Georgetown, CO-(October 16, 2002)-Loveland Ski Area in Colorado officially kicks-off the nation's ski and snowboard season Thursday, October 17, 2002 at 9:00 a.m. Snowmaking and a boost from Mother Nature in the form of over 12 inches of natural snow and winter temperatures helped Loveland Ski Area and Colorado claim the coveted title of being the first ski area in North America to open for the 2002-2003 season.

Opening October 17th starts the 2002-2003 season ahead of the area's projected opening date of October 19th. "Loveland is excited to usher in the 2002-2003 season. A long hot summer has Loveland's guests and staff alike itching to get out and make the first turns of the season, and our elevation of 13,010' allows us to cater to this demand," explains Loveland Marketing Director, Kevin Wright.

Loveland will open with chairlift #1 serving three runs: "Catwalk," "Mambo," and "Home Run," offering top-to-bottom skiing and riding on more than a mile-long, 1,000 vertical foot run. Base depths will vary between 10 and 20 inches. Snowmaking efforts will open additional terrain as soon as possible.

Loveland's web site,, provides daily updates on snowmaking progress and trail openings.

Thanks to cool winter temperatures in the high country, other resorts in Colorado -- Copper Mountain, Winter Park and Steamboat -- are also making snow. Copper Mountain is scheduled to open Nov. 2. Visit for a complete list of opening dates for Colorado's 24 ski and snowboard resorts.