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Steamboat Invests $2.8 Million in Improvements

Steamboat Invests $2.8 Million in Improvements

News
posted: 01/01/2000

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO Sept. 9, 2004 - Steamboat announces $2.8 million capital program for the 2004/2005 season including the $1.3 million Burgess Creek triple chairlift. Collectively, these improvement projects are designed to enhance a variety of facilities, services and programs across the resort and improve the overall resort experience. Over the past four years, the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation has invested over $7.5 million in the resort.

"These improvements will maintain the momentum Steamboat enjoyed this past season reaching the #3 resort in Colorado and #4 in the US in terms of skier visits with an extremely high intent to return from our guests, said Chris Diamond, president of the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. "Hosting over 1 million skier visits for the past 15 seasons, it's easy to see why Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.® was recently ranked the #2 Ski Town in America by Skiing Magazine.

A few of the major projects/programs for the upcoming season include the following areas: a new triple chairlift, finalization of the Master Plan Update, additional snowmaking & slope equipment, Gondola Square remodel, Billy Kidd Performance Center & Competition Services improvements and numerous upgrades to the resort's food & beverage operations.

ON MOUNTAIN & BASE AREA IMPROVEMENTS
New Triple Chairlift Powered By Renewable Energy: The Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation is installing a $1.3 million Leitner-Poma of America fixed-grip triple chairlift replacing the Burgess Creek double chairlift. The new Burgess Creek Triple will significantly enhance the guest experience by reducing pressure on the Elkhead lift, reducing travel time by half a minute and providing footrests for riders.

"The Burgess Creek lift is an important access lift for Thunderhead Lodge and is an easy means of transfer to the Priest Creek and Sunshine Bowl areas, said Doug Allen, vice president-mountain operations for the resort. "The new lift will have an immediate impact on improving access to great skiing/riding for all ability levels.

The terminals for the chairlift will be positioned in approximately the same locations as the old Burgess Creek lift, however, the lower maze will be realigned behind the terminal, eliminating the skier/rider bottleneck that occasionally occurred on Ego trail. The new lift will have a vertical rise of 938 feet, a horizontal length of 3,369 feet, an average gradient of 27% and a top speed of 500 ft/min.

Due to the tight construction timeline, which will feature heavy truck and helicopter traffic throughout the fall, the new lift is expected to be ready to carry its first riders in early to mid December. This will be the first new lift since the Pony Express Quad was installed for the 1998/99 season and the first ever Leitner-Poma lift at the resort.

As a part of its long-standing commitment to the environment, the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation will purchase renewable energy certificates to support new wind energy and offset the electricity needed for the new Burgess Creek lift. Steamboat is purchasing renewable energy certificates from 3 Phases Energy Services to ensure the delivery of clean, natural wind power to the "grid", thereby displacing an equivalent amount of energy that otherwise would have been created by non-renewable sources.

Despite the increased cost in supporting renewable energy, the resort is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of its operations, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to support the increased use of clean, renewable energy. Steamboat's commitment has the annual equivalent environmental impact of planting 14,915 trees while preventing the release of 220,960 pounds of carbon dioxide and hundreds of pounds of other harmful emissions such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

"As a business that will be disproportionately affected by the global climate change, we feel tt it is our particular responsibility to lead the way in the pursuit of cutting-edge solutions, said Lyn Halliday, director of environmental affairs. "Purchasing renewable energy is a natural extension of our sustainability initiatives and is a great way to increase the supply of renewable energy facilities nationwide. With this decision, Steamboat will be recognized by the (Environmental Protection Agency's) Green Power Partnership for their leadership in bringing new renewable energy to market.

  • Resort Master Plan: In conjunction with the US Forest Service, the ski area is finalizing its master plan update with the industry leading SE Group, based in Frisco, Colorado. SE Group worked with the resort on Pioneer Ridge, Morningside Park and the last master plan effort in 1993. The master plan amendment lays the foundation for possible on-mountain development over the next decade. The overall comprehensive plan addresses issues focusing on capacity, resources, mountain improvements, base area improvements, guest convenience and the overall resort experience. This year's capital allocation centers on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and wetlands mitigation requirements. The complete Master Plan Update can be viewed at steamboat.com/masterplan.
  • Slope/Snowmaking: Steamboat's snowmaking system will see the addition of 200 feet of 16-inch pipe to the primary pipeline, new hose, fan & land guns and upgrades to one of the systems pump houses as well as confined space areas. These improvements continue to enhance water management, increase capacity and address safety issues. The system covers 438 acres of top-to-bottom terrain (3,600 vertical feet) or a total of thirty-five trails accessed by thirteen lifts including the eight-passenger gondola. In addition, Global Positioning Satellite mapping providing high-accuracy scale imaging of trails, lifts, snowmaking hydrants, and facilities will occur across the resort. The GPS digitally mapping incorporates three-dimensional computer imaging, combining the latest in digital topography and photography technology linked to computer-integrated systems.
  • Gondola Square: The resort is working with Denver design firm, Melick Associates on $200,000 improvements to Gondola Square. A new stairway and wood beamed porte-cochere entrance provides access to Gondola Square from the Knoll Lot and Transit Center.

    "For our guests arriving via the transit center, which is the main access point for the SST, resort parking shuttles and many property shuttles, the ease of access and pedestrian flow to the base area core will greatly be improved, said Jim Schneider, vice president-skier services. "With this project, we're looking to instill a sense of arrival at the mountain and a logical flow to resort services as well as retail and restaurant outlets.

    In addition, signage and way finding enhancements also take place in Gondola Square, which contains resort services such as ticket operations, ski & snowboard school, rentals & retail, KVC and several food & beverage outlets. Melick Associates, Inc. was selected for the project and is a creative design firm serving Colorado's hospitality, entertainment & destination resort industries since 1994.

  • Billy Kidd Performance Center/Competition Services: The BK Performance Center will move from VHS video capabilities to state-of-the-art DVD technology as part of their video analysis package for program participants. The new system will take advantage of enhanced features such as split screen and superimposed graphics to be used when comparing the student's technique with that of the world's best skiers. The advanced DVD technology will also be used in the Ski & Snowboard School's Custom On-Mountain DVD services for a personalized video production of your vacation. Your private videographer will capture your Steamboat experience and create a custom DVD, about 25-minutes in length, so that you always remember your trip to Ski Town, U.S.A.

    Competition Services will add additional B-Fence Safety Netting to its fence inventory. The new safety fence will aid in maintaining the highest safety levels necessary for hosting top-level and world-elite competitions on the mountain such as the upcoming FIS Alpine Races in December; the Disabled Alpine World Cup, Jan. 10-14; and the annual Cowboy Downhill, Jan. 18th.

  • Miscellaneous: Upgrades to kitchen equipment and facilities in Gondola Joe's, Rendezvous Saddle, Stoker, Bear River, Four Points Hut and Ragnar's Restaurants; new carpet through the lower Gondola Building which houses the ticket office, Kids' Vacation Center, Lost & Found, Administration, and public facilities/restrooms; new resort village entry sign; snowmobiles; two-way radios; mountain bikes; warehouse heavy equipment; enhancements to ticket window audio/speaker system and security systems round out the capital improvements for the resort.

    SUMMER

  • Giggle Gulch Mini-Golf: Steamboat Ski Area unveiled Giggle Gulch, a new 18-hole miniature golf course at the base of the mountain. The course was built in response to the growing demand for miniature golf courses at mountain destination resorts and features split level holes and water features, with stunning views of Mt. Werner. With its hand-selected landscape and accessibility to the mountain, Giggle Gulch was created to inspire, challenge and keep its players coming back. Jim Schneider, vice president-skier services, designed the course with manufacturer COST of Wisconsin, the industry leader in mini-golf course construction.

    The course is the latest edition to the Gondola Square Adventure Zone, which features an expanding collection of activities for summer enthusiasts, including a kids' fun-house mini-bounce trampoline, the popular Slingshot Bungee Jump, East Face Climbing Wall and nine-hole disc golf course.

    YAMPA VALLEY REGIONAL AIRPORT (HDN)
    Phase II Improvement Plan: First and last impressions of Steamboat, the most conveniently accessed ski resort in the Rocky Mountains, continue to be enhanced as significant improvements take place to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport during a multi-million, three-phase improvement project. Phase I, completed in 2003, included a 4,300-square-foot ticket counter expansion and a new and updated exterior appearance for the facility that tied all architectural elements together. This summer, the TSA baggage check will move behind the ticket counter, streamlining the check-in process for departing passengers. Planned future improvements for Phase II (05/06) include: a new ticketing wing, expanded gate areas and curbside check-in, road realignment, new jet apron and de-icing pad. For Phase III, scheduled improvements are remodeled passenger and baggage claim areas and parking lot upgrades.

    The majority of these upgrades are funded through AIP Federal Grants. Steamboat features non-stop winter jet service from nine major US cities and one-stop connecting service from more than a hundred other domestic and international cities on American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United Airlines. Steamboat/Hayden (HDN) Airport is just 22 miles/35kms from the ski area. Despite the abundance of snow, over 30 feet annually in Steamboat, the airport has very few diversions caused by weather. always remember your trip to Ski Town, U.S.A.

    Competition Services will add additional B-Fence Safety Netting to its fence inventory. The new safety fence will aid in maintaining the highest safety levels necessary for hosting top-level and world-elite competitions on the mountain such as the upcoming FIS Alpine Races in December; the Disabled Alpine World Cup, Jan. 10-14; and the annual Cowboy Downhill, Jan. 18th.

  • Miscellaneous: Upgrades to kitchen equipment and facilities in Gondola Joe's, Rendezvous Saddle, Stoker, Bear River, Four Points Hut and Ragnar's Restaurants; new carpet through the lower Gondola Building which houses the ticket office, Kids' Vacation Center, Lost & Found, Administration, and public facilities/restrooms; new resort village entry sign; snowmobiles; two-way radios; mountain bikes; warehouse heavy equipment; enhancements to ticket window audio/speaker system and security systems round out the capital improvements for the resort.

    SUMMER

  • Giggle Gulch Mini-Golf: Steamboat Ski Area unveiled Giggle Gulch, a new 18-hole miniature golf course at the base of the mountain. The course was built in response to the growing demand for miniature golf courses at mountain destination resorts and features split level holes and water features, with stunning views of Mt. Werner. With its hand-selected landscape and accessibility to the mountain, Giggle Gulch was created to inspire, challenge and keep its players coming back. Jim Schneider, vice president-skier services, designed the course with manufacturer COST of Wisconsin, the industry leader in mini-golf course construction.

    The course is the latest edition to the Gondola Square Adventure Zone, which features an expanding collection of activities for summer enthusiasts, including a kids' fun-house mini-bounce trampoline, the popular Slingshot Bungee Jump, East Face Climbing Wall and nine-hole disc golf course.

    YAMPA VALLEY REGIONAL AIRPORT (HDN)
    Phase II Improvement Plan: First and last impressions of Steamboat, the most conveniently accessed ski resort in the Rocky Mountains, continue to be enhanced as significant improvements take place to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport during a multi-million, three-phase improvement project. Phase I, completed in 2003, included a 4,300-square-foot ticket counter expansion and a new and updated exterior appearance for the facility that tied all architectural elements together. This summer, the TSA baggage check will move behind the ticket counter, streamlining the check-in process for departing passengers. Planned future improvements for Phase II (05/06) include: a new ticketing wing, expanded gate areas and curbside check-in, road realignment, new jet apron and de-icing pad. For Phase III, scheduled improvements are remodeled passenger and baggage claim areas and parking lot upgrades.

    The majority of these upgrades are funded through AIP Federal Grants. Steamboat features non-stop winter jet service from nine major US cities and one-stop connecting service from more than a hundred other domestic and international cities on American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United Airlines. Steamboat/Hayden (HDN) Airport is just 22 miles/35kms from the ski area. Despite the abundance of snow, over 30 feet annually in Steamboat, the airport has very few diversions caused by weather.

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