What is GTC?
Earlier this year we shared a proposal to transform the transportation experience at Steamboat Ski Resort, announcing our plans for the “Gondola Transit Center (GTC). The first phases of this concept were to identify and secure appropriate funding mechanisms- that background story lives here– and we are proud to have a private-public partnership with the City of Steamboat Springs and the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee (URAAC) to maximize URA funds for the upper terminal component of the concept. We expect to have a Metro District in place in 2024 to collect tax dollars ONLY from Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation outlets and properties, with the exception of third-party developers who purchase and build on SSRC properties, moving forward. There are still caveats and steps to accomplish our vision for innovative transportation and every step along the way needs to fall into place for the next one to work; but we are headed in the right direction.
We’re excited to formally introduce the Gondola Transit Center 2.0 concept. Our vision for a new GTC transforms the current single-passenger, bus and shuttle drop off on Mt. Werner Circle to be a comprehensive Transportation Center with the hub originating in Meadows Parking Lot and connecting to the base area via high-speed 8-10 person Gondola. The redesigned Gondola Transit Center will be safer, more pedestrian friendly and meet current and future transportation and capacity needs.
This is a perfect example of a collaborative partnership between the City of Steamboat, the resort and URAAC- all working together to protect Steamboat’s heritage while moving forward to address community needs and enhancing the transportation experience. Steamboat Ski Resort has long been dedicated to creating innovative solutions for transportation, a critical need in the Yampa Valley. A long time in the planning, a Gondola from Meadows lot to Steamboat Square will reduce congestion on Mt. Werner Road and Mt. Werner Circle; create a more pedestrian friendly Mt. Werner Circle for better guest engagement at the Steamboat Grand street-level businesses and future development; provide a sustainable alternative for traffic; and support future transportation needs. A dedicated transportation hub originating in the Meadows Parking Lot at full build out will include specific drop off zones for kids, groups and guests, a better ADA experience, additional parking infrastructure; a more convenient traffic flow and regional transportation connectivity.
Using a free gondola as transportation has proven successful in other mountain communities such as Telluride and Breckenridge, where traffic congestion has greatly been reduced. Breckenridge specifically has a similar model with Gondola access as a primary transportation resource from town to the resort base area, eliminating potential pedestrian and car interactions.
City staff and representatives from the ski area and Alterra have been meeting regularly over the last year to create a plan for the design, construction and on-going operations of the GTC and Meadows gondola. Additionally, the group has met with key stakeholders, impacted businesses and citizens and community members at large to collect input and feedback on the most effective designs and concepts.
If all goes accordingly on the GTC transformation, the earliest the project could break ground would be summer 2025. As the private-public partnership moves forward with these concepts, we will update the community here; as well hosting additional community informational and input sessions.