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posted: 12/18/2002
by Bill Kerig

North-facing, well-gladed, and dotted with powdery fluff bumps, Steamboat offers the triple threat of Colorado skidom. The nightlife follows suit with a triple threat of cowboy bars, chic eateries, and dance-your-spurs-off nightclubs. You also won't find a better male-to-female ratio in any Colorado mountain town outside Aspen.

The Joe
Check your e-mail for free and linger over a breakfast burrito at Mocha Molly's. Run by a coven of self-described saucy vixens, Molly's roasts its own coffee and will "touch your beans"(their words) with only the lovingest of hands. The Celebes Kolossi, from the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, casts a wicked spell. Don't bother asking for Molly, though; she cashed out years ago. (635 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-0587)

If the feel-good live entertainment on the deck at the Slopeside Grill doesn't patch up the ego holes that Steamboat's relentless bumps drilled into you, get militant with an Irish Car Bomb (shots of Jameson's Irish Whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream dropped into a pint of Guinness). You'll feel impervious again in no time. (Torian Plaza at the base, 970-879-2916,

Just the calories: For killer brick-oven 'za, a continuous pie-tossing show, and the best stromboli in town, sidle up to Cugino's Pizzeria on Oak Street. (970-879-5805)
Put Some Sauce on That: Watch U.S. Ski Team Nordic jumpers launch off of Howelsen Hill from the comfort of your table at the Steamboat Yacht Club. The Lamb Wellington will have your taste buds soaring. (811 Yampa Ave., 907-879-4774,

Up All Night
Apéritif: Don't let the pedestrian name of The Tap House fool you. The Black-Eyed Billy (Raspberry Stoli and Rick's Hard Lemonade in a 23-ounce glass) or the Bubbarita (Corazon Blanco tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice in a pint glass) will turn a calm night into a stampede. (729 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-2431)
Suds: The Tugboat has the pool table, framed photos, and live music you'd expect from a ski-town shot-in-a-beer joint, but the locals here sip the heavily marketed chilled Orange Stoli. Guess even the 'Boat bows to Madison Avenue. (Ski Time Square, 970-879-7070)
Shaken, Not Stirred: Squeeze into a nook of the swank six-seat Café Diva bar and clean your fuel injectors with a chilled espresso-tini; it'll give you the buzz you need to bust loose later. (Torian Plum building, 970-871-0508,
Live Music & Dance: Don't worry about finding the beat at the cavernous, top-floor Levelz dance club. It'll find you. The speakers are so powerful and bass-heavy, the music literally moves you, and there's nothing superfluous (like furniture or ferns) to soak up the sound waves. (1860 Ski Time Square, 970-870-9090,

Hitchhiker: Pass the time between après and late night with a soak in the hot tub at The Nordic Lodge. Located downtown, the Nordic makes your nocturnal adventures that much more convenient. And for $58 a room, you'll have money left over for breakfast. (970-879-0531)
Workin' Stiff: Pushing through the turn-of-the-century brass front doors makes you feel like you're going upmarket, but with rates from $100 to $205, the Harbor Hotel brings off a Ritz feel at Holiday Inn prices. (800-543-8888)
Bank robber: Every one of the 328 rooms in the tony Steamboat Grand offers posh western décor, but it's the heated outdoor pool where you can sip a cold import that makes the place. Rates range from $150 to $2,500 a night. (970-871-5500, steamboat

For the Boys Back Home
Bring home a string of buckshot Christmas lights from F.M. Light & Sons downtown. For $20 your redneck-minded buds can drrape a glowing set of fake shotgun shells over the Christmas tree, the rebel flag, or the refrigerator on the front porch. (335 Lincoln Ave., 800-824-8426,

Bust Out The Plastic:
Glide into the velvet-walled Café Diva at the base and start your night with Veuve Clicquot champagne by the glass. Four years ago, hosts and owners Seth Cheikin and Paul Underwood started the place with six tables, a bar, and two Coleman camp stoves. Today the Diva fires up the best elk tenderloin in the valley. (Torian Plum building, 970-871-0508,

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