Steamboat Resort postpones Opening Day to Nov. 27
Citing lackluster conditions, Steamboat Resort has opted to postpone its Opening Day from this weekend to Nov. 27.
“Anyone who has been in Steamboat, or has been anxiously watching our mountain cameras, knows that Mother Nature hasn’t been cooperating this preseason,” Dave Hunter, vice president of resort operations, said Monday in a news release.
Normally, the resort would see a 10- to 20-inch midmountain base and 200 hours of snowmaking, according to Hunter. Heading into the new season, however, that’s not the case, as the resort has logged only eight hours of snowmaking.
“This year, we haven’t been able to capitalize on extended snowmaking temperatures and windows,” Hunter said. “While our mountain crews have done an incredible job of pulling every magic trick out of the hat, reality is that our slopes are not ready to welcome skiers and riders.”
Loryn Duke, the resort’s director of communications, said the resort’s snowmaking equipment was last serviced three weeks ago and is ready to go when weather allows.
According to local forecaster Mike Weissbluth, who owns and operates SnowAlarm.com, temperatures will go from above average to 5-10 degrees below average beginning Wednesday. Though that will be short-lived, as Thursday’s high temperatures will return to near average.
Weissbluth indicated, however, there is chance for a storm to bring cooler temperatures and snowfall into the area Friday to mid-Saturday.
Erin Walter, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said the service’s station, located northeast of downtown Steamboat, has recorded only 8.4 inches of snow so far.
By comparison, Walter said Steamboat normally has about 20 inches of snow by mid-November. In 2020, the city received just 12.4 inches, which Walter said was significantly below average.
Ideal snowmaking conditions are between 12 and 18 degrees, along with requisite low humidity. The resort’s snowmaking and grooming crews can make 18 to 24 inches of snow on over 30-plus acres within five days, Hunter said.
Hunter suggests the long-range forecast into next week will lead to greater chances for snowmaking.
Guests who have reservations between Nov. 20 and Nov. 26 should contact Steamboat Central Reservations, the resort said. Credits will be available for resort products, including lift tickets, rentals and SnowSports School reservations. Any refunds on lodging will be dependent on which property a guest is booked.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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