This past Friday, Keystone Resort became the second Colorado resort to open up for the season and its launch looked to be an epic time. The announcement came around 4 pm MST on Wednesday, Oct. 26th, when Keystone had deemed there was enough snow depth and decided to kick off its 2022-23 winter season on a high note. Anticipation built very quickly, as first guests arrived as early as Thursday morning to secure their position for first chair.
Once the early morning hours of Friday came, skiers and snowboarders flocked to Keystone, where they were greeted with free donuts, hot cocoa, and smiles from the resort staff.
“I think everybody has been waiting all summer to get their turns in again.” Sarah Lococo, Sr. Manager of Communications, said. “I love the opening day energy. There is nothing quite like it. Between that and the free donuts, hot cocoa and live music, I think it really sets a fun atmosphere.”
Then once the clock struck 8:30 am, the first chairs were off. Local legends Nate “Nate Dogggg” Nadler and Tom “Trailer Tom” Miller of Breckenridge, CO were the fortunate two to catch first chair. For 30 years in a row, Nate Dogggg & Trailer Tom were the first to ride the opening chair at Keystone. The two also claimed first chair at Arapahoe Basin days prior by camping out several days before its opening as well. The duo is two for two so far this season on first chairs in Summit county resorts, and they seem to have the recipe for success. Let’s see if they’ll be first in line at Breckenridge and Copper on their openings to get all four.
Keystone had two miles of skiable terrain open to ride, mostly on the Schoolmarm and Silver Spoon trails. Also available was a hike-to terrain park, which had a few small rail and box features set up. The resort also had a mountaintop DJ set up to keep the stoke high on a wonderful, bluebird day. Conditions looked stellar as riders took their first ski laps of what hopes to be a great season.
The mountain was favored with fresh, natural snow for a few days prior to opening, but Keystone is giving most of the credit to its snowmaking. Lococo said, “Snowmaking and the snowmakers are really the heroes of the early season, and that is how we opened. The natural snow is awesome because it gets people excited for winter, but in early season we are really looking for the cold temperatures.” With continued snowmaking and more fresh snow in the forecast, Keystone is hoping to open more trails within weeks if conditions stay favorable.
To continue its opening day weekend celebration, Keystone also threw a Halloween Party that following Saturday that featured costume contests, trick-or-treating, and scavenger hunts. Later in the season, the resort also plans on bringing back the Worlds Largest Mountaintop Snow Fort in December.