Less than two weeks from opening day, the base of Steamboat Resort is coming to life (with photos)

The ice rink now has hand rails and the food hall is starting to look like more of a building and less of a skeleton in Steamboat Square at Steamboat Resort Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. Opening day is scheduled for Nov. 23.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Resort is slated to open on Nov. 23 and the base area looks ready to host thousands of early-season skiers and riders.

However, not all features will be ready with the first chair.

Pavers are in and make the base area, or Steamboat Square, look polished. Fire pits, light poles and twinkly lights are all being installed as finishing touches this month, according to a Nov. 2 update on the resort’s website.

Skeeter’s Rink and the repositioned stage will debut on opening day. 

The ice rink is front and center, showing off new handrails and drink rails on Saturday, Nov. 12. Ice will be made starting Monday, Nov. 14, according to the resort. The rink will be equipped with a cooling system, so hours will not be dependent on Mother Nature.

In the summer, the rink will be converted to a grassy area. 

The stage is also getting some final touches as crews complete the roof. The new stage is repositioned so onlookers can see through the back toward the mountain, rather than nearby buildings. Additionally, it’s not as raised as the last stage, allowing it to be used for other purposes when a band isn’t playing.

The largest addition to the base area is The Range Food and Drink Hall. The building sits on the site of the old gondola building. Crews will continue working on the building that is slated to open sometime during the 2022-23 season. 

When finished, The Range will be home to Sunshine Bowl Ramen, Pioneer Pie, Twister Tacos and the Why Not Sweet Shop, according to the resort. The second floor will be a bar with seating indoors and outdoors.

All the features opening this winter are part of the second phase of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corps.’ multi-year, $200 million project called Full Steam Ahead.

Looking uphill, there are quite a few changes as well. The Preview lift and Outlaw Mountain Coaster have been removed and Christie Peak Express has been shifted to make room for the new Wild Blue Gondola. 

The towers for the new gondola, which will be the longest and fastest 10-person gondola in North America, were installed this summer. The loading station is in place, the haul rope has been spliced and the minimum 30-day commission process will begin in mid-November. 

The first leg will stretch from the base area to the new Greenhorn Ranch learning area. Both the gondola and Greenhorn Ranch are expected to open in December, according to the resort. 

Greenhorn Ranch, the beginner’s learning area is nearing completion as well, with flooring and fire alarms being installed in the Sprung Structure in early November, according to the resort. Work on the mid-station of Wild Blue continues, while magic carpets are put in place at the terrain-based learning area. 

On the slopes or looking up at them from town, people may notice new straight, wide paths carved into the terrain. These are in place for the second leg of the Wild Blue Gondola, which will extend to Sunshine Peak, and the Pioneer Ridge lift that will allow guests to access 650 acres of advanced and expert terrain in the Fish Creek Canyon area. 

Both lifts are slated to open during the 2023-24 season when the resort will also debut new snowmaking capabilities.

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