Get excited, because there are big changes happening at Steamboat Resort. Renovations began in 2021, and are full steam ahead through the 2024 ski season on the Gondola Square redevelopment and on-mountain improvement plan.
Learn More Here –> Base Area Improvements At Steamboat Resort
The New Top-To-Bottom Gondola
The wait is over! The 2023 completion of Steamboat’s much anticipated Wild Blue Gondola will increase out-of-base capacity by nearly double, whisking skiers and riders to the top of Sunshine Peak at 10,397 feet in about 12 minutes totaling 3.16 miles. Steamboat will also add 655 acres of expert terrain in Mahogany Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon, serviced by the new Mahogany Ridge Express high-speed quad lift, making Steamboat the second largest ski resort in Colorado. Stay tuned for more information!
An Updated Base Area
One of the first things you’ll notice as you enter the new and renovated Steamboat Resort Gondola Square is the new & highly anticipated Wild Blue Gondola. This will be the longest gondola in North America and the fastest 10-person gondola in the country. With the lower leg opening in winter 2023, and the upper leg opening in 2024, the state-of-the-art gondola will feed skiers/riders through a newly created mid-station near Bashor Bowl with the final destination at the top of Sunshine Peak.
As you enter the new base area, guests will also notice the new food court, ice skating rink, escalator, and overall new look of Steamboat Resort. These updates are being rolled out over time, so read on to learn more about the anticipated completion dates of the big changes happening at Steamboat Resort!
SUMMER 2022 – COMPLETED
- Lower leg of Wild Blue Gondola construction
- Ice rink under construction
- The Range Food & Drink Hall under construction
- Greenhorn Ranch snowmaking, magic carpets & lunch center installed
- Relocation of Christie Peak Express Chairlift base terminal
- Underplaza Creekside Level Building completion
WINTER 2022/2023 – COMPLETED
- Mountain Stage
- Skeeter’s Ice Rink
- Christie Peak Express open at new base location between Steamboat Gondola and Wild Blue Gondola
- Greenhorn Ranch Learning Center
- Wild Blue Gondola lower leg
Phase III Construction
- Wild Blue Gondola upper leg Construction
- The Range Food & Drink Hall Construction
- Pioneer Ridge & Fish Creek Canyon terrain work
- Installation of Pioneer Ridge chairlift
- Snowmaking expansion in Sundown and Sunshine areas
Phase III Opening
- Wild Blue Gondola upper leg opens
- The Range Food & Drink Hall – Opening Fall
- Pioneer Ridge & Fish Creek terrain expansion opens
Steamboat Enters Final Phase of Full Steam Ahead
Two Components of Full Steam Ahead Phase III:
- 1. Mahogany Ridge & Fish Creek Canyon Expansion
Steamboat Ski Resort becomes the second largest ski resort in Colorado with the addition of 655 acres of advanced/expert terrain to skier’s right of the resort’s current boundary. Fish Creek Canyon (350 acres) and the area previously known as Pioneer Ridge (305 acres) have been in the resort’s permit area for numerous years but were not considered in-bounds until approval in 2021. Previously accessible via backcountry gates and hike-to-access, Mahogany Ridge Express will offer lift service as a new highspeed detachable quad and Fish Creek Canyon will continue to be expert terrain with an estimated 20-25 minute hike back to the bottom of Mahogany Ridge Express. The expansion area will remain uncut except for the lift line and boundary trail, and skiers and riders should expect a variety of expert terrain and conditions including rock cliffs, chutes and tree glades. Once open to the public, Steamboat Ski Patrol will monitor and maintain the area including potential avalanche mitigation, but varying conditions may be encountered at any time.To meet this need, Steamboat Ski Resort has introduced an avalanche dog program with two inaugural dogs beginning their training during the 22/23 winter season. Daisy is a 1.5-year-old black lab and Mudd is an under 1 year old Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix who have both begun validation through Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment certification. The process of validation can take up to two years and Daisy and Mudd are expected to be ready to deploy by winter 24/25.
- Wild Blue Gondola Second Leg
In December 2022 Steamboat debuted the Wild Blue Gondola, a 10-person Doppelmayr machine spanning 4,000 feet from Steamboat Square to Greenhorn Ranch. Beginning spring 2023, Doppelmayr and Steamboat crews will add the second leg of the gondola spanning 16,008 horizontal feet and 3,371 vertical feet to the top of Sunshine Peak. With a complete ride time of approximately 12 minutes from Steamboat Square to 10,397 feet and featuring 177 total cabins, Steamboat’s uphill capacity will nearly double to 10,000 skiers per hour. Upon completion, with an expected opening in late November 2023, Wild Blue Gondola will be the longest, fastest 10-person gondola in North America.
Full Steam Ahead has completely reimagined Steamboat Ski Resort with completion of Phases I and II, which introduced an escalator to eliminate numerous stairs; Skeeter’s Ice Rink an outdoor free skating rink; the Mountain Stage, home to Steamboat’s legendary free music concerts; the Range Food & Drink Hall- slated to open Summer 2023; Greenhorn Ranch- a terrain-based, on-mountain dedicated beginner’s area; the first leg of Wild Blue Gondola, relocation of Christie Peak Express lower terminal and removal of the Mountain Coaster and mini golf course; and Creekside Plaza with guest features including a new Ski Patrol headquarters and UCHealth Urgent Care Clinic.
For more details on Full Steam Ahead including a complete timeline and projects already completed visit www.steamboat.com/FullSteamAhead.
- 1. Mahogany Ridge & Fish Creek Canyon Expansion
A Word From The Resort & COO Rob Perlman:
While Steamboat has been shaped by its rich past, today the resort is looking forward to shaping the future of Ski Town, U.S.A. The resort has invested $200 million on and around the mountain, to enhance the overall Steamboat experience for all guests. This unprecedented venture will help to make Steamboat Resort one of the premier ski destinations in the world for decades to come.
This is an ambitious undertaking the likes of which Steamboat 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.
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 2024 ski season. The resort has been undergoing a major construction project this spring and summer with a total planned investment of about $200 million over the life of the renovation project.
“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!
“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.”
Ski Corp. acquired 650 acres of advanced and expert terrain in the Fish Creek Canyon area, which will open for the 2024 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.”
“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.
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!
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.
For more info about Steamboat Springs, CO check out these other great resources:
- How To Pack For Your Steamboat Ski Vacation
- 11 Things To Do in Steamboat Off the Slopes!
- Top 15 Restaurants in Steamboat Springs