Crested Butte is famous for its parties, costumes and light-hearted nature and opening day 2011 will be no different. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) celebrates opening day and its 50th birthday in style with free skiing for every guest. Opening day also heralds the resort’s annual ‘first chair celebration’ when local kids line up hours before the resort officially opens to make the very first turns of the season. This year the resort will have three chairlifts, two Magic Carpets, twelve trails and one jib park for opening day. The birthday fun continues throughout the day with party games, live music, and birthday cake.

CBMR opens for the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, with the Red Lady Express lift, Teocalli lift, Peachtree lift, and the Pine and Aspen Magic Carpets. Crews are preparing 70 spectacular acres of terrain, including the following trails: Peanut, Lower Keystone, Bubba’s Skiway, Houston, Warming House Hill, Augusta, High Tide, King’s Knob, Rustler’s Gulch, Ruby Access, Lower Ruby Chief and Upper Conundrum. Skiers and riders also will find terrain park features open in the Lower Keystone Jib Park.

In addition to skiing and riding, guests can enjoy the new Zip Line tour, which debuted in June 2011 and will be open for the entire winter season. The tour includes five zip lines and three suspension bridges and is approximately two hours in length. The Adventure Park, which includes miniature golf, bungee trampoline and the rock climbing wall, also will be open on Wednesday and throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

CBMR 2011-2012 Opening Day Schedule

7:00 a.m. – CBMR staff members walk the lift line with hot drinks, lanyards to first chairs, and lift tickets.

8:30 a.m.  -  Champagne toast

8:45 a.m. – Opening day ribbon/banner cutting

8:59 a.m. – First Chair

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. – KBUT radio live dj from the Butte 66 deck

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – The Joy Warrior photo shoot booth on the Butte 66 deck

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Every hour, on the hour, birthday party games on the Butte 66 deck: ski pole piñata, KBUT musical chairs, etc.

2 p.m. – Local musician Justin Howard performs a unique music looping technique, building up a full sound slowly by adding individual elements.

3:30 p.m. – Local bluegrass legend Drew Emmitt performs at Butte 66. Après continues at the Butte 66 afterwards with on-going drink specials.