Steamboat Enters Final Phase of Full Steam Ahead
In 2021, Steamboat Ski Resort embarked on the largest redevelopment of the resort in history with a 3 year, $220+ million project named Full Steam Ahead. With full financial and on-the ground support from parent company Alterra Mountain Company, the initial stages of Full Steam Ahead quickly became a complete transformation of Steamboat’s outdated base area. Now, as the project nears completion with its third phase, Full Steam Ahead looks to transform the on-mountain experience with an additional 655 acres of expert terrain and the second leg of Wild Blue Gondola, making it the longest, fastest 10-person Gondola in North America.
“When we started the process of Full Steam Ahead we had a long wish list of a Master Plan that had been decades in the making,” said Rob Perlman, president and COO of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “To now be in the final phase and see Full Steam Ahead become a reality is beyond words. I especially like seeing the reaction from our staff and guests each year. First it was excitement about the escalators, then the fully completed base area, and now to finish with on-mountain enhancements is like the cherry on top. Winter 23/24 will be a new era for the resort, but we’ll always be the same Steamboat at our roots.”
The two major components of Full Steam Ahead Phase III are:
- Mahogany Ridge & Fish Creek Canyon Expansion: Steamboat Ski Resort becomes the second largest ski resort in Colorado with the addition of 655 acres of advanced/expert terrain to skier’s right of the resort’s current boundary. Fish Creek Canyon (350 acres) and the area previously known as Pioneer Ridge (305 acres) have been in the resort’s permit area for numerous years but were not considered in-bounds until approval in 2021. Previously accessible via backcountry gates and hike-to-access, Mahogany Ridge Express will offer lift service as a new highspeed detachable quad and Fish Creek Canyon will continue to be expert terrain with an estimated 20-25 minute hike back to the bottom of Mahogany Ridge Express. The expansion area will remain uncut except for the lift line and boundary trail, and skiers and riders should expect a variety of expert terrain and conditions including rock cliffs, chutes and tree glades. Once open to the public, Steamboat Ski Patrol will monitor and maintain the area including potential avalanche mitigation, but varying conditions may be encountered at any time.
- To meet this need, Steamboat Ski Resort has introduced an avalanche dog program with two inaugural dogs beginning their training during the 22/23 winter season. Daisy is a 1.5-year-old black lab and Mudd is an under 1 year old Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix who have both begun validation through Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment certification. The process of validation can take up to two years and Daisy and Mudd are expected to be ready to deploy by winter 24/25.
- Wild Blue Gondola second leg: In December 2022 Steamboat debuted the Wild Blue Gondola, a 10-person Doppelmayr machine spanning 4,000 feet from Steamboat Square to Greenhorn Ranch. Beginning spring 2023, Doppelmayr and Steamboat crews will add the second leg of the gondola spanning 16,008 horizontal feet and 3,371 vertical feet to the top of Sunshine Peak. With a complete ride time of approximately 12 minutes from Steamboat Square to 10,397 feet and featuring 177 total cabins, Steamboat’s uphill capacity will nearly double to 10,000 skiers per hour. Upon completion, with an expected opening in late November 2023, Wild Blue Gondola will be the longest, fastest 10-person gondola in North America.
Full Steam Ahead has completely reimagined Steamboat Ski Resort with completion of Phases I and II, which introduced an escalator to eliminate numerous stairs; Skeeter’s Ice Rink an outdoor free skating rink; the Mountain Stage, home to Steamboat’s legendary free music concerts; the Range Food & Drink Hall- slated to open Summer 2023; Greenhorn Ranch- a terrain-based, on-mountain dedicated beginner’s area; the first leg of Wild Blue Gondola, relocation of Christie Peak Express lower terminal and removal of the Mountain Coaster and mini golf course; and Creekside Plaza with guest features including a new Ski Patrol headquarters and UCHealth Urgent Care Clinic.
For more details on Full Steam Ahead including a complete timeline and projects already completed visit www.steamboat.com/FullSteamAhead.