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Boreal first U.S. resort to open in 2000

Lara Mullin, Sierra Sun

Truckee gained national attention last week as Boreal Mountain Resort became the first ski resort in the nation to open.

While the snowfall was not significant enough to build snowmen, it did allow Boreal to begin snow making operations and open the Gunnar’s lift and one run last Wednesday with a base of six to eight inches.

Boreal representative, Carrie Roberts, said the resort was excited about the turnout last Wednesday, as over 40 visitors took to the slopes for a day of preseason activity.

Kings Beach local James Smithwick was happy to hand over the $20 for a lift ticket to Boreal on Friday, as he said “it is worth it to get a few turns in.”

However, Smithwick wasn’t taking any chances, as he saved his new snowboard for a day when the snow was more plentiful.

In addition to snow-loving locals, visitors from Sacramento came for the snow, as did one snow fiend who made the trip from Utah for the day.

Boreal also produced the first ski-related injury last Thursday as the Donner Summit Fire Department reportedly transported an injured snowboarder off the mountain.

The resort remained open until Saturday afternoon when the temperatures began to rise.

While Boreal remains officially open, its snowmaking operations are temporarily suspended until it gets colder.

This year’s opening is a record-breaking date even for Boreal, which historicly opens weeks before any of its neighboring resorts.

The earliest opening on record for Boreal Mountain was Oct. 17 in the1980s.

While no definitive date for opening has been set, due to the unpredictable seasonal temperatures, Roberts said Boreal looks to Halloween as a tentative target weekend for consistent operations.

Ski resorts in the Truckee/Tahoe area still remain weeks away from beginning the snowmaking process – Northstar plans to begin snowmaking on the first of November.

Across the nation, competing ski resorts remain unclear as to an official opening date. Vail Resorts, which controls Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountains, is projecting its first runs to be ready the week before Thanksgiving, while independent Loveland Resort, which is also in Colorado, is hoping for an earlier start date.

On the local front, Northstar has set its sights on Nov. 18 as a possible opening date, as has Squaw Valley USA. Both resorts, as well as others, will continue to monitor the weather before making any decisions.


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