Mountain to open earlier Saturday |

Mountain to open earlier Saturday

Skiers can hit slopes 30 minutes sooner


The day after Christmas, tourists descend on Steamboat Springs.

After visitors get settled in Friday, they will be able to hit the slopes earlier than usual Saturday morning. Beginning Saturday, in anticipation of the added volume of skiers and riders, the mountain will open as much as 30 minutes ahead of schedule, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokesman Mike Lane said.

Lift ticket offices, ski and snowboard ticket offices and rental and retail shops will be extending hours of operation, too.

“We want to take extra steps now to ensure that the holiday experience in Ski Town USA meets or exceeds guests’ expectations,” Ski Corp. President Chris Diamond said in a prepared statement. “By opening the mountain 30 minutes early, we will be able to move approximately 1,200 passengers out of the base area, helping reduce the congestion during our high-volume period from 9 to 10:30 a.m.”

Starting Saturday and continuing through Dec. 31, the gondola, Christie III, Southface and Preview will open at 8 a.m.; Thunderhead Express, Burgess Creek and Four Points at 8:15 a.m.; and Storm Peak Express and Sundown Express at 8:30 a.m. In addition, Breakfast Club and First Track participants will load the gondola at 8 a.m.

“Last year, the resort saw significant gondola ridership between 9 and 10:30 a.m.,” said Doug Allen, senior director of mountain operations for Steamboat, in a prepared statement. “I would strongly encourage skiers and riders to take advantage of the accelerated opening and get up the gondola early, then use the upper mountain lifts until the high demand in the morning subsides. Individuals returning to the base area between the popular gondola loading times should anticipate larger-than-normal volumes.”

The main ticket office, ski and snowboard school ticket office and the gondola ticket windows will open at 7:30 a.m. beginning Friday and continuing through Dec. 31.

The main ticket office and ski school ticket office will stay open until 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, returning to their regular 5 p.m. closing time Monday.

The ski area encourages guests to visit Gondola Square on their day of arrival to purchase or pick up lift tickets, arrange for ski or snowboard clinics, sign up for the Kids’ Vacation Center programs and obtain rentals.

With the early opening schedule, the Steamboat Ski and Snowboard School will offer private lessons starting at 8 a.m. and the early bird private, running from 8:30-10 a.m., will be offered for all skiing and riding levels. Other Ski & Snowboard School programs will retain their normal operating hours and clinic times.

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