Steamboat Resort has announced plans to expand the resort and build what would be the longest, 8 person gondola in North America. Named the Wild Blue Gondola, the proposed lift would feature 8 person cabins and run 3.16 miles from the established base area to the top of the popular, Sunshine Peak. According to a release from Steamboat Resort, “the new 8-Person Gondola would be the longest in North America, surpassing Silver Mountain’s Gondola at 3.1 miles.”
The Gondola would also include a mid-station at the Bashor Bowl learning area for a newly imagined ski school staging area. While the lower section of the gondola route has already received previous approval from the US Forest Service, the upper sections have yet to be approved. If approved, the uphill capacity at northern Colorado’s premiere ski resort would increase from 6,000 people an hour to 10,000 people an hour.
Steamboat Master Plan Proposed Improvements:
- 3.16 mile, 8 Person Gondola | Wild Blue Gondola
- 650 new acres of skiable terrain in the Fish Creek Falls, Pioneer Ridge areas
- Sunshine Peak Restaurant
- Snow making, terrain improvements
In conjunction with the new gondola, the resort is hoping to remove the antiquated 2-person, Priest Creek Chairlift and improve the 4 person Sundown Chairlift, which would be upgraded to a “a more efficient and higher capacity chairlift.”
Upper Gondola With Proposed Sunshine Peak Restaurant
Lower Gondola With Bashor Bowl Access
In addition to the new gondola and other lift improvements, Steamboat Resort is also in the Environmental Assessment phase of approval for a proposed expansion of 650 acres in the Fish Creek Falls area and Pioneer Ridge areas. The added terrain would make Steamboat Resort the second largest ski area in all of Colorado. Steamboat President, Rob Perlman remains optimistic about the future of Northern Colorado’s premiere ski resort thanks to the support of parent company, Alterra Mountain Company. “Alterra recognizes Steamboat’s potential” says Perlman.
Exactly when that potential might be realized is another question but Perlman says they’ll continue to work with Alterra, the USFS, and other stakeholders so that when the funding for the projects becomes available, they’ll be ready to begin construction in earnest. Other projects included in the Steamboat Resort Master Development Plan include expanded snow making and water reservoir infrastructure along with a new Sunshine Peak Restaurant.
Ski.com will continue to update this story.