Planning Your 2023-24 Ski & Ride Time At Winter Resorts In Colorado

Posted on November 16, 2020 by Bailey Crumpton. Tagged: For Candidates, Colorado Culture, For Clients

When Colorado winter resorts closed their lifts, ending the 2019-2020 ski season early, the Colorado outdoors community was heartbroken. While entirely necessary for public health, I know I'm not alone when I say it was absolutely thrilling for ski resorts to once again open up their doors and operations for people to once again enjoy the beloved winter experience of skiing and snowboarding in the mountains.

However big the excitement of the return of skiing, it's natural that a few years later some of us have once again taken for granted just how complicated and time-consuming it was to make reservations and diligently plan ahead just to get in some shred time.

With that said, we also feel like a crisp bluebird day with 10 inches of fresh powder is worth the effort of figuring it all out, reservations required or not. That’s why we put together this post with tips for the 2023-24 season to get your gears turning. Let it snow!

What You Need To Know About Skiing & Boarding This Year

First of all, let's address the elephant in the room. If you're coming from most places on the Front Range, you can't enjoy the mountains without the pain of I-70. In 2023, CDOT launched the I-70 Floyd Hill project in order to address the bottleneck on Floyd Hill and improve travel time reliability, rebuild bridges to today’s safety standards, and improve traffic flow and access at interchanges and intersections.

While all of this is desperately needed, we can expect some ongoing impacts. Here's a brief overview of what the project means for Colorado residents:

Project Facts:

    • Estimated Construction Cost: $700 million 
    • Timeline: June 2023 to 2028

The I-70 Floyd Hill project will:

    • Add a third tolled Express Lane westbound I-70 travel lane in this two-lane bottleneck
    • Build an extended on-ramp from US 6 onto eastbound I-70 for slow-moving vehicles to have more room to merge
    • Implement environmental mitigation to enhance wildlife connectivity, air and water quality, stream conditions and recreation

Traffic Impacts: During construction, motorists can expect: 

    • Occasional daytime traffic holds during rock blasting and rock scaling operations
    • Overnight lane closures + temporary lane shifts
    • Periodic, temporary on- and off-ramp closures including occasional daytime 20-minute traffic holds for rock scaling and rock blasting (delays of 45 minutes are anticipated) + some overnight detours
    • Temporary closures of the Clear Creek Greenway trail

Opening Dates & Pro-tips

Vail Resorts

Opening Day: Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail are scheduled to open on Nov. 10, with Beaver Creek and Crested Butte to open the day before Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 22. Conditions permitting, of course.

Tips for Vail + Parking Instructions

  • Pro-tip: For a quick and quiet arrival experience, try Golden Peak or Cascade Village.
  • Visiting during a holiday window? Consider arriving outside of our peak arrival windows: before 9:00 a.m. or after 10:00 a.m.
  • Looking for the local's way to the Seven Legendary Back Bowls? Consider Riva Bahn Express (#6) first thing in the morning to Highline Express (#10) and Sourdough Express (#14). It will drop you off right at China Bowl!
  • Mountaintop Express (#4) offers amazing intermediate terrain, and is often one of their most popular lifts. Did you know many of the Back Bowls have groomed intermediate runs that lead to lifts with reliably shorter wait times?
  • Download the Epic Mix App and check the alerts to get the latest real-time updates on the mountain.

Tips for Keystone + Making a Game Plan for Keystone

  • Keystone is one of the only remaining resorts with free parking, but you have to go early to get a good spot.
  • Pro-tip, if you miss getting up early, head to the North Parking Lot and pickup the free shuttle to the mountain
  • Pro-tip 2: There is also a small, free lot on the opposing side of Keystone at Mountain House base.

Tips for Frequent Breckinridge Riders + Resources For First-Time Visitors

  • Breck's new parking garage makes parking here quick & easy, but don't forget to pay!
  • Head towards the Gondola for direct access to Peak 7 and Peak 8 bases

Arapahoe Basin

Opening Day: Noting that the five-year average is Oct. 19th, Arapahoe Basin marketing vice president Jesse True said his area will open “as soon as possible, as usual,” meaning October 29th this year!

Tips For Visiting A-Bay

  • More advanced riders can head straight to Montezuma Bowl on the backside for a powdery, less crowded experience.
  • Also checkout A-Basin's brand new Black Mountain Express, which effectively doubles their trail count and opened in 2022.

Copper Mountain

Opening Day: Expected November 13th

Tips for a Great Day at Copper Mountain

  • Copper has a robust shuttle system, make sure to look into your options for free transportation if you're headed to Copper
  • As Copper is just before Vail pass, we recommend building in a traffic buffer and heading out early to beat the crowd driving up to Vail.


Opening Day: Loveland marketing director John Sellers says he expects that area to open in mid to late October, as usual.

Loveland FAQ + Loveland Info for First-Time Visitors

  • Loveland's food prices cannot be beat. Head to the upper level at the base and enjoy the most tasty and economic soup and breakfast burritos you can find in the State.
  • As we get later into the season, make sure to check out Lift 8 and shredding the northern side of the mountain. You'll crest over the Continental Divide, gliding over Eisenhower tunnel's infrastructure below, and catch a charmingly decrepit ski tunnel to get back. (Advanced riders only)


Opening Day: Steamboat will open on November 22nd this year, ahead of schedule.

Steamboat Mountain FAQ's + Tips for a Safe Mountain Experience at Steamboat

  • Steamboat is famous for having a host of other mountain-related activities for non-riders and families
  • Check out Strawberry Park Hot Springs, horse-back riding, their famous ice-skating rink, and ample snowshoeing trails.

Winter Park

Opening Day: Opening on Tuesday, October 31st! Happy Halloween!

About Winter Park + Getting to Winter Park

  • Did you know Denver is considering re-vamping the ski train that once took passengers from Denver proper all the way to Winter Park? I would ride it!!
  • You can also park at Mary Jane base and access all the same trails from a different launching point.

To The Mountains & Beyond 

Can you feel the windburn on your face yet? It's also important to add that officials in Summit, Eagle, and other counties want to keep backcountry riders safe. Riding trails that are not regulated increases the risk for avalanches and injury, as conditions are inconsistent in other regions outside of the resorts. Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center have launched an effort making virtual training classes available to educate folks on respecting Colorado’s wilderness and riding safely in the backcountry. Or, take a look at the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Backcountry Skiing and Boarding from 5280.

Here’s to hitting the slopes as safely as we can!

Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!