Steamboat Ski Area to brief City Council on night skiing plans that include new run for Winter Sports Club
May 30, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Ski Area will brief the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night about its future plans for night skiing that include illuminating the Preview run for night lessons and creating a new lighted trail exclusively for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
The ski area is proposing to add a new ski trail on the southern edge of See Ya that would be used exclusively by the sports club for Alpine training, including at night.
The new trail would require the addition of new light poles down the south side of the trail.
A development proposal currently is being reviewed by the city.
“We are also in the very early stages of developing a plan to light the Preview trail to address demand we are seeing for night ski school lessons,” Doug Allen, the ski area’s vice president of mountain operations, wrote in a letter to the City Council.
The successes and complications of the ski area’s first season of night skiing also will be up for discussion.
Ski area officials will tell the council that the lights on the mountain exceeded their expectations and brought new energy to the base area.
“Our modest expectations were for perhaps two to three hundred skiers a night while energizing the base area,” Allen wrote. “As the season progressed we saw this number increase to over four hundred skiers per night peaking in March over five hundred.”
The City Council required the upcoming update from the ski area as part of its approval of night skiing last year.
Some residents at the base of the ski area asked the council not to approve the lights because of their potential impact.
In his letter, Allen addresses the ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of the lights on nearby residences.
He wrote that lights mounted on Christie Peak Express lift towers “proved to be unpleasant for some of the home owners in the Bear Claw and Edgemont condominiums.”
“Our installation of this new lighting, provided by Ultra Tech, was their first major project and with their lack of experience with lighting systems of this magnitude they were not prepared to assist us with this situation during the early winter months,” Allen wrote.
Allen said that in March, engineers produced new rectangular fixtures that will better shield the light and will resolve the issue before the start of the next ski season.
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