Lengthy Alpine slide closure means loss of revenue for city, Winter Sports Club
Steamboat Springs — Every week the Alpine slide on Howelsen Hill stays closed because of landslide damage, hundreds of potential riders are missing out on summer fun, and both the city and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club are missing out on revenue.
The attraction generated $564,000 in gross revenue last year and gave the club a net income of nearly $100,000 after taxes, according to data provided by the Winter Sports Club.
Some of the gross revenue is used to pay for things such as insurance and capital expenses.
The city’s operating agreement for the Alpine slide lets the club keep all gross revenue up to $390,000.
If the slide generates more than $390,000, the club gives the city 32 percent of the additional revenue.
The club gave $65,318 in gross revenue to the city last year.
The slide saw 61,953 riders last summer and employs about 40 people.
The attraction hasn’t opened yet this year because a landslide shifted some of the tracks and moved a tower on the chairlift that services the slide.
Saturated soil has delayed damage assessments and repairs on the hill.
City Manager Deb Hinsvark said last week it will cost more than $200,000 to reposition the lift tower, and work isn’t likely to begin for at least three weeks.
The financial pinch to the club could be great this year if the slide doesn’t reopen for the Fourth of July and other busy summer events such as the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament and the Triple Crown baseball tournaments.
“We were hoping to reopen (the slide) for the Fourth of July, but this is looking less likely,” Winter Sports Club Executive Director Jim Boyne said Monday. “We’re not sure when the repairs will be made. We’re just pushing the city to get it done as quickly as they can in a responsible way.”
In the meantime, Boyne said, the club is thinking about alternative ways to bring people to Howelsen this summer and generate some revenue in the event the slide doesn’t reopen during the height of the summer season.
The Alpine slide is generally open from Memorial Day through the end of August.
It then stays open weekends as long as weather permits.
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