Ski season starts today with the first U.S. ski resort openings of the year
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.”
— Keystone Resort (@KeystoneMtn) October 10, 2019
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.
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
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.