Updated Oct. 25: Sunday River, Maine, opened last Friday, but the ski area will remain closed midweek. According to their website: "We have now temporarily suspended operations for the midweek period as some warmer weather moves through to give us a chance to get the trails in the best shape possible for next weekend. We hope to keep the same terrain open for Halloween weekend." On Sunday, Loveland, Colorado, opened for the winter season. And today, Colorado's Arapahoe Basin has opened, making it the second ski area in Colorado to start spinning its lifts. Stayed tuned to our Winter Watch for the lastest on storms and resort openings. ------
After the first big storm of the season hit New England and the Green Mountains last week, dropping nearly two feet of snow in some areas, rumors that a Vermont resort would be first to open ran rampant.
But on Friday afternoon, it was Sunday River, Maine -- who, coincidentally recieved nothing but rain in last week's storm -- who staked their claim as the first resort in the U.S. to open for the 2010/2011 ski season. This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Sunday River is the first East Coast resort to open.
"We had our fingers crossed, constantly checking with snowmakers to see where we were at. Now it just depends on how much snow we can keep making," Sunday River Director of Communications Darcy Morse-Liberty told ESPN via phone Friday."It felt strange be riding a chairlift while looking at fall foliage, but as soon as we reached the top, winter had arrived and it felt great to feel the carve of a turn again," said Nick Lambert, VP of Sales and Marketing at Sunday River.
After a sunny start to the day, cloud coverage thickened this afternoon, dropping base temperatures into the lower-30s, and the Locke Mountain lift was opened to the public at 3:30 p.m. It is currently the only lift open and is servicing one trail, the T2, which begins at mid-mountain.