2010/2011 ON-MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS
Terrace & Umbrella Bar: In conjunction with phased construction of the new Promenade, the existing Bear River deck will be removed and replaced with a new Terrace and Umbrella Bar. This will be a fully-heated, glass-enclosed facility just steps off the Promenade. The all-season, European-inspired Umbrella Bar features floor to ceiling windows for year-round enjoyment. In addition, a new outdoor fire pit will add to the fun at the ski area base. Rough grading for the base area promenade is being completed this summer, with the final hardscape and daylighting of Burgess Creek scheduled to finish next summer.
Snowmaking: Snowmaking pump changes will result in a 27% increase in water flow as the 12-inch pipe under Highway 40 is replaced with a 14-inch line and three 52-horsepower pumps are upgraded to two, 200-horsepower ones, moving the gallons per minute from 3300 to 4200. Couple the increased flow with the purchase of 40 high-efficiency, low-energy tower guns, and early season snow production will augment the number of trails available at the beginning of the season. The HKD tower guns, which use 30% less energy than conventional guns while producing the same amount of snow, are now strategically located across the mountain on Heavenly Daze, Rudi’s Run, Lightning, Upper Vagabond, Ego, Sitz as well as Stampede, Lil’ Rodeo, Preview, Right-O-Way, See Ya, See Me, Voo Doo, Vogue, Lower Vagabond, Tornado Lane and Buddy’s Run.
“The early season on-snow product will be significantly improved this winter due to ongoing snowmaking improvements, technological advancement and additional hardware,” said Doug Allen, vice president-mountain operations for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “With this technology, crews take advantage of shorter cold weather windows; cover more of the trail; and, treat guests to a drastically better early season skiing and riding product in the process.”
Furthering efforts to use less electrical energy and water in the production process, heavy compressor modifications in addition to flow meters and hose will also improve efficiency of the system. Hydrants will be added to accommodate the new tower guns, reducing the spacing from roughly 225 to every 75 feet along many trails. Increased system water pressure will amplify production by 25% with the ability to run up to 100 tower guns simultaneously. In addition, the new pumping capacity will greatly speed up snowmaking production in Mavericks Superpipe. The resort’s system covers nearly 360 acres of top-to-bottom terrain (3,668 vertical feet) and includes a network of over 600 available hydrants, 4 pump houses across the mountain, 150 high-efficiency guns and a state-of-the-art digital operating system.
Pine Beetle Mitigation: A dramatic change has taken place across the lower mountain as a result of extensive pine beetle mitigation. For the better part of a decade, the resort has been dealing with this epidemic moving from individual tree treatment to mass removal of dead trees. The ski area enjoys a diverse forest where Steamboat is fortunate that the forest cover on the mountain is comprised primarily of Engelmann Spruce, Subalpine Fir, Lodgepole and Aspen as well as a few Douglas fir. Fifty acres of trees have been removed below Rough Rider Basin and another 30 acres on the Thunderhead Express and Burgess Creek lift lines are currently being removed.
New Rails/Features in Terrain Parks: Ranging from small to large, 30 new and refurbished rails/features will pop up this season across the resort’s four progressive terrain parks. With input from pro riders, a variety of small, 8’ to 12’, low-to-the-ground and shaped boxes will provide the opportunity for learning the basics in transitions and kinked sensations. In the medium park, a new 16’ picnic table and several 24’ shaped boxes will be unveiled for a variety of Down/Up and Double Kinked riding opportunities. A new Wall Ride, several additional large features as well as a new entrance in the advanced park complete the full spectrum of progression from beginner to advanced.
KVC Magic Carpet Relocation & Corridor: Last winter, the newly renovated Kids’ Vacation Center opened to rave reviews and further solidified Steamboat’s position as the #1 Family Resort in North America. The relocation and realignment of the Buckaroo magic carpet lift ensures a better learning environment in the new One Steamboat Place snow area. A magic carpet is a state-of-the-art conveyor lift that has revolutionized kids’ programs by quadrupling the number of runs kids take per hour.
Hike & Bike Master Plan: The first two freeride mountain bike trails for what will become a bike park in the central part of Mt. Werner have been mapped, walked and flagged by renowned trail-building company Gravity Logic, and the proposed paths are being studied by the U.S. Forest Service to ensure they meet all the right safety and environmental guidelines. Pending public comment and USFS approval, construction of these two new trails and other trail improvements could start as early as next spring.
Miscellaneous: The resort will build a two-story maintenance bay for Sunshine Express as well as make upgrades to the Preview and Gondola gear boxes, Morningside control system and Christie Peak Express awning. Additionally, the company will continue to expand key environmental strategies including its comprehensive Zero-Waste initiative (recipient of the 2010 NSAA Silver Eagle Award); snowmobile eco-conversion program; Energy Star Food & Beverage appliance plan; and Information Technology fiber management campaign.