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Arapahoe Basin Opening Day Debacle 2011

Ski season is officially underway! Arapahoe Basin opened to the public on Thursday, October 13, which is the earliest opening that I have seen in my three years in Summit County. Despite being opening day, it wasn’t all blue skies and fresh corduroy turns. Three of my closest friends and I all left Breckenridge around 5 a.m. to hold our spot in line for "first chair of the season."

When we arrived we were greeted by “Nate Doggg,” who kindly asked if “we would be joining him for his first chair of the season.” He had spoken with the COO of Arapahoe Basin the night before and claimed “dibs” on first chair. As far as I know, first chair isn’t given out. It is earned by sitting in the cold, huddling for warmth and warding off any latecomers -- not by sleeping in a warm limo with the heat cranked, cooking bacon and eggs on a propane stove, then casually strolling up to the already full lift line at 8:45 to catch the 9 o’clock chair.

After the dust settled and I realized that I was getting snaked out of first chair; I spoke with the COO and politely informed him that I disagreed with his first chair policies. He seemed to really appreciate my enthusiasm, encouraged me to come back next year, and finally assured me that the chair would be "first come, first served."  He then guaranteed me "second chair" behind “Nate Doggg,” which was little consolation, because as we all know, “if you ain’t first, you're last.” Better luck next year, I guess!