From left, Nate (who said his last name is Dogggg), 31; Jeff Meyer, 31; and Jesse Csincsak, 27, all of Breckenridge, got first chair during the earliest opening day in 40 years, at Loveland Ski Area. The three camped out overnight to get their spot in line.

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Denver, Colo. – October 7, 2009 – The Colorado ski season bounded to one of its earliest starts ever this morning with Loveland Ski Area opening its chair lifts to skiers and riders. At 9:00 am this morning, with its lifts in motion and an 18-inch base, Loveland became the first ski resort in North America to open for the 2009-10 season. Loveland’s opening, combined with recently announced pass deals and new improvements at Colorado resorts, has skiers salivating about the turns that await them this season.

Snowmaking teams at Loveland have taken advantage of cold temperatures and ideal humidity conditions over the past several weeks. They started making snow on September 21 and have made snow or received natural snow most days since then. The accumulation has led to their current packed powder conditions, with more snow expected in the coming days.

Loveland skiers and snowboarders enjoyed a top to bottom run consisting of 1,000 vertical feet via Chair 1. The trails Catwalk, Mambo and Homerun made up this opening day run, which is longer than a mile.

For Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA), this early opening signals the beginning of an exciting season for Colorado skiing. “Resorts across the state are focusing on what makes Colorado the best place to ski and ride,” explains Melanie Mills, president and CEO of CSCUSA. “From top quality conditions to top notch guest service, Ski Country resorts are incorporating lots of value this season.”

The excellent early-season conditions brought an enthusiastic crowd to Loveland today, demonstrating that skiers and riders are eager to enjoy Colorado’s official winter sports. ”Resorts are renewing their efforts this season to ensure that skiers get maximum enjoyment from all aspects of the sport,” Mills continues. “Whether that means new deals on lift tickets and passes, lodging specials, on-mountain improvements, or the emphasis on guest service that has become synonymous with Colorado skiing.”

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. also congratulated Loveland on its earliest opening in 40 years, saying, “It’s only October, but the 2009-10 snow-sport season is open for business in Colorado.” He explained, “Recreation and tourism are key economic drivers and job-creators in Colorado, and we’re looking forward to a great year on the slopes.”

The competition to be Colorado’s first ski area to open is a Colorado Ski Country tradition. For many years, the bragging rights have been claimed by either Arapahoe Basin or Loveland. These two resorts are generally the front runners in the race due in part to their high elevations, which bring colder temperatures and earlier frosts.

Loveland won the race to open for six consecutive seasons, from 1999 to 2005. Arapahoe Basin took the title in 2006 and 2007, and both resorts tied last season. Arapahoe Basin has announced it will open for the season on Friday. For more information on other resorts scheduled opening days, CSCUSA or any of CSCUSA’s 22 member resorts, please visit <> .

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