Summit County, Colo. – November 7, 2008 – Breckenridge and Keystone Resorts opened today for the 2008-2009 ski season, giving skiers and riders more reasons than ever to celebrate the official beginning of ski season at two of the nations’ premier ski resorts. Thanks to a remarkable effort of the Breckenridge and Keystone snowmaking teams and a little help from Mother Nature’s snowfall this week, both Resorts are opening with excellent snow surfaces and top-to-bottom skiing. Keystone opened Spring Dipper and Lower River Run Trails with features of its A51 Terrain Park, the top-ranked park in Colorado by Transworld Magazine on Spring Dipper. Breckenridge Ski Resort opened with top-to-bottom skiing on Springmeier off the Colorado SuperChair on Peak 8.
Both Breckenridge and Keystone Resorts are opening strong this season, with new resort improvements, new events and a renewed excitement for another spectacular ski season in Summit County, Colorado.
The New River Run Gondola and Mountain Service Center at Keystone Resort
A new, state-of-the-art, eight passenger River Run Gondola replaces the previous six-passenger River Run Gondola at Keystone this year. A key component of the new gondola includes the move of the bottom terminal into the River Run Village which greatly improves the guest experience by making access to the gondola easier. Also, a new mid-station is now located halfway up Dercum Mountain with loading and unloading in both directions, giving skiers and snowboarders an option to access Keystone’s upper trails from mid-mountain and to download at the end of their ski day.
The new cabins were designed with passenger comfort in mind with floor-to-ceiling windows providing the best possible views and the cabins are large enough to accommodate skis and snowboards inside the cabin. Additionally, the new gondola offers level walk-in heated load and unload stations to provide convenient access for wheelchairs, mountain bikes, strollers, sight seers, mountaintop tubing hill guests and night-time dining guests. With a vertical rise of 2,307 feet and a top-to-bottom average trip time of less than 12 minutes, the new eight-passenger River Run Gondola will transport about 2,400 people per hour, more than twice the previous level. Keystone will operate the new River Run Gondola winter and summer. Also, the new Mountain Service Center, located at the base of the new gondola will provide skiers and riders with a single location for lift tickets, on-mountain activity information, season passes and more.
“We are committed to providing exceptional experiences for our guests and we are thrilled to open the new River Run Gondola for the 2008-2009 ski season at Keystone this year,” said Pat Campbell, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Keystone Resort. “The new gondola location in the River Run Village significantly enhances the guest experience by shortening the walk to the gondola from the parking lot and it has more than twice the upload capacity of the previous gondola which provides our guests with faster and easier access to the mountain.”
Breckenridge returns to its roots – with a Peak 8 opening
The most popular ski resort in America celebrates its opening day at Peak 8 this year, for the first time in nearly 30 years. While the opening of Peak 8 first is a departure from recent history, it was the traditional opening before Peak 9 opened in 1981, and the original ski resort in Breckenridge was called the Peak 8 Ski Resort. But, don’t think this return to its roots is just nostalgic – it’s to prepare for the newest and largest event Breckenridge Ski Resort has ever hosted.
“Opening Peak 8 first this year gives our mountain operations team every advantage to prepare the mountain and venue for our largest event ever, the AST Winter Dew Tour. The Winter Dew Tour co-sponsored by the Town of Breckenridge, BRC, runs from December 18 – 21, will feature freeskiing and snowboarding disciplines for both men and women with over three hours of live coverage on NBC, two hours on the USA network and four hours on MTV and MTV2,” said Lucy Kay, chief operations officer for Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Breck’s roots might be at Peak 8, but Peak 7 continues to impress. This season’s opening of the highly anticipated new base area at Peak 7 welcomes a new era and a new level of luxury and service featuring high-end lodging at Crystal Peak Lodge, skier services, a new sit-down dining experience at Sevens Restaurant and a new connection between the town and mountain with a first-class, innovative mass transit system via the BreckConnect gondola.
Epic Deals for the Ski Season
With the ski season now underway, Vail Resorts, including, Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado and Heavenly in California, are helping to make a ski vacation a reality this winter for skiers and riders by offering savings on season passes and lodging packages for guests visiting the Resorts this winter including:
Keystone Gondola Grand Opening Sale. River Run Condos from $132. Celebrate the opening of the new gondola. Stay in Keystone’s River Run condos starting at $132 per night. Valid all Season. www.keystoneresort.com Book now through Dec. 1, 2008.
Breckenridge for Only $99 – all season! Breckenridge Hospitality is offering $99 room rates at the Great Divide Lodge for the entire Winter Ski Season. Book now through Dec. 1, 2008 and you will receive $99 room rates anytime, all season long. www.breckenridge.com.
Epic Season Pass. ONE WEEK LEFT! Skiers and riders can take advantage of having a full season of unlimited and unrestricted skiing at any of our five resorts and Arapahoe Basin for $579 for adults and $279 for kids, but must be purchased by Nov. 15. After using this pass for six days, your skiing and riding is free the rest of the season! www.epicpass.com
Vail, Beaver Creek and Heavenly Opening Soon. Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts are scheduled to open on November 21 and 26 respectively, giving Colorado skiers and riders access to all four Colorado Vail Resorts. Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe will also open on Nov. 21.
For more information on all five of the Vail Resorts, please visit www.snow.com.