New technology makes for a smooth skiing experience.
Seven feet of snow. Bluebird days. Long soaks in the hot springs. Winter in Steamboat is here, and if you’re anything like me, that means skiing and snowboarding is on your mind 24/7. We’ve had a strong start to the snowfall season and some massive storms are lining up in the forecast, so you know that the Champagne Powder® is waiting for you. But what about the rest of the skiing experience at Steamboat?
Well, the ski area has a few new tricks up its sleeve this year that add to the perfect day on the slopes.
The big news of the 2015-16 is new QuickTrax™ lift access system featuring radio frequency identification technology. In English, this new update means you don’t have to take your pass out of your pocket for it to be scanned. That’s right, no more fiddling with outer layers or wrangling the little ones to show their tickets to the attendant. The Gondola, Thunderhead Express, Christie Peak Express and Preview lifts are all accessed by gate now, and from the warm depths of your pocket, the QuickTrax™ system scans your ticket and triggers the automatic gates to open for you.
Don’t worry, the addition of the automatic gates doesn’t mean Steamboat is going to the robots. Friendly lift attendant faces will still be on hand with warm smiles, plenty of mountain info and of course, whiteboard quiz questions.
An extra bonus of the RFID system: Your pass is now reusable over multiple seasons and can be reloaded with new ticket purchases online. That means less time on the ticket line and more time on the slopes.
Eat and go
Nothing works up an appetite like a powder day, and for those early morning first tracks missions, fueling up needs to be efficient and sufficient. Gone are the days of the mashed up granola bar in your pocket: the new Gondola Joe’s just steps away from the gondola has been expanded and enhanced to triple its size. With new fresh-baked goods, healthy menu options and perfectly-streamlined access to hot Starbucks Coffee, GoJoe’s is open at 7:30 every morning.
With a brand new, state-of-the-art groomer that boasts added efficiency and cleaner emissions, Steamboat’s snowmaking and grooming operations aim to be at the top of their game this season. Each summer, the mountain has been installing additional snowmaking pipe as well as purchasing newer and more energy efficient equipment all to ensure a pristine snow surface for the winter to come.
Not new, but still novelty, night skiing returns this winter. Starting on Dec. 11 and 12, the lights will shine on 1,100 vertical feet and five trails accessible by the Christie Peak Express. Night skiing continues Thursday through Monday starting Dec. 17 and running through the end of the season, with nightly access Dec. 25 to Jan. 4. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. for a skiing experience the whole family will love.
Mark your calendars now with this saturated Steamboat Ski Resort calendar, and take note of the expanded direct flights starting this month, coming to a city near you.
12/14-16 ........Billy Kidd Race Camp (Monday-Wednesday)
12/14-4/3 .......NASTAR Racing
12/15-3/24 .....Freestyle Clinic (Tuesday & Thursday)
12/15..............Alaska SEA Nonstop Flights Begin
12/17..............American ORD & DFW Nonstop Flights Begin
12/17..............United DEN, IAH & LAX Nonstop Flights Begin
12/17-4/3 .......Night Skiing & Riding (Thursday-Monday)
12/19..............Delta MSP and ATL Nonstop Flights Begin
12/19..............United EWR, SFO & IAD Nonstop Flights Begin
12/20-1/1 .......Signature Five & Teen Programs (Kids-Ski & Snowboard)
12/19-20 ........Holiday Classic (Howelsen Hill)
12/20..............Steamboat Holiday Festival
12/21-23 ........Billy Kidd Race Camp (Monday-Wednesday)
12/21-25 ........Kids Ski Weeks (Monday-Friday)
1/21-4/7 .........Sunset Happy Hour (Thursdays)
12/26..............Kids Torchlight Parade
12/26-1/4 .......Night Skiing & Riding (Nightly)
12/28-1/1 .......Kids Ski Weeks (Monday-Friday)
12/31..............Kids Torchlight Parade and Torchlight Parade & Fireworks
And that’s just this month. For more events click here.