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'Big Boys' Begin To Open In Colorado; Breck Features New Peak 8 Base

Breck-Peak-8 At Breckenridge, the focus has been bringing 1960-ear Peak 8 facilities up to date. (Breckenridge Sports.com)

The flush of double-digit preseason snowfall in the Colorado Rockies and cold temps have propelled early openings all around – in particular, some of the largest resorts in the state.

“Big Boys” Breckenridge, Winter Park, Steamboat, and Vail are open for skiing and snowboarding as early as ever, and here's what's new.

In 1961, Breckenridge opened on the slopes of the Ten Mile Range with a couple of chairlifts at the base of Peak 8. So it makes sense that the oldest section of Breckenridge has undergone an internal facelift.

Skiers and riders can now ride escalators to and from the street to the plaza level. Skier services have been freshened up, and new spots for lift ticket and season pass sales, the ski and snowboard school, and retail rental shops. For relaxation, there's now a skating rink and a new coffee shop.

In the near future, work is expected to begin on the first overnight accommodations at venerable Peak 8 – a planned 150-room luxury hotel and 35 condos.

Over the pass at Vail, a massive expansion of snowmaking systems took place over the summer, mostly on the upper mountain. In addition, the resort cut three new racing trails on the uppermost part of the mountain, known as Golden Peak, and put in a new chair. The public will get a shot at carving them up, per requirement by U.S. Forest Service.

Winter Park continues to replace some of its oldest lifts. A new high-speed six-pack went up to replace the 30-year-old Sunnyside three-seater – improving access to the Lunch Rock area at mid-mountain. Plus, crews upgraded infrastructure and maintenance.

Farther north over Rabbit Ears Pass, Steamboat made big news by replacing its three-decade-old signature gondola with a modern version. The lift is expected to reduce lift lines at the base. Plus, the base retail area got a makeover. 

 

 

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