Hundreds of skiers and snowboarders lined up early Wednesday, November 23 to be among the first to take in the beauty of Mount Werner and ring in the winter season.
The Steamboat Resort celebrated its 60th anniversary and recorded its biggest opening day in nearly a decade, with six lifts and 34 trails available.
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Perlman was delighted to see the excitement on everyone’s faces ahead of the official start of ski season at Steamboat Resort.
“Opening day is always exciting, and this day is especially exciting because it’s our 60th anniversary and we have the best snow conditions we’ve had in a long time,” Perlman said. “Opening with six lifts and tomorrow we will be opening the Storm Peak Express so we will have top to bottom skiing for our 2022-23 winter season. It’s spectacular.”
To celebrate the ski season, some people camped out at the resort to be the first to climb the mountain on opening day.
A group of athletes from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club spent the night at the base of Mount Werner to ensure they would be on top by Wednesday morning. Steamboat Springs High School senior Sal Malone has done this a number of times over the years.
“Everything was fine last night. It was pretty warm most of the night and only got cold in the early morning, but it’s a lot of fun,” Malone said. “We had some camp stoves and some bratwurst and some burgers and we just had a good time.”
The strategy worked for Malone and his friends, who boarded the gondola first.
Eighth-grader Delia Reynolds was at the front of the line with Malone, desperate to get back on the mountain for the first time since April.
“In the summer you just want to go back to skiing, so it’s really nice to get up there and ski on fresh slopes,” Reynolds said.
Among the numerous skiers was Loris “Bugs” Werner, brother of the legendary Buddy Werner, after whom the mountain is named.
Bugs didn’t camp overnight, but his anticipation for the season was just as great as the ones before him.
“It’s very exciting,” Loris said. “This is the weather you hope for every year and now having so many mountains open is out of sight. This is the best mountain in Colorado, so the more you can climb the better.”
Along with the Berg opening for winter fun, Steamboat Square also celebrated the opening of its new stage and ice rink, named in honor of Bugs’ other sibling, Gladys “Skeeter” Werner.
Skeeter’s Rink, named for the late Olympic alpine skier, allows visitors to skate in the heart of the resort’s base area against a beautiful mountain backdrop.
This is just one of many new improvements to the resort made as part of Steamboat Resort’s Full Steam Ahead project. Other offerings this winter season include the unveiling of the new Wild Blue Gondola and a new venue in Steamboat Square called The Range Food and Drink Hall.
Perlman stressed his excitement for this winter season, adding that he can’t wait to see the resort’s continued improvement.
“We’re investing in a great resort and making it even better for guests to come here, not just locally but from around the world to experience this spectacular resort and the new improvements we’ve been working on over the past few years ‘ Perlman said. “We still have a few years ahead of us, so full steam ahead.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email [email protected].