Steamboat Renovation Project

2021/2022 Big Changes Happening at Steamboat Resort

Get excited, because the Steamboat Resort Base Area is getting a facelift! There are big changes happening at Steamboat Resort. Renovations have officially begun on the Gondola Square redevelopment and on-mountain improvement plan. Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation is now officially breaking ground on the $135 million dollar Master Plan Development.

2021 SUMMER

JUNE – OCTOBER 2021

COMPLETED

Phase 1

  • Demolition of Gondola & Snowsports School buildings
  • Steamboat Gondola base terminal relocation
  • Escalators installed
  • Base area features installed
  • Greenhorn Ranch learning terrain graded

2021/22 WINTER

NOVEMBER 2021

COMPLETED

New Arrival ExperienceArriving into Steamboat Resort is now a truly curated and crafted experience. The opening of the resort for the ’21/’22 season included  the installations of a new SNOW sign, a new art wall with images from Steamboat’s history, a new escalator, a new Cowboy Cauldron, and a new location for the Steamboat Gondola terminal.

DECEMBER 2021 

COMPLETED

Opening of Happy CampBuilt just for kids – with parents in mind – Happy Camp is place where your child’s earliest mountain memories are made and where pure fun is had, day-after-day and year-after-year. Welcoming cowboys and cowgirls ages 1-4 years.

21/22 SEASON UPDATE: Construction Meets Creativity

From the Resort: The Story Behind Steamboat Square’s Art Installations
Rolling ahead on $180 million in monumental improvements, Steamboat is welcoming increased expert terrain, revamped learning and base areas and much more. These major capital enhancements will unfold over the next three years, positioning Steamboat as the second-largest ski resort in Colorado.With growth comes construction. Thanks to the creative team at Cultivator — the Denver-based ad agency behind similar projects in Snowmass and Beaver Creek — the ambitious Steamboat Square facelift is cloaked in an educational and engaging art installation.While crews kick up dust, building a new après ski plaza, ice rink and food hall, skiers follow the path from the transit hub, riding the new escalator and walking along the art installation to the repositioned gondola base. Playful exhibits tell the story of how our town runs on tradition, how we’re growing and staying sustainable and how we celebrate our Olympic heritage.

As you make your way to the slopes, be sure to stop and spin the snowflakes, snap a podium pic and peer into the future through giant six-foot goggles.

“Folks at Steamboat really love the mountain and they care about what’s going on,” says Cultivator creative director Chris Beatty. “We love seeing groups stop and gather around these art installations to talk.”Follow the larger-than-life letters “S-N-O-W” this way arrow from the transit center to the escalator to the resort base. Look for the word “Gondola” spelled out with 783 painted ski pole baskets leading skiers to the new gondola location.Tip your ski helmet to the gondola mural comprised of 57 spray-painted cowboy hardhats and get ready to hitch a ride in our brand-new, 10-person Wild Blue Gondola — the longest and fastest 10-person gondola in North America.Spinning snowflakes made of real horseshoes remind us that our favorite activities happen on snow. That’s why we’re making more of it earlier by upping snowmaking efforts on Sunshine Peak, guaranteeing great early-season powder.

A wall of cowboy boot ice skates celebrates the new ice-skating rink and Steamboat Square centerpiece. Chris and team collected real cowboy boots from Colorado shops and even rounded up a tiny pair from one of our marketing guru’s little skiers.

View the future through six-foot ski goggles made of high-density sign foam. The heart of the resort reimagined appears as you’re looking out from the inside, including the exciting new Range Food & Drink Hall coming summer 2022 and 650 new skiable acres coming opening winter 2023.

Marvel at the nine-foot oversized spurs made of metal and up-cycled cross-country skis. In the tradition of our pioneering spirit, we’re spurring forward momentum with an exciting transformation.

Capture an Instagram story on the Olympic podium, taking home the gold, silver or bronze and honoring the 98 Olympians to come out of Steamboat so far—more than any other town in North America.

“The number one goal is to inform guests about what’s happening with the development,” Chris says. “We want to assure people that Steamboat is staying true to its roots and authenticity.”

Construction at Steamboat Resort with the Full Steam Ahead project is impacting three areas of the mountain. This summer, the Steamboat Bike Park, the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, and the Maverick Miniature Golf Park will be closed. It’s because of construction of the new Wild Blue Gondola and relocating of the Christie Peak Express lower terminal.

 

UPDATE 9/24/21 From The Resort:

“We recognize that we haven’t made improvements or investments in the base area for a long time,” Perlman said. “We want to create that sense of place in the heart of Gondola Square.”

Yes, that’s true! The base area hasn’t been updated since the ’70s & ’80s and has been in desperate need of a little love!

First, to help lead guests into the main square, the resort plans to redo the Gondola Transit Center, adding an escalator that will connect guests from entrance areas at the center to the heart of the base. Perlman also detailed the construction of the newly named “Steamboat Square” – this will be a major revitalization of the base area that will include an ice skating rink in the winter, lawn games in the summer and provide new space for concerts, music festivals and arts events.

“It’s full steam ahead, as we’ve been saying,” said Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. President and COO Rob Perlman. “We’re already an incredible resort, and we’re just talking about taking things to that next level.”



Perlman and Ski Corp. Vice President of Mountain Operations Dave Hunter unveiled a list of goals for the resort’s future, as well as changes guests can expect for the 2021-22 ski season during a presentation they made to Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday. The resort has been undergoing a major construction project this spring and summer with a total planned investment of about $200 million over the next three years.

Hunter presented several on-mountain updates, most notably the Wild Blue Gondola, which will begin construction next summer, as the longest and fastest 10-passenger gondola in North America, moving skiers and riders from the base to the top of the mountain in one trip. The gondola will also connect the new Greenhorn Ranch, where beginner skiers and riders will take lessons at midstation, to intermediate terrain at Sunshine Peak.

“It’s a world-class learning facility,” Hunter said of the Greenhorn Ranch. “What makes it very unique is it frees and liberates the base area, but we’ve been very mindful about the way this terrain is shaped, so it’s progression based.”

Ski Corp. also has acquired 650 acres of advanced and expert terrain in the Fish Creek Canyon area, which will open for the 2023-24 season.

As the resort continues to expand and add more amenities, Perlman and Hunter said each decision is made with several key factors in mind — sustainability, keeping Steamboat’s brand and honoring the community’s Western heritage.

“We’re keeping in mind the special place in the environment that we have and that we operate in,” Perlman said. “Everything is about sustainability.”

Toward this goal, each new building is LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certified, meaning it has achieved a globally recognized standard of sustainability. The resort also makes sure 80% of the snow made from the Yampa River flows back into the river.

“We understand the Yampa River is a huge part of our life and our lifestyle here in the Yampa Valley,” Perlman said. “The agricultural community is very thankful that we make snow and then they get to enjoy those water flows later in the spring when it melts and goes back into the system.”

 

 

UPDATE 6/9/21 From The Resort:

“While Steamboat has been shaped by its rich past, today, with this project, we look forward to shaping the future. We’re investing $135 million on and around our mountain, so we can enhance the Steamboat experience for everyone who visits us. This unprecedented venture will help to make us one of the premier ski destinations in the world for decades to come.

This is an ambitious undertaking the likes of which our resort has never seen. With plans for an après ski plaza, new restaurants and bars, new lodging, a ski beach and an ice rink. On the Mountain – new lifts and new terrain that will make us the second largest resort in Colorado. In the tradition of our pioneering spirit and out of the genuine western heritage of Steamboat, comes and entirely new vision for our resort: Welcome to the new west.

Phase 1 to be completed by the 21/22 season

– An escalator dubbed the “Golden Walk” from the transit center to the gondola plaza. ⁠
– A new kids vacation center opens ⁠
– A new gondola square promenade building opens⁠

Phase 2 to begin summer of 2022 and completed by 22/23 season⁠

– Construction of the new “Wild Blue” gondola from Bashar Bowl to Sunshine Peak.⁠
– Construction of new Arrival center at Bashor Bow⁠
– Construction of new restaurants and shops⁠
– Relocation of Christy Peak Lift⁠
-Ice rink construction and opening⁠

Phase 3 to begin summer of 2023 and completed by the 23/24 season⁠

-Pioneer and Fish Creek Falls expansion and lift installed.⁠

“This is the biggest proposed project since the resort first opened in 1963, and it will benefit visitors and the entire Yampa Valley community, which have been so supportive of the resort through the years,” Ski Corp. President and COO Rob Perlman said.

ORIGINAL POST SPRING 2021:

A few months ago, Steamboat Resort made its Master Plan official to redevelop Gondola Square into a multi-use plaza, including additional restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues. These renovations have been in the works for a while now, but work crews officially started breaking ground after the mountain closed on Sunday, April 11, 2021. These changes will free up a great deal of space, allowing the base area to become more of a hub for Steamboat. In the words of Steamboat Resort: “Full Steam Ahead!” 

“For a world-class mountain we’re setting out to create a world-class resort to match. We are embarking on an ambitious transformation, the likes of which our resort has never seen. In the tradition of our pioneering spirit and out of the genuine western heritage of Steamboat comes an entirely new experience on and around our mountain. Welcome to the new west, full steam ahead.” Official statement released by Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.

Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation hopes to have the majority of the base area done by the end of summer 2021, as not to disrupt the 2021/2022 Ski Season. For the summer Mountain Bike season, Christie Peak chairlift will run all summer instead of the gondola for uphill access. 

 

 

Over the next few years, the base area at Steamboat Resort will be nearly unrecognizable to most seasoned tourists and locals alike. To begin with, the Resort has decided to update some of their long-standing buildings at the base and move some of the clerical offices offsite. There will be more options for activities at the base, which include a new ice skating rink, communal gathering spaces, outdoor seating and fire pits, and easier base area street access. The decision to add a more streamlined entrance to Gondola Square from the bus depot was a sound one. Currently, there is no direct route from the street to the base area. There will be a new escalator to bring guests down into the square. This will eliminate the maze of winding stairs from the bus depot, and make Gondola Square more of an open concept. They are also planning on extending the in-bounds skiable terrain, moving the current gondola to an open-air gondola building, as well as constructing a brand new 8-person gondola to the top of Sunshine Peak!

“The reimagined plaza, in combination with exciting on-mountain projects, solves long-overdue needs for Steamboat’s base area,” Perlman said. “We are thrilled that our parent company, Alterra Mountain Co., recognizes the importance of investing in, and reimagining, the future of Steamboat Ski Resort and supports this incredible multi-year investment.”

According to the Steamboat Pilot on moving the current gondola building, “Ski Corp. also has applied for a permit from the city of Steamboat Springs to move the gondola terminal 300 feet east out onto the base of the mountain, specifically over Burgess Creek onto the snow where the magic carpets are now.” As many of us have recognized, Steamboat Resort has outgrown its base area, and the renovations are going to help with the flow of traffic tremendously. Bob Keenan, Steamboat principal planner overseeing the relocation of the gondola, said the project of moving the current gondola building & adding the new 8-person gondola, would increase the out-of-base capacity from 6,000 people per hour to 10,000 people per hour! This new capacity will allow guests to space out more comfortably and alleviate the stresses on lift lines. 

The new gondola tentatively named the “Wild Blue Gondola” will be the longest 8-person gondola in North America – 3.16 miles from the base to the summit at the top of Sunshine Peak. This new gondola will also provide access to a new Ski School area in the current Bashor Bowl. Steamboat Resort plans to add 650 acres of advanced terrain in the Pioneer Ridge area. This would expand the trail map by 20% to a total of 3,620 acres – would make Steamboat the second largest ski area in Colorado! 

Overall, Steamboat is changing for the better! We are thrilled to watch our town evolve and grow. Please stay tuned here for the latest information and updates for the Steamboat Renovation Project.