Interview with Adrienne Saia Isaac from Arapahoe Basin.
First off, how is snowmaking coming along?
It’s going really, really well. We started snowmaking in the early morning hours of October 2, and had a couple full days of snowmaking that set us up for success going into the season. Our goal is always 24-hour snowmaking – we want to be as efficient with our resources as possible.
Have you run into any major obstacles thus far?
The only obstacle we’ve run in to is one we can’t control – the weather. Warm temps put a pause on snowmaking last week, but the natural snow and low temps from this past weekend got things back up and running.
Is there any pressure to be the first resort open every year? I know you’ve taken the prize the past couple years.
We were the first to open in Colorado in my first two seasons working here (2012-13 and 2013-14), and – of course – those openings were really exciting. Personally, I don’t feel too much pressure to open first; you learn to give up a little bit of control to the weather and the snow gods. It’s always our goal to get open as soon as possible and to stay open as long as possible. The most fun thing about the “#race2open” and opening in mid-October is catching that excitement from our friends and fans. It gets me stoked to see all these people so excited to get back out on the hill. And that’s what really matters – getting out on the snow, sliding around, and having a blast.
What can snowboarders expect in the early season terrain park?
The goal early season is to ease people back into the park and get their snow legs under them again. The High Divide terrain park will be located in its early-season spot, at the space where High Noon and Sundance split. Right now, we’re looking at having probably about 3-4 features – some rails, a box. We won’t know for sure until we’re closer to opening.
What about improvements to the terrain park overall? I know people would like to see a few jumps.
We get that. You know, it’s difficult to compete with our neighbors, as Breckenridge and Keystone offer some of the biggest and baddest parks areas around. Sometimes, snow resources are put toward jumps, but it’s not a guarantee every season, especially if it doesn’t snow a lot. We’re also popular with big mountain freeride skiers and snowboarders for the amount of natural features and open lines to play on.
I can’t say for sure what’s going to happen this season, but I can say that our terrain park manager is coming in with a fresh pair of eyes and is motivated to create a solid product for our freestyle riders, and we’re hoping to have some new things this season. I don’t want to promise and not deliver, so we’ll be sure to let you know when and if things change.
Anything big planned for opening day/weekend? What about any early season events or happenings we should know about?
We’ll kick off our demo season with Loaded Boards on November 15 (demo and scavenger hunt), and we’ll have Never Summer here on December 7 hosting a demo and a rail jam (location TBD – depends on snow). Stay tuned to our events page for all of our upcoming demos and events. Early season, it’s all about getting runs in and getting the mountain open. Our goal is to have more freestyle events in the spring, especially since our May rail jam was so popular last season (it didn’t hurt that it snowed that day, too).
Anything else you want us to know about or let people know about?
We are as into the early season as you all are – we promise that we will open as soon as we are ready. Renew your pass, tune your board, and get ready because the 2014-15 season is right around the corner.