College mascots hit the slopes at Steamboat Ski Area | SteamboatToday.com

College mascots hit the slopes at Steamboat Ski Area

College mascot are introduced Friday night during the Steamboat Mascot Stampede. This year the mascots will have a Mascot Ski and Dance Party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

— College mascots, additional terrain and night skiing arrived at Steamboat Ski Area on Friday.

Mascots from 16 schools are in town for the Steamboat Mascot Stampede, a new event that kicked off Friday night with Opening Ceremonies, a Mascot Parade and a Mascot Wrangler Tube Slide race at the base area.

To put on the event, the ski area teamed up with Raymond Entertainment Group, a business that specializes in mascot branding.

“We’re always looking for unique ways to make a trip to Steamboat more interesting,” ski area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said. “It was an opportunity to bring another quirky and fun event to Steamboat.”

The ski area was hoping the event would help lure both Front Range and destination skiers before the busy holiday season.

“I think early-season and late-season tend to be two overlooked times,” Kasten said.

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There also was the opportunity for the resort to receive regional and national media attention in some untapped markets like Florida and North Carolina. The ski area will be sharing its video and photos with the schools’ athletic departments.

There is an educational component for the mascots, as well. The mascots can learn from their peers and will work with Raymond Entertainment Group to become better mascots.

The mascots are traveling with their handlers.

“They have handlers because if you’ve noticed, mascots don’t speak, and they need someone to speak for them,” Kasten said.

The free mascot events continue from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the base area with Tug O'War, Balloon Bust, T-Shirt Gun Slinging, Snow Bowling and more.

Spectators are encouraged to cheer on their favorite mascots whether it be The Blue Blob from Xavier University, or maybe Hook ‘Em from the University of Texas.

"The resort looks for unique ways to bring excitement to the slopes, while maintaining our western roots and Ski Town, U.S.A. heritage," ski area Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rob Perlman said in news release. "The new Mascot Stampede aligns perfectly with Steamboat's image and is a fun way to show our competitive spirit."

On Friday, the Sunshine and South Peak lifts started turning, providing access to the area commonly referred to as Wally World. The new open trails are Baby Powder, Fawn, Spike, Spur Run Road and Tomahawk.

The ski area now has 10 chairlifts and 67 trails open with access to 891 acres of terrain. Snow is forecast for Saturday night and Sunday.

Night skiing also kicked off Friday night and will be offered again Saturday. As part of Passholder Appreciation Week, night skiing is free for Steamboat 6, Steamboat 15 and season passholders. Nightskiing lift tickets for adults will be sold for $35.

The ski area will begin offering First Tracks on Wednesday.

"It's that time of year when the ski resort and town start bustling," ski area President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Diamond said in a news release. "We are excited to open more terrain in conjunction with the start of night skiing and riding, as well as introducing a new event with the Mascot Stampede while celebrating Passholder Appreciation Week. It should make for a busy weekend and a fun kickoff to the holiday season."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

If you go

Saturday

Noon to 3:30 p.m.: The Stampede™ continues

Noon: T-shirt Gun Slinging

12:45 p.m.: Rainbow Balloon Blast

1:30 p.m.: Mascot Snow Bowling

2:15 p.m.: Mascot Tug-O War

3 p.m.: Award Ceremony on the Steamboat Stage

Participating schools and mascots

Brigham Young University — Cosmo

Colorado State University — CAM the Ram

Colorado State University at Pueblo — Wolfie

Clemson University — The Tiger

Florida State University — Cimarron

UCLA — Joe Bruin

UNC- Asheville — Rocky the Bulldog

University of Central Florida — Knightro

University of Idaho — Joe Vandal

University of Maryland — Testudo

University Montana — Monte

University of Texas — Hook ‘Em

University of Wisconsin — Bucky Badger

University of Wyoming — Pistol Pete

Western Illinois University — Rocky

Xavier University — The Blue Blob