Steamboat Springs Letting go of a ski season that will be remembered for more than 400 inches of snow isn't easy.
However, the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. is proposing to lessen the pain April 8 and 9 -- the final weekend of the season -- with free skiing for area school students and employees. Steamboat also will host a free acoustic string music concert by Tony Furtado aprÃs ski April 9.
"The resort wants to thank everyone, especially all of our loyal season and value pass holders, for a great year with this end-of-the-season community appreciation event," Ski Corp. Vice President of Marketing Andy Wirth said.
Season snowfall stood at 408.75 inches as of March 29, with a few more inches forecast overnight.
Furtado is known for his banjo and guitar work in live sets that often include jazz-grass and old-time folk songs. He is scheduled to take the stage at the bottom of Headwall ski run at 3 p.m. The weekend also will include the traditional Cardboard Classic race at 1:30 p.m. April 8.
The evening of April 8 also is the date of Snowball 2006, benefiting Grand Futures and Partners in Routt County.
Closing weekend marks the eighth consecutive season the ski area has offered free skiing and snowboarding to students and school employees. The offer extends to schools in Craig, Maybell, Hayden, Meeker, Rangely, Oak Creek, Walden, Yampa and Steamboat Springs.
"This program enables students, faculty and school employees to try the sport of skiing or snowboarding," Ski Corp. President Chris Diamond said. "We want every student in the Yampa Valley to have the opportunity to give the sport a try."
Students, faculty and school employees can check in at the main ticket office in the gondola building to pick up a lift ticket. Proof of enrollment is required, so students need to bring a copy of their report cards or other documentation. Proof of employment also is required for school staff and faculty.
Family members who would like to ski with their students may do so for $39 a day. They should plan to pick up their tickets at the same time.
Diamond said the "local schools ski/ride free" program represents a portion of more than $8 million in donations the Ski Corp. has made to a variety of organizations, programs and projects across Northwest Colorado during the past dec--ade.
People celebrating the end of the ski season during the Furtado concert are invited to take advantage of food and beverage specials at Bear River Bar and Grill during the show. Activities in the Gondola Square Adventure Zone, including the slingshot bungee jump, will be offered at a 50 percent discount.
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