Loveland Basin opens today |

Loveland Basin opens today

2009-10 ski season gets early start; A-Basin plans for Friday

John Meyer/The Denver Post

And the winner is … Loveland Basin.

Boasting its earliest opening day in 40 years, Loveland officials Tuesday announced that the area will open for skiing today. Less than an hour later, the folks at Arapahoe Basin congratulated their rivals on the other side of the pass and said their area would open Friday.

Loveland will become the first ski area in North America to open its season at 9 a.m. with $44 lift tickets. Loveland trail crews were able to begin snowmaking operations Sept. 21.

“We took advantage of the cold temperatures and got an early start making snow this year,” said Eric Johnstone, snowmaking and trail maintenance manager. “Now we can move some equipment to other trails and try to open more terrain as quickly as possible.”

As usual on opening day, Loveland will open Chair 1 with 1,000 vertical feet of terrain on Catwalk, Mambo and Homerun.

Friday will mark the earliest opening in Arapahoe Basin’s 64-year history. The Exhibition chairlift will open at 9 a.m. Friday with skiing on the intermediate High Noon run and six features in the High Divide Terrain Park. There will be no beginner skiing.

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Both areas say they have a manmade base of 18 inches.