Steamboat Announces Earliest Opening In Resort History
● By Alesha Damerville
Image courtesy of Steamboat Resort
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS— The ski and snowboard season will begin earlier than ever in Steamboat this winter with the resort moving Opening Day up a week to November 15, 2019. To celebrate the earliest opening in more than 50 years, lift tickets for the first week of the season will be $50 and all passes will be valid starting opening day. The season will start with Christie Peak Express featuring 50 acres, 1,100 vertical feet and 10 trails including Sitz, Sitzback, Jess’ Cut-Off, Vogue, lower Short Cut, Stampede, Boulevard, upper Giggle Gulch and Right O Way, as well as Desperado Carpet and select features in Lil’ Rodeo Terrain Park.
“Winter came early to Steamboat and with record breaking snow in October, opening sooner was an easy decision,” said Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “We know our local skiers and riders are ready for the season, and we want to provide the opportunity for our employees to begin work and start getting paid as early as possible. This is a great way to kick off the season for everyone!”
When the season begins on November 15, ski and snowboard lessons will be available with Steamboat SnowSports School. Additionally, the Outlaw Mountain Coaster will be open, Timber & Torch Grill and Gondola Joe’s and will be serving food and drinks, Steamboat Sports locations at Gondola Square and Gondola Square Demo Center will offer rentals and retail and Steamboat Mercantile will feature signature Steamboat items. The Steamboat Ticket Office is currently open from 9 am to 5pm daily and guests can pick up their Steamboat season passes and daily lift tickets. The Ticket Office will move to winter hours on November 15, open from 8 am to 5pm daily. Ikon Passes should have been received in the mail and are direct to lift access.
The resort’s historical opening November 15 will be ushered in with free Smartwool socks for the first 100 skiers and snowboarders and free breakfast burritos at the Christie Peak Express lift starting at 8 am (while supplies last).The following weekend, Saturday, November 23 will be a celebration for the new Steamboat Gondola including the Northern Ute Tribe’s annual snow dance, Champagne powder donuts and mimosas, christening of the Gondola, donation to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and more. The first 100 to ride the new gondola will receive specially designed Ohana shirts.
Prior to the early opening, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes will begin training on All Out trail November 12-14. A partnership between the ski resort and the sports club have provided improvements on the trail to allow for athletes to begin training on-snow in Steamboat instead of having to travel outside the community for early season training.
Previously, the resort’s earliest opening day was on November 16, 1996. According to a press release distributed in November 1996, the resort was slated to open on November 23, 1996 but due to a Halloween snowstorm, the opening day was pushed up to November 16 with 10 trails and 5 chairlifts. The new 1996 opening weekend saw 31 inches of snow pile up and by the end of the month the resort celebrated the expansion of Morningside Park.
“It’s fitting that the last time we were in such great shape in early November, the resort was opening new terrain. This year we’re opening early and next weekend we’ll introduce our new Gondola,” said Perlman.
Steamboat received 63 inches of snow at mid-mountain in October, the snowiest October on resort record. In addition to natural snow, a string of cold temperatures allowed the resort to begin snowmaking on October 24 and build large piles of snow to spread across the resort for an early season base. Snowmaking efforts continue across the resort as conditions allow.
For additional information on Opening Day, the Gondola Celebration and more visit www.steamboat.com.