Cataloochee Ski Area in Haywood County, North Carolina is First Ski Resort to OPEN on East Coast Beating Killington by 2.5 hours in Race to Open First

By: Dennis Symons

Correction: A resort in North Carolina is first ski resort to open this side of the Mississippi on the East Cost. According to the Killington Resort Press Release below from yesterday they were set to open first at 11 a.m. on Sunday November 3, 2019. According to Cataloochee Ski Area website their lifts started turning at 8:30 a.m. and would close at 4:30 p.m. today beating Killington, Vermont by 2.5 hours. Cataloochee Ski Area Facebook Page Cataloochee Ski Area Instagram

The bragging rights to be “The First to Open in North America” for 2019 was also stolen from Keystone Resort in Colorado when they announced their opening day of 2019 on Saturday October 12, 2019 at 9 a.m. Nearby Arapahoe Basin Ski Area a opened day earlier Friday October 11, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. after the announcement just to say they were “Open First” beating Keystone in the race to open first.

In a press release dated 11/2/219 from Killington Resort the resort has announced their opening for the 2019-2020 season ” becoming the first Eastern resort to open for skiing and snowboarding. ” This would be proven false because bragging rights now go to Cataloochee Ski Area for 2019 as the first to open on the East Coast. Killington can still claim that they were first to open in the North East.

The Longest Season in the East To Debut New Lift and Improved Mountain Access, Woodward Mountain Park, and the Return of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Races

KILLINGTON, Vt. (November 2, 2019) – Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America, and part of POWDR, will kick off the 2019-20 winter season at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3, 2019, becoming the first Eastern resort to open for skiing and snowboarding. 

The first turns of the season, on Sunday, November 3, will be reserved exclusively for Season Pass, Express Card, Beast 365 and Ikon pass holders. The resort will open to the general public on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, November 3, will also be the last day of operations for Downhill Mountain Biking serviced by the Snowshed Express Quad. Killington’s operating schedule for the remainder of the week will be updated in real time at

“There’s a lot to celebrate this year opening weekend at Killington,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “On top of all the improvements we made last year to elevate the guest experience, our pass holders will have the opportunity to be the first guests to experience the brand new North Ridge Quad. We’re also excited to show off the progress we’ve made on phase 1 of the new K-1 Lodge.”

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, the K-1 Express Gondola will provide uploading to open terrain for skiers and snowboarders from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and the new North Ridge Quad lift will allow uploading until 3:45 p.m. Skiers and snowboarders will use the Peak Walkway to access open terrain and return to the K-1 Express Gondola for the trip down to the base area through 4:00 p.m. Skiing and snowboarding will be on advanced terrain only, providing roughly 600 vertical feet of open trails. No beginner terrain is available at this time. Early season conditions exist and snowmaking and other on-mountain operations may be in progress throughout the day on open terrain. 

The Snowshed Sales Center will be open Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Monday starting at 8:30 a.m., for RFID pass pick up and pass purchases. K-1 Guest Services will be open starting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday selling Season Passes and Express Cards for same-day access to the slopes. Express Card holders will only be charged $25 for all ages on Opening Day, and children ages 6 and under will receive a Kids Ski Free ticket if accompanied by a season pass holder. No other passes, tickets, vouchers or reciprocal discounts will be accepted on this day. Beginning Monday, daily lift tickets will be $59 for adults (ages 19-64), $45 for youth (ages 7-18) and $50 for seniors (ages 65-79). Express Card holders will receive 50% off lift ticket window rate for midweek, and 25% off weekend rates.  

Remaining a longstanding tradition, season pass holders are invited to enjoy free lunch on Opening Day at the K-1 Café, North Ridge Brat Haus or Peak Lodge as a show of gratitude for their commitment to Killington Resort. 

New for the 2019-20 season, the Woodward Mountain Park at Killington is a network of featured terrain zones that, together, offer a balanced variety of exciting on-mountain experiences for all ages and abilities. On Monday, when open to the general public, Killington’s first Woodward Mountain Park zone – a temporary pop up park in the North Ridge area on Reason – will make its debut. The early season rail garden is the first terrain park to open in the east each season. As the season continues and conditions permit, the Woodward Mountain Park network of zones will expand. 

During the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, which will take place November 30 – December 1, public access to the ground level spectator zones, festival village and concerts are all free although a limited number of tickets to premium viewing areas are still on sale which will offer unparalleled access to watch the fastest female alpine ski racers in the world compete in slalom and giant slalom events. Additional HomeLight Killington Cup events include free concerts by Grace PotterRecycled PercussionTwiddle and DJ Logic, plus movie premiers, fireworks, parades and more. A full schedule of the HomeLight Killington Cup events and ticket information can be found at

Killington will remain open to the public for skiing and snowboarding as conditions permit. Skiers and riders can prepare for Opening Day by purchasing Season Passes and Express Cards now at and 1-800-621-MTNS (6867). 


Media Note: If you’re covering Opening Day for a story, please contact Courtney DiFiore at 802-422-6115 or

About Killington Resort
Killington Resort is a four-season destination sitting on 3,000 acres in the heart of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains. The Beast of the East boasts 92 miles of diverse snow sports terrain spread across six peaks including Pico Mountain, served by the most expansive lift network and snowmaking system in Eastern North America. After the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course, the family-friendly Snowshed Adventure Center, 35 miles of mountain biking trails with expansion underway with Gravity Logic, plus 15 miles of hiking trails. The seemingly infinite après, dining, and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for more than 55 years. Killington is part of the POWDR portfolio. Visit for more information and be social with #beast365. 

Courtney DiFiore, Killington Resort: 802-422-6115 or     
Kevin Flight, Elevate Communications: 781-439-7140 or