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Early Snow Hits Colorado, And Ski Resorts Start To Buzz

Nate Dogg, Meesh Hytner and Jeff Meyer break through the opening banner in the first chair for the first day of skiing at Loveland Ski Area, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, in Georgetown, Colo. Jack Dempsey/AP/Colorado Ski Country USA hide caption

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Jack Dempsey/AP/Colorado Ski Country USA

So what if Halloween's not here yet, and Daylight Savings Time is more than a week away? It can still snow in the middle of October — and in the Rocky Mountains, they're trying to make the best of it.

As Kirk Siegler reports from KUNC, "Much of western Colorado is under a winter storm warning. Forecasters say nearly a foot of snow has already fallen around the towns of Aspen and Vail – with more on the way."

If you see "Aspen and Vail" and think "skiing and hot chocolate," you're not alone. In fact, two nearby ski resorts have already opened — Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin.

Fall snowstorms are a big deal for the Colorado's $2.5 billion ski-resort industry, as Jennifer Rudolph of the trade group Colorado Ski Country USA tells Siegler:

Some of the best marketing we can ask for is what Mother Nature provides, and it is important to have that exposure that it’s snowing in Colorado, that ski resorts are opening, or that conditions are right for making snow.

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Obviously, the early snow isn't a welcome arrival to travelers — flights have been cancelled, and at least two mountain roads are closed.

Some areas could receive up to two feet of snow before the storm moves out Tuesday night, according to reports.