The 2014-15 season is here! [video]
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! Today, November 14, Breck opened for the 2014-15 winter season. It was a day packed full of amazing snow, great giveaways, and special guests.
While most ski resorts celebrate their opening day with a lot of hoopla – no one kicks off the season like Breck. Opening day is the only day that rivals Christmas for us, and we make sure to start the season in-style.
Guests arrived early to the mountain as the snow fell lightly on the ground. Once they got off the gondola, they were treated to free donuts from Ski Hill Grill – a new menu item being offered this season. The EpicPass tent at the base of Peak 8 had amazing giveaways, and DJ DC was rocking from the Red Bull MXT truck right next to the lift. EpicMix photographers were out in full-force giving out free prints to anyone who got their pictures taken.
The line for the Colorado SuperChair started filling up at 7:30am, as the most hardcore guests lined up to get their first turns of the season. By 8:15 there were over 200 people in line ready to check out the 4 groomed runs that were open.
A meaningful first chair
Before the lifts started turning, Pat Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Breck, introduced two special guests who were selected for first chair of the season.
The first rider was C.J. Mueller, once the “Fastest Man on Skis” and recently inducted into the Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame. His guest, Jay DeBaggis, had great things to say about his long-time friend. “I got first chair because I nominated C.J. for the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame,” DeBaggis said. “There is no more deserving human-being on the planet.”
When asked what being inducted into the Hall of Fame was like, C.J. said “The last six weeks has just been a huge party almost, it’s been really great.” As for being in Breck on opening day – he was here for one thing — “My favorite part about opening day? Making turns! It’s actually been really fun just hanging out here and seeing the excitement in the crowd, it’s really a great feeling.”
C.J. also reflected on the changing times in the ski industry.
“I remember being the first one on the chair for the whole season in Colorado, when there was absolutely no fan-fare. Nobody was there, me and my buddy hoped on the lift and got the first chair… and nobody cared. Now it’s kind of fun that there’s so much enthusiasm for the whole thing.”
Marine Lance Corporal Colton Carlson, a veteran from the war in Afghanistan, also received the honor of riding first chair.
“I was injured in Afghanistan. I lost both legs when I stepped on an IED. I’ve been home for a little over a year now, and I’m going to school down in Pueblo.” Carlson has been helping vets like him get on their feet through working with DSUSA in the past year. DSUSA will be back to Breck in December for the Hartford Ski Spectacular.
“Honestly, I didn’t think about the ceremony of the first chair,” Carlson said. “I knew it was going to be a big deal when I saw the Red Bull truck here.”
Breck would like to thank Carlson for his service and sacrifice for our country, and thank Mueller for his contribution and lasting impression he has made on our town, mountain, and the ski industry as a whole.
Fresh snow and a new chair
Of course, the OTHER very important guest was fresh snow on the ground. Ullr was strutting his stuff all week to make sure that opening day was unforgettable – and he did not disappoint. Breck received 13 inches of new snow on Wednesday and another 10 inches on Thursday, which helped the Breck team open up 86 total acres, including 4 runs and 4 lifts.
Perhaps one of the most significant points of Opening Day was the inauguration of the new Colorado SuperChair. Upgraded from a four to a six-person chair with a new loading carpet, the Colorado SuperChair now has a 30 percent increased capacity per hour. That means more time on mountain and less time on the base for each skier at Breck.
Check out our photo gallery from today for more photos from an unforgettable opening day. Thanks for making it special!
– Tony Cooper