Steamboat plans early community ski event at Howelsen Hill |

Steamboat plans early community ski event at Howelsen Hill

Jack Weinstein

A snow gun at Howelsen Hill blows snow at the downtown ski area Thursday afternoon. Members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club already have started training on the historic hill, and many locals are hoping the snow-covered slopes soon will be open to the public.

— The city of Steamboat Springs is planning a special event to recognize the community's support of the historic Howelsen Hill Ski Area.

Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department Director Chris Wilson said the city would like to make the ski area available at a discounted rate in a limited area once before the season begins Dec. 3. He said doing so would provide public access earlier than ever before. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club already is training.

Wilson said the early start is possible in part because of favorable snowmaking conditions but also as a direct result of support from the city and the Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign, which raises funds for the downtown ski area.

"We'd like to do something to celebrate the investment and support of the community on a limited-engagement sort of thing before our regular opening," Wilson said.

Steamboat Government Programs Manager Winnie DelliQuadri, who has served as staff support for the fundraising campaign, said it has raised nearly $1.8 million of the $2.3 million fundraising goal. That includes nearly $300,000 in cash and pledges from the community, $400,000 from the city and about $1.1 million in grants.

DelliQuadri said the Centennial Campaign has paid more than $410,000 for new lighting and snowmaking guns at Howelsen. She said future projects include making the existing K38 jump usable in the summer, adding a magic carpet and increasing the water capacity for snowmaking.

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Wilson said the details about the event still are being worked out. He said the date, time and ticketing information should be available early next week.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email

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