David O. Williams
How many ski areas will be open by the time the Rockies are done?
October 16, 2007 —
With the opening of Loveland Ski Area today at 9 a.m., it’s official: ski season has truly arrived … and the Rockies are still playing.
The unprecedented run by Colorado’s Major League Baseball team coincides with a promising October run-up to ski season. Arapahoe Basin opened Oct. 10, and now Loveland makes it two state resorts offering a limited skiing product. Loveland’s Chair 1, serving three beginner runs, cranks up at 9 a.m.
The last time – in fact the only time – the Rockies made the playoffs, as the NL wild card in 1995, it’s doubtful any ski resorts were open yet. The Blake Street Bombers of that era were bounced by the mighty Atlanta Braves in the divisional series, which typically wraps up the first week of October.
The earliest opening ever for a Colorado resort was Loveland on Oct. 6, 1985, so you do the math. With the Rockies improbably clinching a World Series berth Monday night, there’s now a possibility the Boys of Summer may be playing dangerously close to winter in the Rocky Mountains.
The seventh game of the World Series is set for Nov. 1, and the next two state ski areas scheduled to open – Wolf Creek and Copper Mountain – crank up their lifts the very next day. A weather delay or two, say for a snowstorm Oct. 27-29 in Denver, and fans may be able to make turns at four different resorts during the day before catching a baseball game at night.
Of course, in Game 3 of the NLCS, which I attended Sunday night, a steady and cold drizzle didn’t slow down the action at Coors Field at all. The Rockies won 4-1 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead before finishing off the Arizona Diamondbacks – clearly a fair weather team – on Monday by a score of 6-4.
That storm deposited up to 8 inches of snow in some places in the mountains and gave A-Basin and Loveland a good boost. Now another front is moving through Wednesday into Thursday and should hopefully allow for continued snowmaking and more runs to open at both resorts by the end of the week.
The Rockies, meanwhile, have eight days off before they face the winner of the ALCS – either the Boston Red Sox or the Cleveland Indians. Plenty of time to head up to the high country and take a few runs. Nothing keeps you loose for the World Series like a day on the slopes.
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