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Steamboat Ski Resort evolves from “Old West to “New West” with massive redevelopment project

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Steamboat has collaborated with top global design talent East West Partners.

Steamboat Ski Resort is currently in the midst of its largest redevelopment since opening in 1963. The multi-year, $135 million dollar Full Steam Ahead project will redefine the Steamboat experience for years to come with a stunning new aprés ski plaza that will be home to an ice skating rink, restaurants, shops, a new gondola and more. Steamboat Springs, which is also known as Ski Town, USA, has always attracted skiers as an off-the-beaten-path destination with western charm and family-friendly hospitality. This massive project marks an evolution for the resort from the old west, to the “new west” in that the aesthetic and amenities will still embrace the town’s cowboy roots, but interpreted in a modern way.

To bring its vision to life, Steamboat has collaborated with top global design talent East West Partners, one of only two companies worldwide to have won three Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence, and Gensler, an acclaimed global architecture, design, and planning firm.  As safety continues to be a priority for the resort, Steamboat partnered with industry experts Saunders Construction and Design Workshop to help execute the massive project. 

Several of the new features at the resort are opening this ski season, and the entire project will be completed in 2023.  Highlights from the project  are below and renderings of the completed property can be found here (credited to Steamboat).

New Steamboat Square (Completion Scheduled for 2023)
Steamboat Square is the aprés ski hub of the resort. The original space had been too cramped to serve as a place for guests to congregate and relax, but the new design has been expanded to incorporate entertainment, dining (some operated by the resort, some independently) and boutique shopping. A new ski rink at the center of the area is an exciting new addition for guests of all ages. Buildings around the square will make use of natural stone, exposed timber and metal roofing for a modern west look that is in harmony with the surrounding slopes. Importantly, there will be numerous seating areas to accommodate crowds, including several with fire pits to warm up with a hot beverage and take in the beautiful views.

New Resort Entrance (Opening Winter 2021/22)
Main Entrance: Guests will be welcomed to the resort through a clear main entrance directing them through the fastest route to shops, restaurants, the gondola and the snow. The route will feature a custom art wall constructed of perforated corten steel sharing the unique components that make Steamboat special such as the More Barn, Billy Kidd, and horses. A new escalator will also make it easier than ever for guests to access the mountain. 

An Expanded and Improved Skiing Experience (Coming 2023)
The redevelopment of Steamboat includes numerous projects that will enhance the ski experience on the mountain. The original gondola has been moved to make way for the addition of The Wild Blue Gondola, which will be the longest of its kind in North America.  Skiers will also have 650-acres of new expert terrain to explore, and the littlest snow bunnies will head to the new Greenhorn Ranch area for lessons.

Sustainability: With a deep understanding of and commitment to sustainability, Steamboat and its contractors prioritized reducing environmental impacts by leveraging the environmental assets and restorative qualities of the mountain to help enhance the guest experience. In fact, when the base area demolition occurred in spring of 2021, resort crews worked to divert as much waste as possible achieving a 70% diversion rate. 

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