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Loveland Ski Area is first in North America to open its slopes, resort says

First Tracks_Jack Dempsey_Loveland Ski Area_CSCUSA Loveland Ski Area in Colorado opened its slopes at 9 a.m. today and claims to be the first resort in North America to open for the 2009-10 winter season.

The resort boasts an 18-inch base consisting of natural and man-made snow. Skiers and snowboarders enjoyed a top-to-bottom run consisting of 1,000 vertical feet via Chair 1. First turns were made on the trails Catwalk, Mambo and Homerun, which are part of the one-mile-long run.

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. congratulated Loveland on its earliest opening in 40 years, saying, “It’s only October, but the 2009-10 snow sport season is open for business in Colorado.

"Recreation and tourism are key economic drivers and job creators in Colorado, and we’re looking forward to a great year on the slopes.”

Loveland is part of a network of resorts represented by Colorado Ski Country USA.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A skier makes first tracks at Loveland in Colorado. The resort claims to be the first resort in North America to open for the winter season.

Credit: Jack Dempsey / Loveland

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.