Steamboat Springs Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President Chris Diamond said this week the ski area will accelerate the usual pace at which it begins to phase out operations of some of its on-mountain restaurants, in an effort to control costs.
"We always scale back this time of year," Diamond said. But some of the restaurants have been accelerated by a week. We'll make sure it won't affect our guests."
Diamond observed that jets flying in and out of Yampa Valley Regional Airport Saturday and Sunday, the final weekend of ski season service, will be arriving empty and leaving full.
"We're going to manage the ramp down," to conserve expenses, Diamond said.
The ski area's last day of operation is April 15, Easter Sunday.
Ski Area spokesman Mike Lane said skiers can expect to see some lifts close down in the coming week as well.
Typically, those are lifts for which there are alternatives. Candidates to close in the coming week include Bar-U-E, Headwall, Christie II, Pony Express, and the Rough Rider poma lift.
Lane pointed out that although Pony Express is the primary means of accessing terrain on Pioneer Ridge, skiers can still get there via the Storm Peak Express. Decisions to close lifts will be based on snow conditions and skier demand, Lane added.
Steamboat Director of Skier Services Jim Schneider reported that the Perfect Turn ski school will continue to offer all of its various clinics, but not as frequently as demand dictates.
Lane said the ranks of ski instructors at the resort typically dwindles this time of year anyway, as some instructors transition to different jobs, and some leave because of reduced demand for their services.
Snow grooming activities are always less regular during spring conditions, Lane said.
He predicted the groomers would be out in force Thursday night, packing the fresh snow that fell during the day.
On nights when existing wet spring snow doesn't freeze, less grooming is carried out, he added.
The schedule for winding up food and beverage operations on the ski mountain reflects that fine dining restaurants, Ragnar's and Hazie's, will serve their last dinners of the season March 31. Saturday is also the last day for the Western Barbecue at Thunderhead.
Closing for the season on Sunday will be lunch service at Ragnar's and the second level cafeteria at Rendezvous Saddle.
The main level of the Rendezvous cafeteria will remain open through April 15.
Food service at the Four Points hut will either close April 1 or 8, according to Lane. Hazie's is scheduled to continue serving lunch until April 8. Evening tubing underneath the Preview chairlift will continue through Saturday, weather permitting.
Food service facilities that will continue operating through closing day include BK Corral cafeteria, the Stoker at the top of Thunderhead, Express Oh!, and the Bear River Bar and Grill.