Hours After Keystone Announces A Record-Setting Opening, A-Basin Jumps The Line

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The view looking into Montezuma Bowl at Arapahoe Basin.

Two hours after Keystone Resort announced it’ll be the “first ski resort in North America to open” for the 2019-20 season Saturday, Arapahoe Basin said it would open Friday for two hours.

Alan Henceroth, the Chief Operating Officer at Arapahoe Basin, said the decision to open Friday was all about being prepared.

“There’s always been a fun, good-spirited race to see who could open first and they announced they were going to open tomorrow and we were ready today so we decided to go for it,” Henceroth said.

He described the snow as “very good” and said he was going to ski. He said there was lots of snow coverage. Arapahoe Basin will be open from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday.

For now, there’s only one lift and one run — the Black Mountain Express. Arapahoe Basin will stay with that single route for a few days. A terrain park will be added on Saturday. Another trail and lift will be added within the upcoming weeks.

On weekends, the resort is open from 8:30 a.m to 4 p.m On weekdays, it’ll be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

By 2 p.m. people had already started lining up, Henceroth said.

“I can see four guys standing by the lift waiting for us,” Henceroth said.

Keystone Resort, which plans to open a handful of runs starting Saturday down to mid-mountain, did not respond to a request for comment.

Arapahoe Basin's one-up did not go unnoticed in the ski Twitter-sphere, and the memes were quick to swirl. (Warning: not all language is appropriate for bunny hill skiers).