City readies Howelsen Hill for 2018-19 ski season |

City readies Howelsen Hill for 2018-19 ski season

Aleck Gantick jumps at Howelsen Hill. (File photo by Joel Reichenberger)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With the pesky Burrows Chairlift at Howelsen Hill repaired, the oldest ski area in the country is gearing up for the 2018-19 season.

“It’s ready for the season,” said Brad Setter, open space and trails, rodeo and Howelsen Hill supervisor for the city of Steamboat Springs.

This summer, Steamboat Springs City Council had to decide the fate of the Barrows Chairlift, which is slated for replacement.

In recent years, Tower 6 has shifted during spring snowmelt, causing the lift tower to become misaligned.

The lift was unusable for summer operations, but City Council ultimately decided to pump another $30,000 into the lift to get it operational for the winter.

“The lift is running well,” Setter said.

Currently, another project is underway to get Howelsen ready for the season.

The water pipe between the base of the ski area and the pump house is being replaced.

It is a $750,000 investment. Setter said it is the last section of pipe that needs to be replaced with modern piping.

The city is planning to crank up the snow guns Nov. 1 as long as the weather is cold enough.

The goal is to have the hill covered in time for Opening Day on Nov. 24.

“It was a close call last year, but it was also a very warm and dry fall,” Setter said.

The pressure is on this year to get Howelsen ready for the Continental Cup Nordic combined meet Dec. 14 to 16.

The city again plans to have Ski Free Sundays throughout the season. Those are expected to begin in mid- to late December.

Ski Free Sundays will not be available on some days due to competitions and other events.

Alpine and Nordic season passes to Howelsen will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday at the concession stand.

They can also be purchased at

There are a variety of pass options.

An adult pass for both Alpine and Nordic skiing will cost $315 for adults.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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