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Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Loveland Ski Area. Because of its proximity to Denver (an hour's drive), lack of resort facilities and hotels, and few high-speed lifts, Loveland Ski Area is often overlooked by out-of-staters, but that's just the way locals like it. Loveland has some of the highest runs in Colorado spread across a respectable 1,800 acres serviced by 10 lifts. It's split between Loveland Valley, a good place for beginners, and Loveland Basin, a good bet for everyone else. Loveland Basin has excellent glade and open-bowl skiing and snowboarding, especially on the 2,210-foot vertical drop. Best of all, it opens early and usually stays open later than any other ski area except Arapahoe Basin. I–70 Exit 216, 12 miles west of Georgetown, Georgetown, CO, 80444. 303/571–5580 or 800/736–3754. www.skiloveland.com. Mid-Oct.–May, weekdays 9–4, weekends 8:30–4.
2,410-foot vertical drop; 1,365 skiable acres; 80 runs; 13% beginner, 41% intermediate, 46% advanced; 10 lifts; 3 doubles, 2 triples, 3 quads, 1 surface, and 1 magic carpet (ski school only).
Lessons and Programs
Loveland Ski School. This ski school offers 2½-hour group "Newcomer Packages" beginning at 10 am and 1 pm for $85 including all rental gear and an all-day lift ticket. Advanced half-day lessons (a maximum of four people per group) are $78 or $85 with rental gear. Georgetown, CO, 80444. 303/571–5580. www.skiloveland.com.
In the early season, from opening to December 14, tickets are $45, but $56 is the regular season price. Discount tickets are on sale at local Safeway and King Soopers stores.
Loveland Rentals. Loveland Rentals has two on-mountain locations. You can purchase sport packages for $30, and performance packages for $45. Snowboard packages are $45; helmets run $10. Georgetown, CO. 303/569–3203.
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