Vail Opens Saturday With Most Terrain In NA


-Sun Up and Sun Down bowls set to open Saturday
-Vail plans to open entire mountain for Thanksgiving holiday
-Pass restrictions lifted for Nov. 29 and 30

VAIL, Colo.-Nov. 12, 2002-Vail is set to open this Saturday, Nov. 16 withmore than 2,300 acres of skiing and riding-the most terrain open in NorthAmerica. The recent cycle of winter storms have dumped nearly seven feet onVail since Nov. 1, allowing the ski area to move up its opening date for the2002-2003 season with the best early season conditions since 1992.

“We have not experienced snow conditions this exceptional in 10 years,”said Bill Jensen, Vail chief operating officer. “We are providing guestswith a ski experience they normally would find during the Christmasholidays.”

As of today, the ski area is reporting 78 inches of snowfall atmid-mountain markers since Nov. 1 with a mid-mountain settled base of 32inches. Vail’s cumulative snowfall since Nov.1 has already surpassed theaverage snowfall for the entire month of November and more is expected tofall this week. The above average snow will allow the resort to open theoriginal Back Bowls-Sun Up and Sun Down- and the majority of the front sideof Vail Mountain this weekend. The resort plans to open additional terrainon Saturday, Nov. 23 including Game Creek Bowl.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, skiers and snowboarders will be able to access themountain beginning at 9 a.m. out of Lionshead and Vail Village. The resortwill open a total of 10 lifts, giving skiers and snowboarders access to2,331 acres of terrain on the front side of the mountain and in Sun Up andSun Down bowls. The ski area will operate 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

On opening day, the Lionshead, Vail Village and Mid-Vail Ski and SnowboardSchools will open for adult ski and snowboard lessons. The LionsheadChildren’s Ski and Snowboard School will be open for children’s lessons. TheSmall World Play School in Golden Peak also will open to provide childcare.

Skiers and snowboarders will be able to stop by a number of on-mountainrestaurants for dining including Buffalo’s at the top of the Mountain TopExpress, Wildwood at the top of the Wildwood Express, Eagle’s Nest andMid-Vail.

Thanksgiving Terrain Opening

Vail anticipates opening the rest of the resort’s terrain by Wednesday,

Nov. 27 giving skiers and snowboarders access to approximately 5,000 acresof terrain in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. This includes China Bowland Blue Sky Basin.

“We are excited to be able to offer our guests the full Vail experience-the front side, Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin-this early in the season,”said Jensen. “It’s an historical first that our Thanksgiving visitors willhave access to nearly the entire mountain including Blue Sky Basin.”

Beaver Creek will open for the 2002-2003 season Saturday, Nov. 23 withrecord snowfall, allowing the resort to open more than 950 acres of terrain,served by seven lifts, including Rose Bowl, Larkspur Bowl and GrouseMountain. Beaver Creek is reporting a 28-inch settled base at mid-mountainwith more snow at higher elevations.

With the amount of terrain that will be available to guests during theThanksgiving holiday, Vail and Beaver Creek have lifted all passrestrictions for Nov. 29 and 30 on their season pass products including theColorado Pass, Value Pass, Merchant Pass, Young Adult Pass, Senior ValuePass, all employee passes and employee dependant passes.

Opening Weekend Parking

Early season skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of free parking inthe Town of Vail parking structures this weekend. The parking structures arelocated in Vail Village and Lionshead. However, due to the anticipatedcrowds for Vail’s opening weekend, the Town of Vail and Vail Mountain areencouraging skiers and snowboarders to help the environment and relieveparking congestion by carpooling to the mountain.

For more information on opening day activities at Vail, please contact theVail Activities Desk at (970) 476-9090.