Letter: Parking at ski area has not kept up with demand
Recently, we’ve seen the plans Alterra Mountain Co. has for the expansion of the ski area terrain and adding a new gondola to help reduce congestion in the base area. I like both proposals and think it is a good policy to add more skiable acres and better lift access to our resort. Like many of you, I’ve been skiing these future expansion areas for years and think sharing with the public in a safe and open way will be good for the skiing experience at Steamboat Resort.
What I didn’t see in Alterra’s plans was where we were all going to park. Let’s face it, the parking situation at the resort has not kept up with demand, and it is the first place this resort makes a bad impression on guests. The IKON pass has brought many new skiers to Steamboat, and more of these skiers are driving. On busy weekends, parking lots are full, overflow is full, and spreading out parking to the hospital makes for a long shuttle ride.
Alterra needs to show us how it will address this problem first, before a new gondola and before a new lift north of Pony Express. Steamboat
Resort needs a parking structure on the Knoll parking lot that can handle 2 times the volume of the current lot and provide needed parking even when huge event tents are erected.
We need better surface transportation from the Meadows lot. I saw one shuttle’s fender bender turn Mount Werner Circle into a parking lot. Skiers were off the shuttle and walking in the roads, and traffic was gridlocked back to City Market. Alterra needs to partner with the development at Wild Horse and refit the existing underutilized gondola to bring all skiers from the Meadows lot to the base without shuttles running laps on Mount Werner Circle.
I look forward to seeing the growth of Steamboat Resort, but I think, as a community, we need to press on Alterra that infrastructure needs at this resort do not just include the high profile, marketable items like “the longest gondola” but also the less glamorous projects like how we all get from parking to these new lifts.
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