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Winter is coming: Arizona Snowbowl announces 2016-2017 ski season opening

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PHOENIX — This report could be both good news and bad news for Phoenicians longing for the days of winter.

The good news is that Arizona Snowbowl, located just north of Flagstaff, Arizona, has announced it will open on Nov. 11 for the 2016-2017 ski season. The bad news is that date is still three months away.

The opening — Snowbowl said it will be the first to open this ski season thanks, primarily, to snowmaking equipment — will give the public its a better look at a $10 million renovation of the resort, including the addition of the state’s first six-person ski lift.

The six-seater comes shortly after the resort opened a high-speed, four-person chairlift ahead of the 2015 holiday season. The newer, larger lift, tabbed the Grand Canyon Express, will haul snow lovers up the mountain in about six minutes.

“Coupled with our snowmaking system that provides reliable mountain conditions, the new high-speed six-pack is a huge milestone for Snowbowl and will give our guests excellent access to some of the best skiing in the state,” partner Eric Borowsky said in a release announcing the new lift.

Snowbowl enjoyed a huge 2015-2016 ski season. It welcomed the second-highest number of guests in its history and enjoyed one of the longest seasons — November to April — in three decades.

Snowbowl’s mountain crews used 54 million gallons of “A+ reclaimed water” purchased from the city of Flagstaff to make snow 65 days this winter, helping numerous trails form snow-bases which helped extend the season. The water for snowmaking accounted for about 30 percent of Snowbowl’s 180 million gallon usage.

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