Aspen ski areas expected to open 5 days earlier than planned

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ASPEN | Aspen Skiing Co. in Colorado says it expects to open the ski season early for the second year in a row.

The company has announced it plans to open its Aspen Mountain and Snowmass resorts Saturday, five days before the originally scheduled opening on Thanksgiving Day.

The company says it will initially open terrain in the lower areas of the resorts, while the tops of both ski areas will be unavailable for skiing and snowboarding until more snow falls.

Officials say snow is forecast for the Aspen area beginning Wednesday and a snowfall of 6 inches (15 centimeters) or more will enable additional terrain to be opened.

Company officials say the Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk ski areas are scheduled to open Dec. 7.