Steamboat Resort, CO Receives Preliminary Approval for Major Expansion & Upgrades | Will Become 2nd Largest Resort in Colorado

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steamboat, colorado
New proposed gondola – the longest in North America

Steamboat Resort, CO can look forward to some significant changes over the next few years following preliminary approval from the U.S. Forest Service of the resort’s masterplan.

“These new projects complement those that have long been at the top of Steamboat’s wish list, and now we are taking steps to obtain the necessary analysis, reviews, and approval to be ready to move forward when the time is right.”

– Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.

Some of the major upgrades announced yesterday were:

  • the longest 8-person gondola in North America
  • a 650-acre terrain expansion
  • a new 17,000-sqft restaurant at the top of the Sunshine and Sundown chairlifts
Steamboat trail map

Steamboat, currently the fifth largest resort in Colorado with 2,965 skiable acres, would jump to the state’s second-largest with 3,616-acres, behind Vail’s 5,317-acres. On the original Pioneer Ridge expansion proposed earlier this year:

“Pioneer Ridge is a game-changer for Steamboat. While we have always been known as an intermediate paradise, this expansion will provide the ‘Champagne Powder’ snow we are known for in more steep, advance/expert terrain, meeting a need long expressed by our locals and our visiting guests. Some of our dedicated locals have been getting fresh tracks in this area for years. By bringing it into the resort’s boundary we can offer patrol services in the area, creating a safer experience.”

– Rob Perlman

The new 8-person gondola, to be called the Wild Blue Gondola, will load at the base area and finish at the summit of Sunshine Peak for a 3.16-mile-long ride. There would be a mid-station at the Bashor Bowl, near the Mavericks terrain park. The new gondola would be capable of transporting 10,000-people per hour up the mountain, compared to the current rate of 6,000, which would significantly reduce crowds and wait times on busy days.

The Wild Blue Gondola will also allow the resort to remove the Priest Creek lift and also replace the aging Sundown Express 4-person with a more efficient and higher capacity 6-person chairlift.

steamboat, colorado
Fish Creek expansion.

The first terrain expansion at the resort in more than 20-years builds on a previous proposal of extending the resort boundary into the Pioneer Ridge area, a plan which Alterra canned due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 closures. The terrain is popular with backcountry skiers, many who use the resort’s chairlifts to reach the backcountry gates at the top of the Pony Express lift. The new proposal would bring the Fish Creek Canyon within the resort’s boundary, as well as the Pioneer Ridge area.

There are way more details on the project website, including 70-acres of new snowmaking, and there will be a virtual meeting to discuss the projects from 4 to 6 p.m. July 17.

People can attend by visiting, or call 888-844-9904 and enter 5083570# to connect to the meeting.

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