Steamboat ponders 4 Points Lodge expansion |

Steamboat ponders 4 Points Lodge expansion

— The Steamboat Ski Area’s Four Points Lodge has yet to complete its second winter season and already the resort is making tentative plans to add about 4,000 square feet to the restaurant that was completed in late 2013 and sits just above the 9,700-foot elevation on Mount Werner.

The Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. submitted plans for the new addition to the Routt County Planning Department after the first of the year and Planning Director Chad Phillips approved them administratively March 20. The project could add as many as 160 dining seats to the west side of the main level of Four Points, as well as a new food station and small bar at the snow level.

Phillips reminded the Routt County commissioners Monday that future plans for new development on the ski area, which also operates under a permit from the Routt Medicine Bow National Forest, come under the umbrella of a form of county approval called a “conceptual planned unit development” or PUD. The conceptual PUD affords administrative approvals for individual pieces of that larger plan.

The outdoor deck at Four Points Lodge, with its southern exposure, has been the place for skiers and snowboarders to hang out in the mild March sun this spring skiing season, and ski area spokesman Mike Lane confirmed in an e-mail Monday that, “Four Points has been a huge success.” However, he said the steps toward expansion taken by Ski Corp. late this winter have been to put the company in a position to go forward should the project be approved by parent company Intrawest at the corporate level.

There has been “no final decision,” or even a decision if the restaurant expansion will make it into the ski area’s capital plans this construction season, Lane said.

However, Phillips said, Ski Corp. Vice President of Skier Services Jim Schneider and Vice President of Mountain Operations Doug Allen were, “eager to get going in May,” when he met with them.

The ski area broke ground on Four Points Lodge the day after the mountain closed for the season April 15, 2013. The lodge-style restaurant building was nearly complete by Thanksgiving and opened in plenty of time time for the December holidays. It offers restaurant seating for 200 at individual tables and a bar that seats 30.

The 13,000-square-foot building was built right over the top of the site of its predecessor, a 1993 building that measured 1,000 square feett and was built in 1993. The small space allowed the ski area to serve pre-made food items and to grill burgers in nice weather on the deck, but had been acknowledged as inadequate for many ski seasons.

Steamboat President and COO Chris Diamond, who will retire June 30, provided a hint of future capital projects being contemplated by Ski Corp. in a letter to the Planning Department.

He wrote, “It should be noted that SSRC is currently in the review process on a minor amendment to the MDP (Master Development Plan Amendment), which includes the replacement of the gondola and the addition of an Aerial Adventure Park.”

The current Steamboat gondola was built in 1986.

“The gondola is a great machine and runs very well,” Lane wrote in an e-mail Monday. “We’re going through capital requests and approval currently. The gondola has been something on our radar for a while and definitely looking to the future. As with any machine, parts do get hard to source with age, but much more goes into the overall lift plan when looking to the future.”  

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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