Loveland opened for the season Sunday with one top-to-bottom run and an 18-inch base.  Arapahoe Basin opens Monday. The two resorts vie for bragging rights as skiers and riders watch with interest to see which will open first, and kick off another winter season. This year Sunday River in Maine took the honor of being first in the nation to open.

It is the second season in a row that Loveland was the first to open in Colorado. 

Skiers and riders were able to drop 1,000 vertical feet in a little over a mile via the trails Catwalk, Mambo, and Homerun.

"The crowds were great today," Loveland Marketing Director John Sellers told OnTheSnow.  "It was the busiest opening day we've had since 2005, which I attribute to the natural snowfall getting everyone psyched up and being able to open on a weekend.  It was an awesome start."

Snowmaking continues, and the weather forecast looks good for both snowmaking and natural snow over the week ahead.  More terrain will be opened as quickly as possible.

Loveland will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekend.  Early season lift tickets are $47 for adults and $22 for children ages 6-14.

This was quite a bit later than last year's opening date when the ski area opened for the season on Oct. 7.

Skiers and riders at Arapahoe will find an 18-inch base and the new Black Mountain Express high-speed quad chairlift.

Lingering warm temperatures finally gave way to snowmaking weather late last week. A-Basin took advantage of a solid night of snowmaking and Colorado's first significant snowfall to open the intermediate High Noon run and some features in the High Divide Terrain Park. There is no beginner skiing yet.

Opening day adult lift tickets are $54, youth tickets for ages 15-19 are $49, and child tickets for ages 6-14 are $29.

A ribbon cutting celebration for the new lift will take place just before 9 a.m. All base area facilities will be open.