With five ski areas scheduled to open this week but snowmaking crews across Colorado struggling due to mild temperatures, Aspen and Snowmass officials confirmed on Monday that those two resorts will open Thursday as scheduled.
Crested Butte is scheduled to open Wednesday, Powderhorn on Friday and Steamboat on Saturday. Steamboat’s opening was scheduled for last Saturday but resort officials were forced to postpone it a week. Beaver Creek was scheduled to open on Wednesday but officials announced an indefinite postponement last week.
Copper Mountain on Monday became the 10th Colorado ski area to open for the season.
Aspen Snowmass officials said in a news release on Monday that Aspen Mountain will open Thursday at 9 a.m. with 50 acres in operation — the size of 37 football fields, 7% of the mountain’s total skiable acreage — at the top of the mountain. Skiers and riders will have to download on the Silver Queen Gondola when they are finished for the day. The Sundeck at the top of the mountain will be open for food and beverages.
Snowmass, located seven miles west of Aspen Mountain, will open a seven-acre learning area. That’s the equivalent of just nine football fields.
Auden Schendler, Aspen’s senior vice president of sustainability, said last week that snowmaking crews there have been able to make only 10% of the snow they normally make by this time of year. When Steamboat announced its one-week postponement a week ago, the news release said they had only been able to make snow for eight hours up to that point. In a normal year, they would be able to run the snow guns for 200 hours.
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