You’ll have to act soon to get a piece of Howelsen ski history
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Anyone interested in owning an iconic piece of Steamboat Springs history now has a chance to do so.
The city of Steamboat Springs is auctioning off 49 chairs from the Barrows Chairlift at Howelsen Hill Ski Area, as the city prepares to install a new lift this summer.
“The chair sale is a chance to secure an iconic piece of local ski history and a for-sure conversation starter at your home or business,” city spokesperson Mike Lane said.
The sale will be through a silent auctioning process, and the top 49 bidders will each receive a chair. The money raised will go directly to the Howelsen Hill Ski Area Endowment fund held at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
“Chairs from local lifts are always in high demand, especially smaller doubles,” Howelsen Hill Ski & Rodeo manager Brad Setter said. “To be able to get your hands on a chair from a lift that has played such a significant role in the history of Howelsen Hill is truly a special and rare opportunity.”
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Those interested in bidding on a Barrows lift chair may do so at steamboatsprings.net/chairsale. Bids will be accepted starting Monday through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
Bids will open Monday and close at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, with minimum bids starting at $150. Any amount paid over the minimum is eligible as a tax-deductible donation, and winning bidders will receive a donor acknowledgment letter for tax purposes, Lane said.
The top 49 bidders will be contacted March 18 or 19 to confirm payment and chair collection details, which is anticipated to take place March 22 to 26.
Setter said he believes many current and former residents will be excited to participate because Howelsen is “such an iconic part of our community’s history.”
Crews will begin removing the chairs from the lift immediately after the ski area closes for the season March 14. This is the first part of a several-week process that will see the 33-year-old chairlift be replaced. Areas around the base of the ski hill will be impacted or closed during that time, as well as in the summer during new lift installation.
The Barrows lift was installed in 1988 and has been used by beginner skiers and riders, Olympic athletes and Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club students. The lift carried riders up the 440-vertical-foot slope in around five minutes during summer and winter.
This summer, crews will install a new $3 million Skytrac triple chairlift, funded in partnership with Smartwool parent company’s VF Foundation, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and the city.
Created in 1915, Howelsen Hill Ski Area is North America’s oldest continuously operated ski area and has the largest and most complete natural ski jumping complex on the continent, Lane said.
“It’s supporting a good cause, and you get to own a piece of Routt County history,” Setter said. “It’s been around for quite a while.”
Setter said said the chairs are being auctioned ahead of time to avoid having them just sit in the parking lot. A few chairs will also be given away to community members.
Those interested in bidding on a chair may do so at steamboatsprings.net/chairsale.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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