While Steamboat has been shaped by its rich past, today, with this project, we look forward to shaping the future. We’re investing $200 million on and around our mountain, so we can enhance the Steamboat experience for everyone who visits us. This unprecedented venture will help to make us one of the premier ski destinations in the world for decades to come.
This is an ambitious undertaking the likes of which our resort has never seen. With plans for an après ski plaza, new restaurants and bars, new lodging, a ski beach and an ice rink. On the Mountain – new lifts and new terrain that will make us the second largest resort in Colorado. In the tradition of our pioneering spirit and out of the genuine western heritage of Steamboat, comes and entirely new vision for our resort. Welcome to the new west.
Throughout the construction process, we are focused on four critical strategies to be as green and sustainable as possible.
Full Steam Ahead is a nearly $200MM base area redevelopment and on-mountain improvement project that pays homage to Steamboat’s rich western heritage while reimagining the guest and staff experience. The project will transform the base area into a multi-use, amenity-rich plaza creating an easy-to-navigate resort core, eliminating multiple levels of cumbersome stairs and complete with additional dining and après, shopping, entertainment, and welcoming gathering places for guests to enjoy year-round. On the mountain, a new dedicated beginner’s learning area will be at the mid-way point for the resort’s second gondola, Wild Blue- the longest & fastest 10-person gondola in the U.S., which will, by project end, take skiers and rider all the way from the base area to the top of Sunshine Peak. Additional snowmaking in the Sunshine bowl and 650-acre expansion into Pioneer Ridge will round out the project and make Steamboat the second largest resort in Colorado.
While Steamboat has been shaped by its rich past, it’s time for the resort to move full steam ahead into the future. The base area at the resort became outdated and no longer met the needs or expectations that Steamboat is known for. We’re investing on and around our mountain, and adding amenities, so we can enhance the Steamboat experience for our guests, staff and community. This massive redevelopment will firmly establish Steamboat as one of the premier resort destinations in the world for decades to come.
All parking lots remain the same this winter season. There will be paid parking at Gondola Square and Ski Time Square, and free parking in the Knoll and Meadows lots, with resort shuttles running daily from Meadows. SSRC and Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority continue to work on plans for the future of the Transit Center, and we will share more information as it becomes finalized.
Base area improvements include an escalator from the Main Entrance to Steamboat Square, an ice-skating rink, improved amenities including public lockers, restrooms, dining experiences, and shops to invite guests to spend more time in the Square.
On-mountain improvements include a 650-acre expansion with advanced/expert terrain in the Pioneer Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon areas, the installment of the new Wild Blue gondola, and the addition of a new learning area called Greenhorn Ranch. Additionally, new snowmaking on Sunshine Peak will expand our early season trail offerings. Steamboat’s terrain will be expanded by 20 percent, totaling 3,620 acres, and making Steamboat the second largest resort in Colorado.
Phase II of Full Steam Ahead is the construction taking place this summer for on mountain and base area updates including The Range Food & Drink Hall, Skeeter’s Ice Rink, Creekside Level snow-front services. and The Mountain Stage in the base area, and the lower leg of Wild Blue Gondola and Greenhorn Ranch on the mountain.
Skeeter was the nickname of Gladys Werner, the older sister of Buddy and Loris (Bugs) and an Olympian herself. She organized the first ski school at the resort in 1962 when we were still called Storm Mountain. We’re excited to honor her with the ice rink in the heart of Steamboat Square.
Christie Peak Express terminal is being moved slightly to the south to accommodate Wild Blue Gondola. Upon completion the base area will feature Wild Blue Gondola on the looker’s left, Christie Peak Express lift in the middle and Steamboat Gondola on the right. Christie Peak Express is anticipated to re-open in its new location by December 2022.
To accommodate the Wild Blue Gondola, Preview Lift was removed and retired. With Greenhorn Ranch becoming a dedicated beginner’s area and featuring a detachable quad specific for SnowSports School participants, Preview is no longer necessary. Employees had the chance to purchase a Preview chair with the proceeds going to our Community Giving funds at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
With the introduction of the Wild Blue Gondola and increased out-of-base capacity, Christie III will be removed and retired. Christie III has run minimally over the past few seasons and is one of the older lifts on the mountain, making it difficult to source replacement parts. Chairs from the Christie III lift will be auctioned to the community to raise money for our Charitable and Environmental funds at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
In order to make room for the Wild Blue Gondola and the shift of Christie Peak Express lower terminal, the Outlaw Mountain Coaster and Maverick’s Mini Golf were removed and are not planned to be reinstalled in the immediate future. This will allow for more space for skiers and riders descending base area terrain.
The Buckaroo magic carpet near One Steamboat Place for Happy Camp will remain, and the Wrangler carpet in the Thunderhead lot will also remain. We will be relocating two of our current magic carpets (the 100ft and the 250ft) to Greenhorn Ranch and we will be adding two new 170ft carpets. The new magic carpets are adjacent with a median between and covered by a clear glass bubble.