Steamboat’s earliest opening day in history |

Steamboat’s earliest opening day in history

Averill Doering unbuckles her boots after a morning of skiing at the Steamboat Resort in 2018
John F. Russell / Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Resort will open on the earliest date in its history.

The 2019-20 season will begin next Friday, Nov. 15, according to a news release from the ski area issued Thursday morning. This comes after significant snowfall and cool temperatures in October, with more than 63 inches of accumulation at mid-mountain.

“Winter came early to Steamboat and with record breaking snow in October, opening sooner was an easy decision,” Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., said in the news release.

Christie Peak Express will be the only available lift, with access to 10 trails and parts of the Lil’ Rodeo Terrain Park.

Daily lift passes will be sold at a reduced price of $50 for the first week of operations. All other season passes, including the Ikon Pass, will be valid for the earlier-than-expected opening day.

The first 100 guests at the resort on Nov. 15 will get a free pair of Smartwool socks, according to the release. Starting at 8 a.m. there also will be free breakfast burritos at Christie Peak Express while supplies last.

Loryn Duke, director of resort communications, credited the efforts of ski area employees for making the earlier opening possible. For seasonal employees, starting work almost a week before schedule can be a welcome surprise.

“It helps everyone be motivated for the season if they can start making a paycheck earlier than ever,” Duke said.

Though crews have spent weeks smoothing out a good base on the mountain, Duke cautions skiers and riders to be cognizant of early-season hazards like exposed rocks or vegetation. While groomers, snowmaking equipment and other heavy machinery prepare for opening day, she discourages people from going on the mountain.

The resort’s new gondola is not set to open until Saturday, Nov. 23, according to Duke. Grand opening celebrations will include the Northern Ute Tribe’s annual snow dance, donuts, mimosas and the announcement of a donation to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. The first 100 riders on the gondola will get a free Ohana shirt, designed for the occasion, according to the news release.

Previously, the earliest start to the resort’s winter season was on Nov. 16, 1996.

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