The winter season is ready to begin in Steamboat, as the resort starts turning Christie Peak Express lift Wednesday, Nov. 22, for Scholarship Day. The opening day tradition features $25 tickets with all proceeds benefiting the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. For more than 25 years, Steamboat has donated proceeds from specially priced opening day tickets to the club’s Scholarship Fund, raising more than $1 million to financially support youth participants in Winter Sports Club activities.

Scholarship Day skiers and riders will use Christie Peak Express lift to access five trails, including Sitz, Sitz Back, Jess’ Cut-Off, Vogue and Stampede in addition to a pocket park. The gondola and Heavenly Daze will open Thursday, Nov. 23. Steamboat Ski Resort received 35 inches of snow at mid-mountain during the preseason, and a last-minute storm rolled into the area Friday, Nov. 17, covering the mountain in 5.5 inches of snow prior to opening. Along with the storm, snowmaking crews were able to make snow in preparation for Scholarship Day and will continue making snow on the lower mountain in preparation to open more trails.

“Our mountain crews took advantage of cold nights and natural snowfall to create conditions allowing us to open on our scheduled date of Nov. 22,” said Rob Perlman, president and COO for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “Steamboat’s advanced snowmaking technology allows us to act fast when temperatures are favorable for making snow. We are capable of supplementing natural snow and building a great foundation for the season in short periods of time, and our crews are ready to jump into action.”

Scholarship Day features specially priced tickets, and regular passes — including all-season, 15-day and 8-day passes — are valid starting Thursday, Nov. 23. Guests may load $25 Scholarship Day tickets to an existing pass prior to Wednesday by visiting the Steamboat Ticket Office in One Steamboat Place or calling 970-879-0740, allowing them to go directly to the lift on opening day. Scholarship Day tickets may also be purchased on Wednesday at the Ticket Office, which is now open daily. At the end of the day, please return your Scholarship Day card to the Ticket Office or a Steamboat Ambassador.

The first 100 skiers and riders to load Christie Peak Express will receive a free T-shirt celebrating the start of the season. In addition to skiing and riding, the Outlaw Mountain Coaster will open for the season Wednesday, Nov. 22, with $20 rides from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For Scholarship Day and opening weekend, Gondola Joe’s, Bear River Bar & Grill and the Base Club will be open serving up breakfast, lunch, drinks and après items in the base area. Steamboat Ski & Sport rental and retail locations in the base area will be open, and the SnowSports School will offer a full lineup of group and private lessons beginning Wednesday, Nov. 22. Parking will be available in the Meadows and Knoll lots for free, as well as the Gondola Square Parking Structure, Base Club and Ski Time Square for a fee. Thunderhead Lodge, including the cafeteria and shop, will open Thursday.

“With early season conditions, skiers and riders are reminded to respect all closures and safety signs on the mountain,” said John Kohnke, patrol director. “We’re also highly discouraging uphill access at this time to maintain conditions for building up our base.”

For up-to-date information on Steamboat Ski Resort — including open lifts and terrain, mountain conditions, forecasts, early season ticket prices, events, deals and packages — visit Steamboat.com.