Dusty Atkinson, left, uses an eight-ton jack to split rock geodes and reveal their crystalline beauty for customers from Kentucky iduring Art on the Mountain in 2010. The 11th annual Art on the Mountain kicks off Friday at 10 a.m. and continues through Sunday in Gondola Square.

Photo by Tom Ross

Dusty Atkinson, left, uses an eight-ton jack to split rock geodes and reveal their crystalline beauty for customers from Kentucky iduring Art on the Mountain in 2010. The 11th annual Art on the Mountain kicks off Friday at 10 a.m. and continues through Sunday in Gondola Square.

Steamboat Ski Area's new base gets ready for weekend events

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If you go

What: 11th annual Art on the Mountain

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday

Where: Gondola Square at Steamboat Ski Area

Cost: Admission is free

— Steamboat Ski Area will have the chance this weekend to show off its base area improvements to crowds of thousands of people flocking to the mountain, where they’ll find a three-day hub of arts and entertainment in addition to a world-class biking and hiking destination.

The festivities begin Friday when the 11th annual Art on the Mountain kicks off at 10 a.m. This year, 33 vendors of arts, crafts and clothing from across the region will be set up in Gondola Square through Sunday for mountain-area visitors to peruse.

The local Geode Guys will be on hand cracking open small “dragon eggs,” revealing the elaborate crystal structures inside. In addition, there will be crafters vending their jewelry, sculpture and paintings.

“This weekend is going to be a perfect example of why summer is so fun in Steamboat,” Steamboat Ski Area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said. “Especially at the base area.”

In addition to Art on the Mountain, the ski area will host the first of two Free Summer Concert Series shows taking place on the mountain this summer.

For the past several years, the concerts have been confined to Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs while crews at the base area worked to construct a new promenade and “daylight” Burgess Creek to offer the refreshing bubble of a creek running by Gondola Square.

Jon Waldman, who has been booking the Free Summer Concert Series since its inception 21 years ago, said Saturday’s Dark Star Orchestra concert is a chance to celebrate the upgrades.

“What we’re looking forward to is having the synergy of sort of the grand opening of the promenade,” he said. “But one of the bonuses is we have Art on the Mountain. It will make it a real festival-like feel to the weekend.”

Art on the Mountain runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The free concert starts at 6 p.m. Saturday. There also will be live music at Slopeside Grill and the Bear River Bar & Grill throughout the weekend.

Kasten said this concert and the July 21 show featuring The Samples and Zach Heckendorf are a great opportunity to shown off the base-area improvements.

Because of the mountain’s regulations on smoking, there will be no smoking inside the concert venue area. The designated smoking area is near the transit center by Mount Werner Circle.

Kasten said the smoking regulations are especially important given the current fire danger.

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