Arizona Snowbowl officially opens for skiers and snowboarders across the state

Lifts officially opened at 9 a.m. on Friday at Flagstaff's Snowbowl and people were ready to hit the slopes despite only having man-made snow.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 12:31 PM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Skiers and snowboarders are returning to the high country on Friday for the opening of the Arizona Snowbowl. The first lift started at 9 a.m., and some people showed up as early as 5 a.m.

Only two lifts are running this year for opening day, but that doesn’t matter for snowboarders like Chasen Blasel. “Opening day only comes once a year, so you know, it’s like a birthday,” Blasel said. “You got to get up and enjoy it while you can.”

He is one of the many who drove up from the Valley to access the snow and cooler temperatures in the high country. “We’re blessed to live in a spot where we can drive two hours and be up in the mountains and enjoy the great outdoors and get some fresh air get out of Phoenix,” Blasel said.

This year, all the snow for opening day was man-made, as no measurable snow was stuck on the mountain.

Snow marketing coordinator Angelina Grubb said they can produce this amount of snow thanks to 50 snow machines working since early October to open two lifts and multiple intermediate and beginner trails. “In order for us to make snow up here, one, we need cold temperatures. Two, we need low humidity up here,” Grubb said. “So weather obviously plays a huge factor into our season opening, especially when ski resorts across the country are experiencing warmer temperatures this year, which is a little bit different for November.”

Skiers and snowboarders were ready to hit the slopes for opening day at Arizona Snowbowl!

The Grand Canyon Express will take people to four intermediate trails. For beginners, there is an open lift that will offer more terrain.

While it’s been a warmer and drier start to the season, they are hopeful for some snow. Snowbowl has eight lifts, four terrain parks, 55 trails, and three mountain lodges when fully operational.

But natural or artificial skiers and snowboarders are taking advantage of every drop. “It doesn’t matter if the snow is real or if it’s man-made, it’s all the same,” Blasel said. “Come up here and ride and enjoy it. The boys are buzzin’, you know. Happy to be here, stoked to ride.”

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