New gondola, restaurants and more: Update on the Steamboat Ski Area
With a new gondola, restaurant improvements and more, Steamboat Ski Area continues to improve its services for year-round guests. Following are a few improvements you’ll see this season:
A new, $15 million Doppelmayr gondola was installed in summer 2019, decreasing ride time from 12 minutes to 10, while increasing capacity by 38 percent. The gondola will have new cabins with 12 additional cars, bringing its total to 137. The additional cabins and increased speed will allow the new gondola to move 1,000 more people up the mountain per hour.The new gondola is part of a $555 million investment that Steamboat Resort’s new owner, Alterra Mountain Co., is putting into its collection of resorts over the next five years.
Timber & Torch
Last year the resort opened a new base area restaurant and bar called Timber & Torch, a new centerpiece restaurant for Gondola Square. The new facility offers indoor seating for 290, a heated patio, two indoor/outdoor bars, an exterior fireplace and an outdoor BBQ. Named for the resort’s legendary trees and Olympian heritage, the restaurant features bistro-inspired food, including an open-face steak sandwich, the T&T Rachel, hand-cut Parmesan fries, drunken mussels, flatbreads and charcuterie boards. It also offers live music, as well as a full craft beer lineup and signature cocktails.
Taking the food truck concept to new levels is Steamboat’s Taco Beast, an on-mountain, roaming snowcat redefining “slopeside” dining. The Taco Beast serves carne asada and al pastor trail tacos, breakfast burritos, esquites (Mexican street corn on the cob) and Mexican-style beer, with trailside service offered in winter and summer. Track its location online and you can make turns straight to a taco.
Even with 352 inches of annual snowfall, Steamboat continues to upgrade its grooming and snowmaking operations. The resort’s 21-machine grooming fleet has the ability to re-surface 600 acres nightly. More than 20 miles of snowmaking piping, as well as new, cutting-edge pumps and motors, also help ensure the slopes are up to snuff before the season begins.
Outlaw Mountain Coaster: Steamboat’s Outlaw Mountain Coaster descends 400 vertical feet with a riding length of more than 3,500 linear feet, making it the longest in the country. The track rises between 4 and 40 feet above the ground with dips, waves, turns and 360-degree circles. The gravity-driven sleds run on a tubular stainless-steel rail system, with a state-of-the-art braking system controlling speed.
Maverick Mini Golf: Fore! An 18-hole mini-golf course at the resort base, near the base of the Christie Peak Express chairlift, lets you practice your putting throughout the off-season. The course incorporates local landmarks, such as the iconic Steamboat Barn, Fish Creek Falls, Nordic ski jumps and Rabbit Ears, with the layout featuring different terraced levels with landscaping.
Steamboat part of Ikon Pass
In 2017, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. was sold from Intrawest to Alterra Mountain Co., adding Steamboat to the company’s heralded Ikon Pass program, offering two pass options and 40 unique global skiing destinations.
As part of the program, pass holders can enjoy unlimited access (save for blackout dates) at Winter Park, Copper Mountain and Eldora in Colorado; Solitude in Utah; Big Bear, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain in California; Snowshoe, W. Va.; Crystal Mountain, Wash.; Tremblant, Quebec; and Blue Mountain, Ontario. It also offers up to five dates each at 27 additional resorts, including Steamboat, where, new this year, pass holders can also night ski.
“It certainly creates some exciting opportunities,” says Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. COO Rob Perlman. “The new owners recognize Steamboat’s iconic brand and heritage and the importance of maintaining that going forward.”
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