Steamboat Resort close to getting federal approval for new lifts, expanded terrain |

Steamboat Resort close to getting federal approval for new lifts, expanded terrain

Ground crews work quickly to attach a cross arm to a tower while installing the new Elkhead Express at the Steamboat Ski Area.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Resort is a step closer to getting federal approval to make improvements that would include expanded terrain and new lifts.

The U.S. Forest Service has released a final environmental impact statement and a draft record of decision for Steamboat Ski Area projects.

The resort began the formal process of getting permission from the Forest Service in August 2016. Getting approvals paves the way for the resort to make the improvements, but owner Alterra Mountain Co. will ultimately have to decide if it wants to pay for them.

The combined improvements would represent the biggest investment in the ski area in recent history.

A new lift would be installed to service 355 acres at Pioneer Ridge that are currently accessed through backcountry gates. A bridge and skiway would be built to guide skiers back to the BC Ski Way trail.

Improvements at the adjacent Pony Express area would include snowmaking and a new trail to bring skiers to the Storm Peak Express lift.

The second main project area aims to create more beginner terrain and relocate ski school operations to the Rough Rider and Bashor Bowl areas.

A new gondola at the base area would take beginner skiers to the Rough Rider Learning Center. A new restaurant would be built, and a new lift would replace the existing Bashor lift. The plan calls for relocating the Mavericks Superpipe currently located in the Bashor area.

The improvements have been on the resort’s wish list for years, and there is renewed optimism that the new owners of the ski area will fund them.

The final environmental impact statement and the draft record of decision can be found here.

The 45-day objection period began June 2 and will end July 17. Only those people who previously filed comments are eligible to file objections.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, express delivery, or messenger service (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) to: Reviewing Officer, Brian Ferebee, Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, 740 Simms, Golden, CO 80401; fax: 303-275-5134 or email:

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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