Ski resorts have seen monumental updates over the last several years. These improvements are helping shape the future of how they handle larger crowds. It’s also to improve the guest experience each year.
Then there’s also a matter of safety by updating outdated equipment or technology. This ensures that guests can have a great time on the mountain and avoid mishaps that are preventable.
Steamboat Resort saw changes prior to the 2018-2019 season like new restaurants and retails for example. They also made major updates to one of their 30-year-old gondolas in 2017. The team installed a new control system, haul ropes, hangers, and terminal equipment. Now, there are even more changes underway for guests to take advantage of. These updates not only benefit skiers today but will provide support for new generations of skiers and snowboarders as well.
Once the ski season ends for 2018-2019, construction for the gondola will commence. Alterra Mountain Co., which owns 14 resorts across the U.S. and Canada, including Steamboat Resort, are eager to make this much-needed improvement. The $15 million, 8-person gondola will be ready for guests to enjoy at the start of the 2019-2020 season.
The gondola will include new walk-in cabins, with a total of 12 cabins added to the line. Ride time will reduce by 2 minutes and increase speeds to 6 meters-per-second. The ride capacity will also increase by 38 percent. This will usher more people onto the trails faster and more efficiently.
It has yet to be decided whether or not the gondola will be outfitted with wireless internet like similar modern models currently being used. If they do, the shortened ride will be even more convenient for guests as they patiently wait to exit their cabin.
The new design of the gondola will benefit guests twofold. One way it will do this is by delivering more than 10,000 pounds of food per day to support on-mountain dining. It will also allow for easier freight hauling at the same time.
Steamboat’s new gondola is just one part of their 5 year investment plan. The plan has and will continue to elevate the resort, creating a positive impact on the community and guests. Their summer operations will also be impacted because the gondola will allow guests to be shuttled up the mountain. Many summertime guests enjoy not only the views but are usually interested in going to the Steamboat Bike Park.
Recently, plans have been approved to provide new lift services to 355 acres near Pioneer Ridge. This area is usually only accessible by backcountry gates. A bridge and ski-way would be built to guide skiers back to the backcountry Ski Way trail.
This project will not only provide more ski terrain to explore but will allow more advanced skiers to stay safe. With stronger infrastructures, better technology and easier access across the mountain, the future of the resort already looks promising.