LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort (LVSSR) became the first ski area in the United States to open its lift served terrain for the 2011/12 season on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 at 7:30 a.m.
Wolf Creek Ski Area that’s located in Pagosa Springs, Colo. was second. LVSSR, which is located about an hour from downtown Las Vegas opened Chair 3 with 12-inch base; nine inches was a result of recent storms and the additional four inches was from LVSSR’s snowmaking effort.
LVSSR’s management reports that several hundred guests took advantage of the early opening, including out of state skiers and snowboarders. Chair 3, which served an all-terrain park for skiing and snowboarding, ran on Saturday until 4 p.m. and again on Sunday, Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s very exciting that a ski area in Las Vegas is the first to open for the season,” says Kevin Stickelman, LVSSR’s president. “We’re undergoing a major expansion — a plan that was approved in July. This weekend was the perfect opportunity to share some of our recent improvements with our guests.” This summer, LVSSR initiated a $35 million master development plan that will expand the number of trails to 50 and lifts to 10 once completed over the next 10 to 12 years.
LVSSR’s opening coincided with special weekend events, including hosting the finish area of the 17.5-mile Mount Charleston Hill Climb 2011 bike race on Saturday and LVSSR’s first-ever Oktoberfest celebration on Sunday. In addition to those skiing and snowboarding, more than two hundred people enjoyed scenic chairlifts rides during the weekend’s festivities.
Stickelman explains that the snowmaking effort for the weekend used about 400,000 gallons of water from the area’s snowmaking pond, which holds 7.5 million gallons of water.
Stickelman says that the water used will be 100 percent recovered in the next few weeks and will not impact in-season snowmaking. Unless additional storms move into the area, LVSSR will re-open for the season on Friday, Nov. 25.
“It’s a rare for this region to receive snow so early, so we felt it was important to offer our season pass holders and guests a chance to come together, celebrate and get excited about the season,” Stickelman said.