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Ski season starts this weekend: 1st US ski resort announces its opening

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Each year, there’s an unofficial race to see which ski resort will be the first one in the United States to start turning its lifts up and down the mountain.

Wolf Creek, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin are often in the running to be the first to get those chairs heading up the slopes. Location, weather and snow-making capabilities are often what dictates who can pull it off the fastest.

While the race is concluding a little later than it has in some recent years, we now have our winner for the first ski resort to open for the 2022-2023 ski season.

Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin) in Colorado just announced it will open for the first time this season on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8:30 a.m.

However, if you are prepping for your first ski trip, you’ll need to wait a little longer as the early season is not a beginner-friendly time to ski, with very limited terrain available. On A-Basin’s opening day, only the Black Mountain Express lift and the High Noon run will be operational.

Tickets for the opening day must be purchased in advance but the rental shop and three restaurants will be ready to welcome the season’s first skiers and riders.

Longer ski seasons are great news in general, but especially for those with ski season passes.

Arapahoe Basin is on the Mountain Collective Pass which includes two days at each participating mountain, and Ikon Pass.

However, those with an Epic Pass should closely watch the Keystone Resort, also in Colorado, which says it is hard at work making snow for the 2-mile-long School Marm run, which is usually the first run to open on that mountain.

Related: 5 things to know before taking your 1st ski trip


If skiing is now very much on your mind, here’s a rundown of the major U.S. ski pass programs.

It’s also not too late to get some discounted ski days if you have a child between third and sixth grade via the Colorado Ski Country passport. This pass is not limited to Colorado residents, so any kid in those grades can take advantage of four days at each of the 20 participating Colorado ski areas such as A-Basin, Steamboat, Aspen Snowmass, Telluride, Winter Park and more. That means up to 80 ski days for the kids for just $59 (with some blackout dates), which is pretty fantastic.

Here are other ways kids can ski for free or at a discount. And here are some resorts that have free or discounted skiing for “senior” skiers.


Related: Best credit cards to use for ski passes and lift tickets

While we are talking about “free,” here are some of our favorite ski-friendly hotels you can book with points. Also, if you’re looking for a different way to get to a Colorado resort this year, here’s a story about how you can take the ski train all the way from the Denver airport to Winter Park.

We’re crossing our fingers for a great upcoming ski season. If you haven’t mapped out your trips this year, here’s a points and miles guide to ski vacations.