 in line getting a free pancake breakfast at Summit House.

Long ski seasons are great news for many sets of people, but especially for those with ski season passes. If you have an Epic Pass, you can start putting it to use as early as tomorrow at Keystone. Those with the Ikon Pass can start swiping it today at A-Basin. Note that Epic Pass prices increase again as of Oct. 13. Ikon Pass increase will happen on Oct. 17.

Here’s a breakdown of all of the major U.S. ski pass programs. If you want to pick up some free Epic ski days for your child, Oct. 13 is also the deadline for the Epic SchoolKids Pack. There is no residency restriction, but you do have to apply in person in Colorado. Here are other ways kids can ski for free this season.

(Photo courtesy of Keystone/Vail Resorts)
(Photo courtesy of Keystone/Vail Resorts)

Related: Best credit cards to use for ski passes and lift tickets

While we are talking about “free”, the Hyatt Place Keystone is extremely close to the base of Keystone and not far from A-Basin and rings in at just a Category 4 Hyatt, meaning that an annual Category 1 – 4 award from the  World of Hyatt Credit Card or 15,000 Hyatt points is all you need to book an award night near the first ski resorts to open this year in the U.S.

We’re crossing fingers for a great 2019 – 2020 ski season. If you haven’t mapped out your trips this year, here’s a points and miles guide to ski vacations.

Featured image via Keystone / Vail Resorts

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.