Craig is proud to lead the launch tomorrow during Steamboat's opening day's ceremonies of the new Christie Chair Lift with an all-star cast of olympians and supporters who purchased chairs from the old lift! First chair on opening day is an honor, and truth be told we don't normally ride on opening day although we should, as it doubles as "scholarship day" for the Steamboat Winter Sports Club and is not a pre-paid day for season pass holders. Tickets are a $15 donation charge for skiing that day, and this year scholarship day was supposed to be on November 21st last week before Thanksgiving. Due to snow the date was pushed to tomorrow, Friday November 30th.
In addition to tomorrow's ski area opening, Steamboat is proudly launching the brand new Christie Peak Express, a six pack lift that now departs from the front of the base, bends and picks up additional skiers at it's mid point, and stops at the top of Christie Peak. The lift replaces an old three-person lift that picked up skiers just above Slopeside grill, on the northwest side of the base.
So why is Craig riding first on this opening chair, before attending olympians even?
The old chair was used as an auction for a fundraiser for STARS, Steamboat Training Adaptive Recreational Sports, a new non-profit that will soon take over Steamboat Adaptive, still in it's fledgling stages of an advisory board (which Craig is on), planning, and fundraising. Steamboat Adaptive is the town's only recreation curriculum for visitors and locals with disabilities and STARS' goal is to expand the options well beyond skiing and snowboarding for this group of adventurers. Steamboat Adaptive is also ski-area funded, and by changing the monetary flow to a non-profit, the 30-year old program can grow well beyond what it is currently capable of. The ski area and STARS will continue to partner once the transition occurs (no set date as of yet), and work together to bring Steamboat's many recreational assets to people with disabilities.
Look for more photos tomorrow!