High-tech tickets, scientific snowmaking, state-of-the-art grooming, advanced racing technology, culinary creativity and amplified accessibility seem like terms straight out of a tech talk but these represent just some of the improvements slated this winter at Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.®
“While the Champagne Powder® snow and genuine friendliness remain the same, Steamboat’s on-mountain experience continues to be elevated as we invest significantly across the mountain,” said Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. “As we head into the 2015/16 season, guests will see new enhancements that will provide even more reasons to visit Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.®”
• QuickTrax™ Technology – Radio-frequency identification (RFID) lift ticket technology will be implemented at the Gondola, Christie Peak Express, Preview and Thunderhead Express chairlifts providing a simple, fast and hands-free guest experience. All daily lift tickets, season passes and frequency products will go high-tech with new RFID chip-enabled QuickTrax cards. When a guest passes through the gate, it opens automatically. As in previous seasons, ticket checkers will be on hand to assist with the access gates and ensure a smooth and efficient experience. The new QuickTrax cards will be reusable over multiple seasons and can be reloaded online, allowing guests to bypass the ticket office. With QuickTrax, guests will also have the option to sign up for SmartPass resort charge, which eliminates the need to carry cash or a credit card on the mountain.
• Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) Stevens Family Alpine Training Venue – Long heralded as one of the best winter sports clubs in the country, SSWSC elevates its training capabilities with the addition of a new championship-caliber Alpine training and competition venue at the Steamboat Ski Resort. The venue, closed to the public outside of limited special events, allows Alpine ski, telemark and Alpine snowboard athletes to excel with the ability to control on-mountain conditions, grooming and the firmness of the snow surface, often considered the critical factor in modern ski racing. The latest technology in snowmaking, grooming and slope configuration goes into the new venue to help the next Steamboat Olympians to achieve their dreams.
• Grooming – With a new automatic fueling system at slope maintenance, the resort’s 21-machine fleet operates in two shifts and resurfaces about 600 acres nightly to a premium corduroy finish. The No. 1 machine for park building, the Prinoth Bison-X, joins the fleet this season mixing innovative technology, unrivaled performance and operation efficiency. The Bison-X masters the tightest curves and the most demanding park features including extreme maneuverability in the creation of sophisticated designs, shapes and jumps as it roams across all five of Steamboat’s terrain parks. Outside of the parks, Steamboat is introducing a new 510-horsepower Leitwolf groomer that is Tier 4 rated, the next phase of cleaner emissions with a new wider parallel tiller designed to allow the snow to be worked more efficiently and effectively.
• Snowmaking – Even with an average of 352 inches of Champagne Powder® snow each year, Steamboat’s snowmaking system continues its upgrades program with new pipe on the Voo Doo, See Me, Sitz, Arc and All Out trails. The new lines will significantly accelerate the resort’s ability to produce early season snow and efficiently cover trails. Complementing the new pipe, 32 HKD 20-foot tower guns and two SMI automatic fan guns will be added to the snowmaking arsenal. The HKD tower guns use 30% less energy than conventional guns while producing the same amount of snow. Unmatched in volume, SMI’s big throw automatic fan gun consists of 30 individual water nozzles customizable to changing climates, excels in all temperature conditions and will be an all-around workhorse for the system. Over the past seven seasons, the resort has installed nearly 20 miles/32kms of water and air pipe for snowmaking. These improvements are all designed to use less energy and water while being more efficient when producing the early season snow base.
• Gondola Joe’s – The hottest bistro in Gondola Square goes venti after an expansion more than triples its size. Expanded grab-and-go selections, a new in-house baked goods program, additional healthy and fresh-made menu items and piping hot Starbucks coffee and specialty drinks highlight the improvements. The year-round restaurant’s expansion also improves guest flow, doubles seating capacity and streamlines the fast-dining experience. Open daily at 7:30am, there’s no closer or more convenient place to fuel up before heading up the Steamboat Gondola.
• Rendezvous Lodge – The lodge in the Sunshine Bowl area received a dramatic makeover this summer. A new color scheme with rock treatments highlights the exterior enhancements and blends the facility in with its natural surroundings. Following the launch of the Four Points Lodge, last year’s remodel of Thunderhead Lodge and now improvements at Rendezvous, the resort’s lodges continue to be augmented to represent the vibrant, healthy, fresh cuisine featured across the mountain.
RETAIL & RENTAL
• Burgess Creek Clothing Company – Formerly known as Mountain Outfitters, Burgess Creek Clothing Company takes on a new name that showcases its persona as the base area’s only store focusing on mountain fashions. The new store features casual and active clothing from Soybu, Toad & Co., Bench and Carve Designs along with winter footwear from Sorrel and the North Face.
• Giggle Gulch Candy Corner – Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? New this year, the Giggle Gulch Candy Corner takes over a portion of Steamboat Gifts in the Sheraton with a rainbow of colorful candy treats for all your sweet tastes. Remember, life is sweet, so live it up and always top it off with a sugary treat in this specialty candy corner.
• Rossignol Experience Center – Steamboat has partnered with ski leader Rossignol to create the Rossignol Experience Center in Steamboat Ski & Sport-Gondola Square. The Experience Center offers Rossignol’s landmark Experience skis, which make learning easier, quicker and more fun for skiers of all ages while providing a comfortable, encouraging and progressive experience from first-timers to all-mountain experts.
• Steamboat Ski & Sport Transit Center– Formerly the Pro Shop, the resort’s entry location from the transit center now features demos and pairs with its Gondola Square sister shop for a full-line of rental equipment; adds more resort apparel, outerwear and accessories; while continuing to provide a convenient location for purchasing tickets. In addition, Ski & Sport 9080, previously the yurt, will focus on service and demos as part of the Steamboat Ski & Sport family of stores.
STEAMBOAT GRAND HOTEL
In addition to new executive chef, Ariel Robey, hotel guests as well as meeting and convention attendees will be greeted by numerous enhancements at the Steamboat Grand this season. An expanded pool deck opens additional lounge space around the heated pool and large hot tubs; the Korbel Ballroom is covered with new carpet and an advanced wireless system accommodating up to 2,000 devices during meetings; the lobby goes plush with new designer carpet; and, guest rooms move to light speed with state-of-the-art Ruckus Wireless, receive a fresh look with a new, stylish color paint scheme and other interior room improvements.
• Nonstop Flights – The 2015/16 program represents an approximately 13 percent increase in seats from nonstop markets for the second consecutive winter season of seat growth. Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, Seattle and Washington-Dulles will offer additional days of service during the winter season. United Airlines will fly into the Steamboat/Hayden airport with the most frequency with four expanded flights. United nonstop service from Los Angeles will now fly daily, Newark and Washington-Dulles will add Sunday flights, and Chicago upgrades to daily service for parts of the season. Alaska Airlines expands Seattle flights to four days a week with a new Tuesday departure, and Delta rounds out the increased capacity with an additional Saturday Minneapolis flight from mid-February to late March. Steamboat’s program provides direct access from 11 major airports on Alaska, American, Delta and United Airlines as well as convenient connections from more than 300 airports nationwide and worldwide.