Plans for Steamboat Resort’s expansion, to make it 2nd largest in Colorado, given OK by US Forest Service

Future plans call for 650-acre terrain addition and construction of North America’s longest 10-person gondola

Following a public comment period earlier this year, approval has been granted to several of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.’s future on-mountain projects, which include the addition of 650 acres of traversable terrain.

Ski Corp. announced Thursday it had received environmental assessment approval from the U.S. Forest Service for the second phase of the Wild Blue Gondola, which will run from the new Greenhorn Ranch to Sunshine Peak, and 295 more acres in the Fish Creek Canyon area on top of the previously announced 355-acre Pioneer Ridge expansion.

“We are in the thick of a multiyear resort improvement campaign, the largest in Steamboat’s 58-year history. Even as we make great strides on the base area and lower gondola terminal, we’re also prepping for Master Plan projects that will be finalized in the next several years,” said Rob Perlman, president and COO of Ski Corp., in a news release “We will continue to work collaboratively with the community, the Forest Service and all stakeholders as we steer these transformational projects full steam ahead.”

The projects are part of the resort’s 2019 Master Development Plan Amendment accepted by the Forest Service in July 2019.

With the added acres, the resort’s terrain will expand by about 20%, making it the second largest ski resort in Colorado. It also will boast the longest 10-person gondola in North America, which is slated to start construction in summer 2022 with an estimated completion for the 2022-23 ski season.

The Forest Service’s approval allows the extension of the Wild Blue Gondola to a new destination near the top of the Sundown Express Chairlift. Once completed, the gondola will total 3.16 miles.

Additional improvements are also planned per the recent approval, including modifications on Sundial, Tomahawk, Four Points Road and Why Not Road trails to widen intersections, create new egresses and upgrade trails to improve circulation and enhance guest experience. Conditions are also to be improved in the Sunshine Peak area as the resort plans to add extra snowmaking infrastructure, which could also speed up when that portion of the terrain opens each season.

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