Keystone, Steamboat among those catering to night skiers

Why night ski?

Other than for the fact that you can, there’s the obvious matter of extending your ski day.

Several resorts market their night-ski opportunities with something similar to the “Just because the day ends, your skiing doesn’t” tag line.

“We’ve had great response to our night skiing,” said Loryn Kasten, spokesperson for Steamboat Ski Resort. “Our guests are really excited about the opportunity to extend their ski day.”

For the young skiers in Steamboat Springs, night skiing at nearby Howelsen Hill, celebrating is 100th anniversary next year, is an everyday thing and possibly may be the road to greatness.

The historic ski hill — it opened in 1915 — has been the training ground for more than 79 Olympians making over 130 Winter Olympic appearances, 15 members of the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, and 6 members of the National Ski Hall of Fame.

“We mainly are a training facility for the Winter Sports Club, and our main time (for skiers) is from 4 to 6 (p.m.), when the kids are on the hill training,” said Howelsen Hill facility manager Craig Robinson. “We often see visitors who enjoy the opportunity to ski after the big mountain closes at our historical ski area.”

For working parents with kids of skiing age, skiing under the lights is an opportunity to spend some family time on the slopes during the week when runs are less crowded.

“The locals here are eager to ski with their families after the sun is down,” Kasten said. “For many of them, it’s also the chance to enjoy all the new snow we’re getting.”

Night skiing, too, allows late arrivals, whether driving from Denver to ski at Keystone or flying into the Yampa Valley Airport for a stay at Steamboat Springs, the chance to fly and ski (or drive and ski) in the same day.

“Our out-of-town guests can fly in, drop off their luggage at the condo and ski, all in the same day they arrive,” Kasten said. “There’s nothing quite like that.”

The list of night-skiing venues, everyone agreed, is short.

“That’s almost all,” said Jenn Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA after some intense (but short) brainstorming. “You don’t hear much about night skiing but my kids and I skied last year at Granby Ranch and had a great time.”

WHERE TO SKI UNDER THE LIGHTS

(terrain and lifts may vary according to snow conditions):

Keystone Resort – two lifts, 15 trails, 243 acres of terrain. Ticket prices not available. http://www.keystoneresort.com

Steamboat – Christie Peak Express chairlift, 5 trails, 1,100 vertical feet. Tickets – $29 adults, $19 teens, $9 children. http://www.steamboat.com

Howelsen Hill – Owned by City of Steamboat Springs, mainly a training facility for the Winter Sports Club, also open to the public. Two lifts, $10 lift ticket.
www.steamboatsprings.net.

Ski Hesperus – 11 miles west of Durango. Open 4-9 p.m., $29 lift ticket.
www.ski-hesperus.com.

Chapman Hill – Managed by City of Durango. Two rope tows, tickets $12 adults, $10 youth, $100 family season pass. http://www.durangogov.org.

Vail – Night-time tubing and ski-biking at Adventure Ridge. Prices vary.
www.vail.com

Winter Park – Night-time ski-biking and tubing hill. http://www.winterparkresort.com

Ski Granby Ranch (SolVista Basin) – Fridays and Saturdays, 5-8 p.m. $14 all ages. Two lifts, three terrain parks, 1,000 feet vertical. http://www.granbyranch.com.

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