Steamboat Resort, Colorado, is adding a new gondola, the ‘Wild Blue Gondola’, for the 23/24 ski season. The first section of the new gondola will open for the 22/23 winter season and the second section will be finished in time for the 23/24 ski season. It is anticipated that section one will be mainly used by the snowsports school as it gives direct access to the newly created beginner area called Greenhorn Ranch, situated below the Bashor base station.
The Wild Blue Gondola will be Steamboat Resort’s second gondola in addition to the ‘Steamboat Gondola’. Both gondolas will leave from Steamboat Square and the base of the resort is being remodeled for this purpose entirely. The Steamboat Gondola base station and the snowsports school center were relocated in time for the 21/22 season. The base station of the ‘Christie Peak Express’ chairlift will be moved for the 22/23 season as part of this remodel and will be located between both gondolas. The new Steamboat Square will also feature an ice skating rink, which opens on November 23.
Construction for the Wild Blue Gondola started in the summer this year. The new gondola will be a state-of-the-art 10-passenger gondola and will transport guests from Steamboat Square at 6,900 ft to 10,384 ft at the top station at Sunshine Peak. The lower section will have 58 cabins to take people from Steamboat Square to the mid-station aka Greenhorn Ranch. This section will be open for the 22/23 season.
The second section will have an additional 113 cabins to transport guests to Sunshine Peak. Once completed by the winter of 23/24, it will be the fastest and longest 10-passenger gondola in North America, measuring 16,008 horizontal feet. The Wild Blue Gondola will have a capacity of 3,200 people per hour, increasing the current combined capacity of the Steamboat Gondola and the Christie Peak Express by 50%.
Once section 2 of the Wild Blue Gondola is completed, the total transit time will be 12 and a half minutes. Section 1 transit from the base to the mid-station at Greenhorn Ranch will take a mere 4 minutes and section 2 transit will take a bit more than 8 minutes.
The Wild Blue Gondola will be a Doppelmayr gondola with direct drive technology. Doppelmayr’s direct drive technology is a gearless drive technology that not only is more economical and less noisy to operate, but also requires less maintenance, making operations more efficient and simple. This will be an exciting new addition to Steamboat Resort.