Whether getting your legs after a long airplane flight, keeping the daytime mojo going or hitting the park with your buddies, five Colorado resorts are firing up the lights this season for after-hours skiing and riding.
Steamboat is the latest resort to go for night skiing and snowboarding, with five trails and the Lil Rodeo terrain park all lit up for action.
“We’re satisfied with how it’s turning out,” Operations Manager Doug Allen told SnoCountry.com. “We have a local clientele that comes skiing in the evening after work. As primarily a destination resort, people can fly in at 3 p.m. Saturday, show their boarding pass and warm up their legs that night.”
Steamboat offers some tune-up style lessons on the five trails and 1,100 acres off the Christie Peak Express lift, running 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. through Feb. 22 and then 6 to 9 p.m. until March 30. A walk-up ticket is $29 but deals can be had, especially with an add-on to a season pass.
As Steamboat officials had hoped, the advent of night skiing has improved business around the base area, Allen said.
“We put a lot of money in the base area recently, and night skiing has given people a reason to hang around after hours,” he said.
Just down the road, Howelson Hill has been lit for years. Most evenings, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club uses the hill for alpine and Nordic training, but others can get on the slopes with a day ticket or a $10 ticket for Monday and Tuesday until 6 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday until 8 p.m.
Also on the Western Slope, town hill Ski Hesperus turns on the lights at 4 p.m., and the lift runs until 9 p.m. Tickets cost $29 for adults, $18 for kids Monday through Saturday. Ski Granby Ranch turns on the lights every Saturday evening from 5-8 p.m. for $10.
Keystone Resort has had night skiing and snowboarding for several decades. A half-dozen top-to-bottom runs off the River Run gondola get illuminated until 8 p.m. on selected evenings of the season. A day ticket is good at night, or $24 for just the evening through Liftopia.
Powderhorn will begin night skiing Feb. 28 and March 1 by riding midway on Take-Four Quad, and skiing or riding Peacemaker, or up on Easy Rider and down Bottom's Up Easy Rider. Cost is $15 from 4 to 8 p.m., and nighttime fun runs on Fridays 3 to 6 p.m. through March.
Photo: Keystone has offered night skiing for decades (Keystone Resort/Ben Lindbloom)