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Vail, Eldora Ski Areas Celebrate 50 Years

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The gondola "One" at Vail Resorts (credit: CBS)

The gondola “One” at Vail Resorts (credit: CBS)

VAIL, Colo. (CBS4)- Skiers and boarders heading up to the High Country now have more choices when it comes to hitting the slopes. Both Vail and Eldora ski areas opened on Friday.

Vail has a new attraction this season, the new gondola named simply “One” started working its way up the mountain following a classic christening with a champagne smash and ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Gotta go for a ride when you can, it’s the 50th!” said first time gondola rider Chris Cremer. “Fantastic, nice warm seat. You don’t get too many opportunities like this, do you?”

The gondola is equipped with heated seats and its own WiFi system. Some luxuries aren’t the norm for ski areas but that may change as skiers and boarders get used to the pampering on their way up the slopes.

The gondola was designed in Colorado with 70 percent of it built in Grand Junction, boosting the state’s economy.

Ski areas are hoping this season is better than last which suffered because of lack of snowfall.

“We’re going to be here another 50 years and even though last year might have been a tough snow year, we want to give the best guest service year in and year out,” said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz.

Although the gondola was running on opening day, Vail will shut it down for a few days while snow makers continue to work and build up the runs that the gondola services.

Vail is hoping to have more runs on the mountain open in time for Thanksgiving weekend.

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