Steamboat Resort to open Nov. 15; earliest Opening Day in history
Editor’s note: This story was updated at noon.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Resort will open on the earliest date in its history.
The ski area announced that the 2019-20 ski season will begin Friday, Nov. 15, in a Thursday morning news release. The announcement comes after significant snowfall and cool temperatures in October, with more than 63 inches of accumulation at midmountain — the most the resort has seen since it started keeping records in 1996.
“Winter came early to Steamboat, and with record breaking snow in October, opening sooner was an easy decision,” Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., said in the news release.
Christie Peak Express will be the only available lift, with access to 10 trails and parts of the Lil’ Rodeo Terrain Park.
Daily lift passes will be sold at a reduced price of $50 for the first week of operations. All other season passes, including the Ikon Pass, will be valid for the earlier-than-expected Opening Day.
The first 100 guests at the resort on Nov. 15 will get a free pair of Smartwool socks, according to the release. Starting at 8 a.m., there also will be free breakfast burritos at Christie Peak Express while supplies last.
Loryn Duke, director of resort communications, credited the efforts of ski area employees for making the earlier opening possible. For seasonal employees, starting work almost a week before schedule can be a welcome surprise.
“It helps everyone be motivated for the season if they can start making a paycheck earlier than ever,” Duke said.
Though crews have spent weeks smoothing out a good base on the mountain, Duke cautions skiers and riders to be cognizant of early-season hazards like exposed rocks or vegetation and icy areas.
While groomers, snowmaking equipment and other heavy machinery prepare for Opening Day, she discourages people from going on the mountain.
The resort’s new gondola is not set to open until Saturday, Nov. 23, according to Duke.
Grand opening celebrations will include the Northern Ute Tribe’s annual snow dance, donuts, mimosas and the announcement of a donation to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. The first 100 riders on the gondola will get a free Ohana shirt, designed for the occasion.
Previously, the earliest start to the resort’s winter season was in 1996 on Nov. 16.
To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email dmaiolo@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.
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