New owners Intrawest have pumped $16 million in improvements into the mountain, including a new high-speed quad, the Christie Peak Express, and regrading the face at the base area (Headwall Run). More than 130,000 cubic yards of dirt was moved in the process. It was finished just in time as the big end-of-November storm brought plenty of new snow.
The lines started early on opening day, with Olympians in attendance to celebrate the new lift. Billy Kidd, 1964 Olympic silver medalist and Steamboat's Director of Skiing, was working the crowd, welcoming skiers and ski area employees alike.
Four-time Olympian and Steamboat native Todd Lodwick was there with his daughter, Charley, and his mom, ready to take some turns.
Olympian and mogul master Nelson Carmichael was one of the first in line. Nelson took the bronze medal in 1992 at Albertville.
Olympic gold medalist Debbie Armstrong is the new Alpine Technical Director for the Steamboat Ski & Snowboard School. She and Billy Kidd took some turns on the mountain earlier in the week.
Billy didn't worry about being one of the first to ride the new chairlift. He joked that his biggest fear was not being the first one up to get the fresh powder.