Forest Service releases draft decision on Steamboat Resort improvement projects
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Community members who previously commented on the U.S. Forest Service’s draft decision for Steamboat Resort improvement projects are invited to share their opinions again during a 45-day objection period.
Due to Forest Service rules, only residents who commented on the first part of the plan are permitted to submit objections, and those interested in doing so may email SM.FS.firstname.lastname@example.org. Ericka Dickerman, mountain sports ranger with the Forest Service, said there were about 100 original comments.
“We want the public to comment on our proposed actions, using what we know about the ski area already and what we need to analyze environmentally and what the public should be concerned for,” Dickerman said.
Because Steamboat Resort is an authorized permittee of Routt National Forest, the Forest Service handles projects in the area.
The draft plan includes proposals to make terrain, road and lift network improvements. The plan also aims to widen the ski area’s operational boundary to encompass Fish Creek terrain and widen Sundial and Why Not ski trails, as well as road improvements to Four Points Road. New snowmaking would also be authorized, as well as potable water and utilities infrastructure improvements. Additionally, a new restaurant would be built on the top of Sunshine Peak.
“This project would improve the intermediate terrain and visitor experience at Steamboat by making the Sunshine pod more accessible,” Dickerman said.
One of the most significant parts of the project, Dickerman said, is the restaurant, which would be called Sunshine Restaurant.
The restaurant would require potable water, which could be provided through the construction of the Beaver Creek pumphouse and collection gallery, an expanded Rendezvous potable water storage tank and feed line connecting the pumphouse, storage tank and proposed restaurant, according to the proposed plan.
As for sewage and electricity to support the project, the Forest Service has proposed two options.
The first includes a 5,120-foot sewer and electric line that would be trenched southwest of the proposed facility down High Noon and tie into the existing sewer and power lines that currently service the Rendezvous Lodge.
The second would require an approximately 6,050-foot trench containing both sewer and electrical lines that service the existing Four Points Lodge. This option would result in approximately 7 acres of disturbance.
While the project is spearheaded by the Forest Service, it is part of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp’s plans for redesigning the base area.
“We continue to work closely with our partners at the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to move the environmental assessment forward,” said Maren Franciosi, Ski Corp. spokeswoman. “We are excited to enter into this next phase of the process and look forward to seeing it through to acceptance.”
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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