Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. has contracted with a designer to give its largest on-mountain dining facility a new look. And visiting skiers will have the chance to view material boards this winter.
But most of the remodeling won't be complete until the ski season of 2003-04.
Steamboat Food and Beverage Manager Josh Brustin confirmed this week that the Denver firm of Melick and Associates, which has worked with several other mountain resorts, has been retained to consult on the project.
The improvements to the BK Corral cafeteria on the third floor of Thunderhead at the top of the gondola, represent a portion of a $2 million capital improvement plan originally announced for the 2002-03 season on July 23.
Ski area spokeswoman Cathy Wiedemer said some of the improvements to BK Corral will be complete in time for this winter, but many will be accomplished next summer.
When complete, the renovation of BK Corral is scheduled to include new lighting, furniture, new refuse and recycling receptacles, a sandwich station, and new cooking equipment. The resort's full-service dining facilities, Hazie's and Ragnar's, will also see improvements with new paint, upgraded culinary equipment in both kitchens, reupholstered sleighs and new carpet in Ragnar's.
Other portions of the capital improvements are on schedule for this winter, Wiedemer said.
Work is currently under way on improved snowmaking capabilities in Bashor Bowl, where the terrain park and Mavericks Superpipe are. One snowmaking line is being replaced, and a new line is also being installed.
Improvements at Mavericks are schedule to include a new music sound system. Wiedemer said another addition is being contemplated a video camera system may be installed so the action in the superpipe can be fed to the ski area Web page.
Steamboat's Web page is undergoing a general overhaul that will allow various department heads to fine tune their own section of the ski area's Internet presence.
Some of the most important capital projects to ski area staff members are not necessarily the most glamorous.
Central Reservations is now using "Best Fare Finder" technology developed in Steamboat exclusively for American Skiing Company to help guests find the best available airfares into Steamboat.
The software provides sales agents with "Orbitz-like" access to fares and inventory from a variety of sources, including privately negotiated fares.
Other information systems projects include new, upgraded printers at all season pass stations; 45 new computers in the ticket office and Steamboat Central Reservations; and four new servers and two new ethernet switches to improve network performance.
More visible this winter will be the new "Bombardier Blower," which will allow snow-grooming crews driving a snow cat to redistribute snow from the edges of trails back into the center of the runs.
The new machine is intended to dramatically reduce the time it will take to build the super pipe, as well as maintain surfaces in high traffic areas.
Wiedemer said the blower attachment is currently in a shop in Grand Junction and is being adapted to fit one of the ski area's snow cats.