Steamboat Springs Skiers and riders will find new trails open to the bottom of the Steamboat Ski Area when they hit the slopes for scholarship day today.
And advance reservation figures show the ski season will begin in earnest this holiday weekend.
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Director of Mountain Operations Doug Allen said the Shortcut, Sitz and Vogue trails will be among the 56 trails available to skiers today, the original date marked on the calendar as opening day at the ski area. Steamboat opened four days early on Nov. 18.
Ski area officials are hoping for good business over the long Thanksgiving holiday.
"Usually at Thanksgiving it's about family and turkey dinner and being in the mountains," ski area spokeswoman Cathy Wiedemer said. "This year, it's all about skiing."
Terry Murphy, manager of the Steamboat Grand Hotel, expects the hotel to be the busiest it has been since it opened Oct. 2. Murphy said his crew will get a feel for winter business Friday night when he predicts the hotel will be up to 75 percent occupied.
"We're not there yet, but if phone volume continues at this pace, we'll make it," Murphy said. "It's going to be a real test for us."
The Steamboat Grand has advertised a $79 room rate on Colorado's Front Range, Wiedemer said.
If Murphy's prediction comes true, the Steamboat Grand could have 250 rooms booked Friday night. Saturday night also looks strong, but some guests will check out that day, he said. Because the hotel's accommodations can be configured as condominiums or traditional hotel rooms through lock-off doors on some single bedrooms, it has the potential to have up to 420 bedrooms.
But Murphy bases occupancy figures on the 328 doors it has leading to hallways. Thus 75 percent occupancy would yield about 250 rooms.
Ski area officials have also decided that beginning on Thursday and continuing through Dec. 1, the price of daily lift tickets and multi-day tickets up to four days will be $46. The price per day for multi-day passes of five days or more will be $44, Wiedemer said. Prior to Dec. 2, ski area officials will review the amount of terrain and facilities that have been opened in the meantime and establish ticket prices for early December.
Dec. 1 also marks a significant date for people thinking about purchasing season passes and value passes.
Adult unrestricted season passes go up from $1,050 to $1,175 on Dec. 1. Similarly, value passes that offer 20 days of skiing in the regular season and 10 days in value season go up from $720 to $780 on that day. Early value season runs through Dec. 19 and spring value season is from April 4 to 15.
For more information on pass rates and deadlines, go online at www.steamboat.com.
To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org