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Steamboat ski school instructors Al Tiegert, front, and Wayne Westphale (not to be confused with the contemporary Steamboat attorney of the same name), sport cowboy hats and slick blue jackets while posing for a photographer circa 1973. Look closely and you’ll see that Tiegert is wearing a sheriff’s badge. The badges were standard name tags for all ski area employees that winter. In 2012, all of the lift operators at Steamboat may choose from wearing a commemorative cowboy hat supplied by F.M. Light & Sons or a beanie by SmartWool while they are on the job.

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Steamboat Ski Area celebrates its golden anniversary

Steamboat Ski Area will begin a celebration of its 50th anniversary this week, and one easily could trace that history by devoting a book to the parade of landmarks like new trails, new chairlifts, changes of ownership and even new snowmaking guns.

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