Today is August 4th. I’m sitting inside my parents lovely home in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, my parent’s dogs are sleeping next to me, and the heat index is set to hit 105°F this afternoon. I’m miserable.
Summer just isn’t my cup of tea. Sure, I enjoy the longer days and spending time recreating outside during this time of year, but the oppressive heat and humidity of the east coast has me wanting to book a flight to the nearest igloo.
Cold air, blistery wind, and snow would be welcomed reliefs to the convection oven I feel like I’m currently living inside of.
So, without further ado, let me make some bold predictions as to which ski resorts will open first this coming season. I need to get this energy out in a productive manner one way or another…
*NOTE: All predictions are made by Matt after evaluating some data and trends without putting a substantial amount of effort into it. Take that for what you will. This is Unofficial Networks, after all.*
^Killington Opening Day 2019. Credit: FACEBOOK/Killington Resort
The Beast Of The East, Killington is home to the longest season on the east coast, and one of the most robust snowmaking systems on the planet.
Killington has pressure to bury their slopes with manmade snow for the annual World Cup race they host in November, and I have doubt they’ll replicate their snowmaking magic again this season.
They most likely won’t compete to be the first ski resort open in the country, but they’ll certainly be one of, if not the first ski resort open on the east coast. Sunday River, ME is really the only resort that poses any threat to that title.
Winter Opening Day ’21/’22: November 5th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/’23: November 12th
^Sunday River Opening Day 2015
Sunday River is no stranger to early openings. Some of the most beautiful ski pictures I’ve seen are the ones captured on Sunday River’s early opening days with the changing leaves still flanking the white slopes.
I’ve got a feeling in my bones that Sunday River is going to unseat Killington for the title as first ski resort open in the east. Don’t ask me to explain why, but I can just sense it. Call it my ski-blogger-spidey-senses or whatever else you’d like.
Winter Opening Day ’21/’22: November 19th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/’23: November 11th
^Mt. Rose Opening Day 2019, Credit: FACEBOOK/ Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Mt. Rose might be overlooked by some of the larger ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area, and the Reno locals who call Rose home aren’t complaining. That’s not to say that Mt. Rose can’t get busy, but you get the point.
Mt. Rose loves firing their snow guns as early as possible, and with the highest base area elevation in all of Tahoe at 8,260′, they’re well suited for a late-October or early-November opening.
Winter ’21/’22 Opening Day: December 10th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/23: November 11th
Mammoth is home to one of the longest ski seasons in the country. It’s not abnormal for the resort to open in the middle of November and close in June or July.
With that being said, the resort has already announced their intended opening day for November 11th. That means they probably won’t be competing with other resorts to be the first open, but they’ll certainly have a run at the title for longest season if they have a halfway-decent snow year.
Winter ’21/’22 Opening Day: October 29th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/’23: November 11th (Already announced)
^Keystone Opening Day 2019, Credit: FACEBOOK/Keystone Resort
The Vail Resorts overlords have made a big push for Keystone to be their first resort open each season. Improved snowmaking at higher elevations and a commitment to a longer season has put them in a solid spot to be a perennial favorite as the first ski resort open.
A-Basin famously opened for two hours the day before Keystone’s announced opening day back in 2019 to claim the throne for first ski resort open, and I have a feeling that’s left a sour taste in mouths over there.
With that being said, I think it will be hard for Keystone to keep the pace at their lower elevation compared to A-Basin, but who knows! We’ll just have to wait and see.
Winter ’21/’22 Opening Day: October 22
My Prediction For Winter ’22/23: October 30th
^Loveland Ski Area Opening Day 2014
Loveland Ski Area, the close neighbor of Arapahoe Basin and Keystone, loves to flirt with the idea of being the first ski area open, but it seems like they usually miss the mark by a few days or even a week.
The ski area announced on June 22nd that they were 100 days from snowmaking, which means they intend to fire up the guns for the first time on October 1st. That might be a little bit optimistic, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I think Loveland is going to make a big push this season to compete with Arapahoe Basin like they’ve done in previous years. Will they open the same day as A-Basin? Will they even open earlier? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
Winter ’21/’22 Opening Day: October 30th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/’23: October 23rd
^Arapahoe Basin Opening Day 2021, Credit: Ian Zinner/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
A-Basin is known for having one of the longest seasons in all of North America, and I have no doubt that they’re going to try everything they can to be the first resort open this season.
It’s just all a matter of what mother nature throws their way. They only need a few solid nights of snow making to take the crown this season, and don’t be surprised if they swoop in to steal the thunder from neighbor Keystone like they did a few years back.
Winter ’21/’22 Opening Day: October 17th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/23: October 22nd
Wild Mountain is a small ski area by all standards. The hill serves up 300′ of vertical across less than 100 acres of terrain, but the good folks of Minnesota don’t seem to care.
They especially don’t seem to mind when Wild Mountain opens their world-class terrain parks in the middle of October while the rest of the region is still sipping pumpkin spice lattes and watching football.
I fully expect Wild to get those lifts spinning early to take the crown as the first ski area open in the Midwest, and one of the first ski areas open in the country. I’m predicting an especially early open even by their standards.
Did you know Wild opened on October 7th back in 2012?!
Winter ’21/’22 Opening Day: November 19th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/’23: October 16th
^Credit: Wolf Creek Ski Area
Wolf Creek is somewhat of a dark horse each year in the race to get open, and it all depends on how much early-season snow Mother Nature blesses them with. It’s not uncommon for a huge 24″+ storm to roll through the San Juan Mountains in the middle of October, and I’m predicting that’s exactly what’s going to happen this year.
They took the crown last year as the first ski resort open, and I’m betting it will happening again. I can’t explain why, but I just see myself writing a blog halfway through October announcing that Wolf Creek is the first ski resort open in the United States.
I’m calling my shot now.
Winter ’21/’22 Opening Day: October 16th
My Prediction For Winter ’22/23: October 15th