Since taking over the reins at Steamboat in 2018, Alterra has quickly started on a host of mountain expansions and lift projects at the fabled destination resort. Now the ownership group has announced another round of impressive projects, sure to delight and anger locals alike.
The biggest proposal at Steamboat is a new base-to-summit gondola named ‘Wild Blue. If constructed it would become the longest gondola in North America, traveling a staggering 3,465 vertical feet. The new gondola would come on the heels of the replacement to the main Steamboat gondola dubbed ‘The Silver Bullet’ which has struggled keeping up with the more than 16,000 skiers who flood the ‘Boat on busy days. Wild Blue would move 3,200 riders per hour reaching the top of Sunshine Peak after passing a mid-station near Bashor Bowl. The gondola mid-station would feature a reimagined beginner area and new restaurant as well.
However the gondola project is just one of many proposed upgrades at the resort which also includes boundary expansions, more new lifts and a major mid-mountain restaurant.
Previously out-of-bounds terrain on Pioneer Ridge will gain a high-speed quad in the coming years after a test period of hike only access. The Bashor chairlift will also make the jump to a fixed-grip quad, helping ease congestion in the beginner areas. Even the short connector chair on South Peak will see replacement as either a fixed grip or high speed quad. Capping off the many lift upgrades is 3(!) new 6-pack chairlifts on the Sundown Express, Thunderhead Express and Elkhead Express.
With all this potential construction coming to Steamboat in coming seasons, it’s no doubt that Alterra views the resort as a pre imminent part of its portfolio. Since becoming Colorado’s 5th largest ski area, the resort hosted an impressive 1.1 million visits in the 2018-2019 season alone.