5 Things to Expect on Opening Day

on October 11 | in Arapahoe Basin, Loveland | by | with No Comments

Anna Marie Migl, from Denver, steps into her bindings before taking a run on opening day of ski season at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, in Colorado.  (Photo by Jack Dempsey for Colorado Ski Country USA)

In case you haven’t heard, the #RaceToOpen is over and Opening Day is Friday October 13th at Arapahoe Basin. Arapahoe Basin and Loveland have had a friendly rivalry to see who can open first for years and this year A-Basin came out on top. But there are no losers in this race and We The People are all winners. If you’re new to Colorado or have never paid attention to the Opening Day hype, we’re here to give you some insight on what Opening Day in Colorado is really like. Without further ado, here are the 5 things to expect on opening day.

Opening Day 2016 at Arapahoe Basin. Photo by Dave Camara.

1. Energy

The start of the ski and snowboard season gets everyone very excited, and rightfully so! Colorado is lucky enough to kick of the season before anywhere else in the United States, so many opening day skiers are full of energy. There is a lot of excitement regarding first chair (who doesn’t want to rip open the iconic “Colorado is Open!” banner?), but the energy extends well beyond  the opening ceremony. Once the chairs start turning ski season is official here! If happy people enjoying themselves are not for you, then we suggest sitting this one out. If you enjoy hootin’ and hollerin’ (while respecting your neighbors ear drums and personal space), come on down!

Harambe, is that you? Photo: Jack Dempsey

Harambe, is that you? Photo: Jack Dempsey

2. Costumes

Similar to spring skiing shenanigans (link), there are always at least a few people to bust out a costume, or at the very least, retro ski gear (intentional or not, that is for you to decide). If opening day coincides with Halloween (like it did in 2015), then the costume to coat ratio approaches equilibrium.

Opening Day 2016 at Arapahoe Basin. Photo by Dave Camara.

3. Bloody Marys

Bacon Bloody Marys at Arapahoe Basin have gained quite the reputation as the beverage of choice, especially during early season and spring skiing. Early morning adult beverages are only appropriate on special occasions. This is obviously one of them.

This guy knows how to pose for a camera Photo: Jack Dempsey

This guy knows how to pose for a camera Photo: Jack Dempsey

4. Cameras

Put on your smile (or even a costume) because the media will be out in force for opening day. Skiing and snowboarding is a big deal in our state, so news outlets everywhere want to get the word out and capture the energy of opening day. So if your dream is to be on the cover of the local paper and to have your pearly whites syndicated on the national news circuit, this could be your opportunity.

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Opening day 2014. This might look bad, but it is well worth it.

5. Crowds

Yes, it will be busy. This is a celebration after all. The best way to deal with the crowds on opening day is to remember that the season is just beginning. There will be plenty of opportunities to ski and snowboard down wide open slopes throughout the winter, so don’t get worked up that the one or two open runs are filled with people. Opening day is not meant to be the best conditions ever (although powder on opening day has happened), it is meant to signal the start of the season while allowing people to enjoy a few runs.

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