Thick snowstorm blankets Steamboat ski slopes, delays, diverts some holiday flights |

Thick snowstorm blankets Steamboat ski slopes, delays, diverts some holiday flights

The inaugural winter flight from Austin, Texas, operated by ViaAir, arrives Dec. 13, 2017, at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.
Matt Stensland

The thick snow that began to fall just before daylight in Steamboat Springs on Dec. 23 was having a positive effect on the slopes, but causing some diversions and delays at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, 23 miles to the west of Steamboat.

At mid-afternoon, Steamboat Ski Area was reporting 10.5 inches of fresh snow in the previous 24 hours, but most of that had accumulated since dawn. And at 4:30 p.m., very thick snow had been falling for two-and-a-half hours, with no sign of it letting up.

By late afternoon, the snowstorm was beginning to have an affect on a limited number of flights at the airport.  Although United Airline’s flight 5794 from Los Angeles arrived ahead of schedule at 2:25 p.m., United’s flight 1199 from Houston, due in at 2:02 p.m., was diverted to Denver, according to The schedule showed the estimated arrival time for the Houston flight was re-scheduled for 6:42 p.m.

American flight 2299 from Dallas was also diverted to Denver with an estimated new time of arrival at 5:19 p.m.

Other flights managed to touch down in the Yampa Valley on Saturday, including two United flights from Denver.  The United flight from Newark arrived just 9 minutes behind schedule at 10:28 a.m. The flight from Washington, DC arrived at 12:12 p.m. about 90 minutes late.

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Delta’s flight from Atlanta arrived 11 minutes late at 12:22 p.m. The ViaAir flight from Austin, Texas, and the Alaska Airlines flight from San Diego both arrived just a little late. And another American flight scheduled to arrive at 12:44 p.m. touched down in the Yampa Valley at 2:07 p.m.

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