Opening day at Loveland. PHOTO: Jack Dempsey

Opening day at Loveland. PHOTO: Jack Dempsey

DENVER, Colo. – Oct. 24, 2010 – Colorado is open for the 2010-11 ski season. At 9 a.m. this morning, Loveland Ski Area became the first resort in the nation to open to the public and welcome skiers and snowboarders for the season. Neighboring resort Arapaho Basin will open for the season on Monday.

Loveland and Arapahoe Basin’s snowmaking teams worked tirelessly this fall in order to offer the quality ski experience to which skiers in Colorado have become accustomed. Snowmaking efforts combined with recent winter snow storms allowed Loveland to open with an 18 inch base and provide lift served access to one top-to-bottom run that is a little more than a mile in length. More snow is expected in the coming days and will add to the packed powder conditions.

Opening day signifies the start to another terrific ski season for Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA). “There’s a lot for Colorado skiers to be excited about this year,” explained Melanie Mills, president and CEO of CSCUSA. “This year, resorts have been concentrating on efforts to make the guest experience even better while continuing to offer creative packages and deals that keep Colorado the first choice for skiing and riding.”

The lure of early season powder turns brought an energized crowd to Loveland today, demonstrating that people are eager for ski season and to participate in Colorado’s official winter sports. “The build up from this year’s race to open seemed particularly intense, especially given Colorado’s unpredictable weather,” said Mills. “However, another ski season has opened in October, and signs are promising that this year will be as good as, or better, than years past.”

Governor Ritter also weighed in on the significance of today’s opening. “Once again, Colorado leads the nation in opening for the season,” said Gov. Ritter. “It is a pleasure to welcome tourists from across the nation and globe to our state. We are open for business in one of our most recognizable and successful industries.”

Loveland’s CEO Rob Goodell expressed his pleasure in winning the 2010-11 race. “As friendly as the rivalry is, it’s always a good feeling to be the first to open,” he said. “There’s that sense of satisfaction for the resort and the entire staff here at Loveland Ski Area – it’s a great reward for all of the hard work and effort the team put in for the past several weeks, and I’m thankful to have such a dedicated staff.”

Today’s early opening gives Loveland another year of bragging rights in the “first to open” competition. Loveland won the race for seven consecutive seasons, from 1999 to 2005. Arapahoe Basin mounted a successful challenge to take the title in 2006 and 2007 before both resorts tied in 2008. Loveland regained the title last year for the 2009-10 season. For more information about opening day or Colorado Ski Country USA please visit www.ColoradoSki.com <http://www.ColoradoSki.com> .