Giovanni de Francisci: Reopen ski mountain
April 11, 2006
Steamboat has received an almost record-breaking amount of snowfall this year, and the snow coverage on the ski runs on closing day was more than 99 percent. Given this fact, if the mountain were permitted to reopen, not only would it be ski-able, but like closing day, people would flock to the mountain.
I am asking our congressmen and senators to write a letter and make calls on our behalf to the Secretary of the Interior and others who are empowered to grant special permits. Given the snow conditions, the mountain should be able to have a limited reopening this weekend and any day after a snowstorm with accumulation of, say, more than 6 inches. I am aware of the concerns about the ski area’s effect on wildlife coming out of hibernation and migrating on the mountain, but they don’t live by calendars and neither should we. As long as the mountain is covered in snow, the animals probably are staying asleep or delaying their migration.
I think that if the mountain were to run only Thunderhead, Storm Peak and Morningside chairlifts and limit ticket sales to season-pass holders for about $25, a balance could be reached between operational costs and revenue. Given that this has been such a wonderful year for snow, many have worked exceptionally hard because of above-average tourist attendance. This is a wonderful opportunity for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. to demonstrate its sincere appreciation for these hard workers and the locals’ patronage.
Giovanni de Francisci