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Ski Free Sundays are quickly becoming one of Steamboat Springs’ favorite weekend activities and the enthusiasm for the free program reached a record pitch when Howelsen Hill hosted the most participants ever this past month.
“We couldn’t think of a better way for the community to enjoy their historic ski area,” said Open Space & Trails, Rodeo and Howelsen Hill Supervisor Brad Setter. “If we continue on the same pace as last year, we have the opportunity to eclipse 10,000 which would be a tremendous accomplishment and shows the passion this community has for its home town hill.”
The record day was notched on the last weekend of December when 1,170 participants took to the slopes. This is the third time that the thousand mark threshold has been surpassed. The previous Ski Free Sunday record was 1,023 set on President’s Weekend, February 18, 2018; followed by 1,015 on Closing Day last winter.
During its first month this year, Ski Free Sunday saw 2,877 participants enjoy complimentary access to the alpine and Nordic trails during Howelsen Hill’s 103rd winter season of operation. Yampa Valley participants have come out in the largest numbers so far this season, followed by Other Colorado, Out of State and International.
Over the course of the program, Ski Free has moved from initially offering three days in 2015/16 to four days in 2016/17, then 13 days in 2017/18; and, this season, up to 15 days of free skiing as part of the program.
The Steamboat Springs City Council approved free skiing on Sundays to spur interest from residents in using the city’s crown jewel in the park system. In addition, the program celebrates the community’s Olympic heritage and honors the tradition of this historic ski area. Howelsen Hill has helped generations of Steamboat residents enjoy the sport and has been a community gathering place for more than a century.
The highly popular Ski Free Sunday program, which started two weeks early this season due to the great job by snowmakers and an early arrival of winter weather, provides free skiing on Sundays from 10am to 4pm through Closing Day, March 10, 2019. The program features free lift tickets for alpine, Nordic, snowshoe and fat biking.
Owned and operated by the City of Steamboat Springs, Howelsen Hill is home to the acclaimed Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and is North America’s oldest operating ski area, dating back to 1915. The ski area provides affordable skiing and snowboarding across terrain catered toward all abilities as well as 13 miles of Nordic, snowshoe and snow bike trails.
For operating hours, current conditions, season pass and ticket rates and upcoming Ski Free Sundays, visit steamboatsprings.net/ski or call 970.879.8499.
ContactBrad Setter, Open Space & Trails, Rodeo and Howelsen Hill Supervisor, 970.871.7035 or emailEmily Hines, Marketing & Special Events Coordinator, 970.871.7031 or email Michael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email