Steamboat Resort discusses rules for summer biking during virtual town hall
Those wanting to mountain bike at Steamboat Resort will still have options this summer, though the choices may look different than they did in past years.
The resort is undergoing construction to its gondola building and base area, which Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. staff members described as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“We are more than committed to completely transforming what the base area looks like and making it an overall better experience,” said Dave Hunter, Ski Corp. vice president of mountain operations, during a virtual town hall Tuesday night. “This is no small task to take on.”
Because of the amount of construction planned and the fact the resort has only 80 to 90 days of the year to complete the project due to weather and tourism seasons, Hunter said mountain biking will look different.
The Steamboat Bike Park will open June 18, with operations running 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday. The gondola will be closed for the summer, and Christie Peak Express chairlift will serve as the lift for summer operations.
Bike park access will be available from Christie Peak Express lift down to the base area, including beginner trails Cowpoke, Lickety Split, Lasso and Easy Rider; and intermediate trails Rustler’s Ridge Connector, Lower Rustler’s Ridge, Huckleberry, Gunsmoke and Wranglers Gulch and Buckin’ Bronc.
Ski Corp. staff said they understand community members may be disappointed due to limited trails being open and the gondola being closed for the summer, but the construction is a necessary step toward a brighter future on the mountain
“The easiest answer for us was to not operate anything,” said Jon Feiges, assistant director of summer operations. “That was the easy way to go, but we really felt it was important to get these things to run. We just have to do it in a manner that gets us a good result.”
All upper mountain singletrack and multiuse trails will remain open during the summer season for those who want to bike up. Thunderhead Lodge will be closed, and the upper-mountain trails will not be patrolled.
Steamboat Bike Park trails are downhill traffic only. Signed waivers and park passes are required, and access is restricted to operating hours only. Ski Corp. officials also said closures are subject to change.
“The details and logistics of this long-term project are a moving target,” Hunter said.
However, Hunter said, the largest parts of the construction project are expected to be done this summer, and Ski Corp. expects to have the entirety of the bike park open next summer.
“What we do ask is that you’re patient with us as we work through this,” said Jeff Daniels, guest services director. “Our focus is getting the trails to be the best they can be.”
While trails will officially be open in June, Ski Corp. is still asking bicyclists to use judgment if trails are still muddy.
“If mud is sticking to your tire, you probably shouldn’t be on the trail,” Feiges said.
Erica Dickerman, recreation specialist with the U.S. Forest Service who also participated in the town hall, said bicyclists using electronic bikes, which have recently gained popularity in Steamboat, are not allowed to use them on Forest Service land, which includes most of the resort. E-bike users may ride on paved roads, Dickerman said.
“E-bikes are treated like motor vehicles, and we have to follow the Forest Service rules about motor vehicles,” Dickerman said.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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