DENVER – Two Colorado ski resorts – Steamboat and Telluride – are delaying their opening days because of warm temperatures and a lack of snow.
Steamboat Resort said Monday it was pushing its opening day from this Saturday to next Saturday, Nov. 27, after getting just 26 inches of snow since Oct. 1. A small amount of snow is forecast for the area Tuesday night but little is expected again until this weekend.
And Telluride Ski Resort said it was pushing its opening day from Thanksgiving Day to Dec. 3 if weather cooperates over the next couple of weeks. High temperatures there are forecast in the 40s and 50s into next week.
“The snowmaking team is taking advantage of every opportunity to make snow and the goal is to open as soon as possible,” the resort said in a post.
Loveland Ski Area also announced Wednesday Loveland Valley will not open as planned on Friday
Winter Park Resort confirmed it would open as planned at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and said it planned to have the Gemini, Arrow and Spirit lifts running. Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Keystone, Vail, Breckenridge and Wolf Creek are already open for the season.
Scott Pittenger, the director of mountain operations for Telluride Ski Resort, said in an interview that despite 30 inches of snow in October and most of the snow remaining on the upper mountain, the above-average temperatures forecast for the area over the next week led them to put a pause on opening because temperatures are not conducive to snowmaking.
“With the temperatures that we’re seeing right now, we’re just falling a little bit behind,” Pittenger said. “We’re committed to providing a high-quality experience out on the slopes. We want edge skiing; we don’t want anybody, you know, skiing off the edge and into rocks and grass and shrubs.”
Pittenger said it was “a bummer” that the resort would not be open for Thanksgiving but that he was not concerned it would be open soon.
“So, you know, with just a week late, we’re not too worried about it,” he said. “…We’re doing everything we can and if the forecast flips on us a little bit and we’re able to open up before then, then we certainly will. It’s not in our nature to hold back terrain from the guests if we can get it going, and we’re going to get it going.”