It’s birthday time at Crested Butte Resort, which will be celebrating 50 years in the winter sports business all season long.

To kick off the party, Crested Butte will once again offer free skiing and snowboarding on opening day, Nov. 23. Longtime visitors to the southern Colorado mountain will recall that opening day was free from 1991 to 2000. After a six-year hiatus, management resurrected the promotion in 2007, they will do it again this year. Mountain officials saw that the 50th anniversary was a logical opportunity to bring it back again.

In addition, anyone who shows up to ski or ride on their birthday during the season also will get a free day on the mountain. To get the free ticket, guests must show a valid photo ID at the Adventure Center on their birthday, and must be at least 18 years old to cash in on the deal.

Crested Butte's opening-day birthday celebration includes live music with Drew Emmitt, lively events, a birthday cake and party favors for all those who show up.

To keep the early-season momentum going, Crested Butte has sweetened the pot with a $69 lodging and ticket deal that runs from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2. From Dec. 3 to Dec. 15, the price goes up to $89 per person, per night. To make reservation, go to www.skicb.com/specials or call 800-600-2803.

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