Photo Credit:
Steamboat Groomers | Photo Credit: Greg Hamilton

Known for its tree skiing and abundant snowfall, Steamboat Resort is a throwback to skiing’s golden era. But like all good ski areas, competitive development is inevitable.

Related: Intrawest Says Its Resorts Are “Primed” For Development

Following their initial proposal, Steamboat is now entering the drawn out process of receiving federal approval for two new chairlifts, a new gondola, and added ski terrain within the ski resort’s permitted boundary reports Steamboat Today. These improvements were first introduced via Steamboat’s Master Plan in 2011.

“If you want to build this ski lift five years from now, you better start working on it now.” – Doug Allen, VP of Mountain Operations (*Quote courtesy of Steamboat Today)

Resort officials are hoping to build a new lift that will access Pioneer Ridge. The new lift would allow skiers to access an area that has been accessed via gates in the past. The zone, which is infamous for funneling visiting skiers into the backcountry via Fish Creek Canyon, results in multiple rescues each year. The new zone would access 355 acres of skiable terrain off Pioneer Ridge before putting skiers back on track towards BC Ski Way and out of the backcountry.

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The plan is also placing a large focus on improving beginner ski terrain access while trying to ease skier congestion at the base area. The development plan calls for a new gondola that would bring beginners to the Bashor/Rough Rider area in addition to replacing the Bashor lift.

Planned Improvements:

  • New chairlift accessing Pioneer Ridge
  • 355 acres of skiable terrain within the permitted boundary
  • Bashor lift to be replaced
  • New Gondola to access beginner terrain in the Bashor/Rough Rider area

However, construction crews are far from breaking ground just yet. The environmental assessment could take anywhere from two to three years. That said, environmental experts including botanists, geologists, and archeologists could start work as early as this week. The assessment, which will be paid for by the ski resort, could cost up to $500,000 to complete.

An open forum will be held for members of the public to voice their concerns at the Steamboat Springs Community Center on August 25th from 5-7pm.

Find the entire Steamboat Today article here: Steamboat Ski Area working toward improvements

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