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Ski for free on Crested Butte's opening day

Good news for skiers and snowboarders who want to hit the snow before Thanksgiving, especially those seeking to make tracks at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. Not only is the resort opening in less than two weeks, but you won't have to pay a penny to ski those runs on opening day.

Yep, you read that correctly. When Crested Butte's lifts start turning on November 27 for its 53rd season, you can ski free for the day, no strings attached. Crested Butte started this tradition two seasons ago where there's a costume celebration to kick off the first chair and the skiing and riding is free for the day. But don't just waltz up to the chair: You have to pick up your free lift ticket at the Main Ticket Office in the Adventure Center before riding.

“With Ski Free being such a tradition here in Crested Butte and the excitement that it brings to the mountain on opening day, we wanted to offer the promotion again this year,” says Scott Clarkson, vice president of marketing and sales for the resort. “It is a great opportunity for guests and community members to get a few runs in early season, at no charge, making it an awesome day for all!”

As for the costume celebration, this year's theme is Blizzard of Oz and everyone, including resort staff, can come wearing their favorite Wizard of Oz attire. A yellow brick road will pave the way to the Red Lady Express lift where costumed characters and a champagne toast will be part of the celebration to take skiers to the mountain top to ski down the Emerald City. The lifts will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily for the season, with some upper mountain lifts closing at 3:00 or 3:30 pm.

Need more reason to head to Crested Butte before that turkey dinner or after the holiday when you want to burn it off? Check out the resort's early season deals.

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