Gondola opens today for access to Mount Werner

Ski area begins new programs for summer

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— Patches of snow are still visible, but the base of the Steamboat Ski Area up to Thunderhead Express is green and ready to open. Summer operations begin today on the mountain.

Several new activities, programs and the Lucky Thirteen Weekend Celebration help kick off summer at the Steamboat Ski Area.

Guests can register today and Saturday at the Main Ticket Office, Ridesports or the Information Center to win one of 13 resort prizes, including custom snowboards, gift certificates and more.

Names of winners will be kept at the Main Ticket Office through Sunday evening for guests to claim their prizes.

The new activities and programs are mini bounce, mini-golf and challenge course/zip line for children; a mountain bike clinic with Katie Lundquist; Saturday lunches at Hazie's with chefs Liz Wahl and Rebecca Pauvert; Caribbean Attitude at 9,000' Altitude at the Sundeck Oasis Bar and the Little Bear in Gondola Square; and an expanded Art on the Mountain.

"Steamboat has gained national recognition as one of the premier summer mountain destinations," said Andy Wirth, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation's vice president of marketing. "For the second straight year, SKI Magazine named Steamboat one of North America's top 30 premier mountain summer resorts."

The new children's activities will enhance the outdoor atmosphere in Gondola Square, joining the slingshot bungee jump, east face climbing wall and the nine-hole disc golf course at the base of the ski area.

Building upon the success of last year's three-day women's clinic, Steamboat will introduce a new weekly women's clinic with Lindquist, a certified cycling coach and 2000 world champion.

The clinics are designed to help beginning to intermediate women bikers gain confidence while learning riding technique and maintenance and improving skill.

The clinics will be offered from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Friday beginning June 27 and running through Aug. 29 excluding July 4.

Hazie's, located in the Gondola Building atop Heavenly Daze, is a popular winter restaurant, but Wahl and Pauvert will offer an a la carte Saturday lunch, featuring salads, sandwiches and daily chef specials.

Hazie's will still have its Sunday brunch. The BK Corral, The Cabin, Chaps, Cafe on the Knoll and the Guided Gourmet Hike all will be open this summer as well

The expansion of Steamboat's Art on the Mountain will include several additional weekend showings. Artisans from around the state will be presenting and selling art in Gondola Square on July 4-6, July 26-27, Aug. 9-10 and Sept. 20.

Access to the top of Thunderhead can be achieved with the opening of the Gondola today.

The eight-passenger Gondola will operate on a limited schedule this weekend before opening for regular summer hours June 20 through Aug. 24.

Uphill operations are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with the last download at 4:30 p.m. The Gondola opens at 9 a.m. on Sundays.

Season passes to the ski area provide access to the Gondola. Otherwise tickets can be purchased at the ticket office located in Gondola Square.

In addition, two free evening concerts are being offered this summer. John Hiatt & the Goners are scheduled to play on June 25. Creedence Clearwater Revisited is on the schedule for Aug. 31.

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