By Jamie Leary

(CBS4)– Believe it or not, ski season is just two months away and for some resorts… it’s even closer. This week, Loveland Ski Area fired up the snow guns as a test- but it was a cool change of pace for such a warm week.

(credit CBS)

Loveland is one of three Colorado ski areas that usually open around October. Arapahoe Basin is another and Keystone recently announced it also plans to open in October, meaning ski season is right around the corner.

On Friday, Winter Park Resort announced it plans to open Nov. 17 and with far fewer restrictions than last year, pending the local health order.

“When the snow starts flying and people get here, it’ll look pretty normal,” said Jen Miller, public relations and communications specialist for the resort. Currently at the resort, there are no mask mandates or plans for a reservation system.

“But if last season taught us anything, things will and do change quickly, so I think it also taught us to be that much more adaptable so we’re ready for whatever comes our way,” said Miller.

Most resorts are still trying to figure out how to implement President Joe Biden’s plan to vaccinate employees for COVID-19, but as Miller said, they’re well versed at adapting to quick changes.

On Friday, Vail told CBS4 it was too early to share any specifics would be discussing it as a company to determine next steps.

It’s the same case for Loveland ski area.

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“We do not yet have a plan for the vaccination mandate, but we made lots of adjustments last season to ensure we could operate safely for a full season and we are again prepared to do whatever it takes to offer our guests another full season of skiing and snowboarding,” said John Sellers, Marketing Director for Loveland Ski Area.

Long-term, Loveland looks forward to welcoming as many skiers as possible: it’s working on a massive renovation of its Valley Lodge that would triple indoor seating capacity and expand its rental shop.

“…and provide the Ski & Ride School with additional capacity to accommodate more guests during the check-in process. Work is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022, but the building will be open for use throughout the 2021/22 season,” said Sellers.

As far as this season is concerned, at Winter Park, there will be new pop-up and mobile dining options scattered across the resort.

“Meeting guests where they are on the mountain,” said Miller.

For every resort, no matter what perks are offered, what the capacity is, or the opening date, the goal is the same- to provide guests with a great season.

“I think this season will be more of a normal season,” said Miller optimistically.

Loveland Ski Area, March 22, 2021
(credit: Casey Day of Silver Plume)

Other opening dates include Nov. 12 for Breckenridge, Vail and Nov. 24 for Beaver Creek, Crested Butte.

Jamie Leary