Steamboat Ski Resort opened on Wednesday, November 22, kicking off the first season under new ownership: KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown & Company. They bought the resort in July in a purchase that also included Winter Park operations and a total of thirteen North American resorts. For the most part, though, it should be business as usual at Steamboat this year...although you can look for big season-pass news from the resort group before the 2018-2019 season.
Here are five things to know about Steamboat this season:
1. The long-running Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (which celebrates its 105th annual Winter Carnival February 7-11) has helped send 89 local athletes to the Winter Olympics, Paralympics and Special Olympics to date. “We’re heavily focused on Olympics this year,” says Steamboat spokeswoman Nicole Miller. “I think one of the coolest stories is that Steamboat will likely have two sets of born-and-raised siblings compete in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games. Arielle and Taylor Gold compete in halfpipe snowboarding. Bryan and Taylor Fletcher make up half the U.S. Nordic Combined team. Steamboat has 89 Winter Olympians who have trained here at some point during their careers.” To celebrate, Miller recommends a visit to the Olympic Heritage display in the Thunderhead lodge, taking a run down Heavenly Daze with Olympian Billy Kidd, and taking a bump clinic with Olympian Nelson Carmichael on his namesake run (both are free; for a schedule, visit steamboat.com).
2. The new Outlaw Mountain Coaster is being billed as the longest mountain coaster in North America, with 2,600 feet of uphill track and 3,680 feet of downhill track, covering 420 vertical feet. The track is in the area of the Christie Peak Express lift and rises to forty feet above the ground with dips, waves, turns and 360-degree circles. Riders have the ability to control the sled’s speed through a braking system as they careen down the track.
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3. Expert skiers and riders will want to explore the “sidecountry” terrain: Steamboat has several gates with ominous warnings that lead from the resort to unpatrolled (and awesome) backcountry terrain. They’re worth taking, and the warnings are also worth heeding.
4. For a dinner splurge, Miller recommends the luxury snowcat ride to Four Points Lodge for a five-course Italian dinner (Thursday through Sunday, December 16-April 7, $99 per person, reservations at 970-871-5150). On the other end, Miller says there are plenty of places to fill your belly and quench your thirst on a budget. “Late-night happy hour at Mahogany Ridge offers half-priced apps and drinks from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Sunpie’s Bistro often has $1 mystery beers (bottles in the cooler that need to go). Paramount, in the base area, has $3.50 beer and $6 plates from 3 to 4 p.m. Back Door Grill has two-for-one Tuesdays starting at 6 p.m. Pick up a copy of the local paper for the day’s best dining deals.”
5. Don’t go all the way to Steamboat Springs without actually hitting up the hot springs: Both the in-town Old Town Hot Springs (oldtownhotsprings.com) and the more remote Strawberry Park Hot Springs (strawberryhotsprings.com) are must-dos.
STEAMBOAT SKI RESORT