Steamboat Resort plans food hall grand opening as Full Steam Ahead enters final phase |

Steamboat Resort plans food hall grand opening as Full Steam Ahead enters final phase

The lift servicing an expansion area expected to open next year gets a new name

Expected to open in May as part of Steamboat Resort’s Full Steam Ahead project, The Range Food and Drink Hall will have four vendors and two bars.
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp./Courtesy photo

With snow still falling, it might be hard to tell the ski season is coming to an end, but Steamboat Resort’s extended closing date of April 16 is just three weeks away, hinting at work on the final phase of Full Steam Ahead.

As soon as the company is able to, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. will begin the last projects in its $220 million, multi-year capital improvement project.

First, the resort will debut the final portion of phase two: The Range Food and Drink Hall. The food hall was originally expected to open in the 2022-23 season, but adjustments have prompted delays. 

“Late in construction last fall, we made a change in our interior and plans to serve more people, which ultimately led to a timeline change for completion,” said Loryn Duke, director of communications for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

The hall is now slated to open in May for the summer season, according to the resort’s website. Three of the original resort-based vendors will remain the same: Sunshine Bowl Ramen, Pioneer Pie and Twister Tacos. However, the Why Not Sweet Shop will now be the Why Not Sandwich Shop.

There will also be a bar on each level with ample indoor and outdoor seating to fully appreciate the renovated Steamboat Square.

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The third and culminating phase of Full Steam Ahead, which broke ground in the summer of 2021, includes three major aspects.

First is a 650-plus acre expansion north into the Mahogany Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon areas. 

The additions, including the area previously known as Pioneer Ridge, will make Steamboat the second largest ski resort in Colorado.

The name change to Mahogany Ridge isn’t so much a change, but a correction, according to the resort.

“Back in the day when we put in Pony Express, that area was all called Pioneer Ridge. When we put in the access gate to the sidecountry, I think people mistakenly started calling that Pioneer Ridge, when in fact, it had previously been called Mahogany Ridge,” Duke said. “The local lore behind that is there used to be the Scandinavian Lodge at the base of the resort, and there was a beautiful mahogany bar there and it was where most people would spend the end of their day or apres. So when they would ski down the ridgeline to get to the bar, they would call it ‘Mahogany Ridge.’”

The path of the Mahogany Ridge Express lift at Steamboat Resort can be seen from the Hilltop area on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. The lift will allow skiers and riders easier access to additional advanced terrain but also has garnered community concerns about skier safety in the Fish Creek area.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Terrain previously reached by backcountry gates will now be inbounds, but other than the already-cut liftline and boundary trail, the area will remain unaltered.

The Mahogany Ridge Express, a high-speed detachable quad, will service the terrain, but those accessing the Fish Creek Canyon area should expect to have to hike 20-25 minutes back to the bottom of the lift.

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Steamboat Ski Patrol will mitigate and monitor the area with the help of two avalanche dogs in training, Daisy and Mudd.

“When we started the process of Full Steam Ahead, we had a long wishlist of a master plan that had been decades in the making,” said Rob Perlman, president and COO of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., in a blog post on the resort’s website. “To now be in the final phase and see Full Steam Ahead become a reality is beyond words. I especially like seeing the reaction from our staff and guests each year. First it was excitement about the escalators, then the fully completed base area, and now to finish with on-mountain enhancements is like the cherry on top. Winter 23/24 will be a new era for the resort, but we’ll always be the same Steamboat at our roots.”

Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. helped celebrate the opening of the Wild Blue Gondola at Steamboat Resort on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The next large aspect of phase three is the Wild Blue Gondola’s second leg being completed between Greenhorn Ranch to the top of Sunshine Peak. 

Wild Blue’s second leg and Mahogany Ridge Express are expected to open in the 2023-24 season.  When complete, Wild Blue will be the fastest 10-person gondola in North America, doubling uphill capacity and taking guests 3.16 miles in 12 minutes.

Lastly, phase three will ensure all those guests have excellent terrain to ski on at the top of Wild Blue earlier in the season by expanding snowmaking to Sundown and Sunshine areas.

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