Steamboat Resort in Colorado is going to look brand new for the 2022-23 season. The mountain announced last week full details of the second phase of the Full Steam Ahead Project. This nearly $100 million investment is part of their $200 million dollar Full Steam Ahead project, with a mind-boggling amount of projects taking place over this coming offseason.
The major addition will be the construction of the Wild Blue Gondola. The lower leg will travel “4,212 feet with 54 cabins and about a 5-minute ride time.” The lower leg will go from Steamboat Square to Greenhorn Ranch, and the upper leg(opening in the 23-24 season) will travel from Greenhorn Ranch to Sunshine Peak. Once complete, the ten-person gondola will be the longest in North America. The fully completed gondola will go “16,008 horizontal feet and 3,371 vertical feet with 171 cabins and a total ride time of 13 minutes.” A new beginner area, called the Greenhorn Ranch, will open at the top of the first phase of the Wild Blue Gondola. The new terrain pod will have “one lift, four beginner magic carpets, 30 snow guns on 14 acres of terrain-based learning utilizing the re-graded terrain to teach skiers and riders.”Steamboat Square will have a brand new ice skating rink, and The Range Food & Drink Hall will have four new dining options. The Promenade in the Square will add a “new Patrol base, bathrooms, lockers and a new home base for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS) on-mountain operations.” The losses to all these additions will be the resort’s mountain coaster and mini-golf course, which will make room for the relocated Christie Peaks Express. The mountain will also spend $5.4 million on various projects that will enhance the resort’s infrastructure. Steamboat will invest $2 million for on-mountain improvements “to snowmaking, lift maintenance, ski patrol equipment and mountain machinery[new snowcats/groomers].” The Sunshine Express lift will undergo an $800,000 maintenance project, nearly $500,000 will be spent on new ski and snowboard rental gear from Rossignol and Burton, and $400,000 will be spent to upgrade their Walton Pond employee housing complex.
This follows the first phase of the project last summer, which saw the “demolition of the Gondola building, relocation of the lower gondola terminal, and the addition of escalators from the resort’s main entrance to Steamboat Square.” The final phase will be completed in time for the 2023-24 season, with phase two of their Wild Blue Gondola going from Greenhorn Ranch to the top of Sunshine Peak, the Pioneer Ridge expansion, and concluding their Steamboat Square remodel. The Pioneer Ridge expansion will add “655 acres of advanced/expert terrain and a detachable quad.” When Steamboat expands onto Pioneer Ridge, it will become the second-largest ski resort in Colorado. Image Credits: Steamboat Resort