Steamboat Springs Improvements to the Steamboat Ski Area will become more visible in coming weeks, as Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. officials say on-mountain improvements - at a cost of $16 million - are on schedule for the Nov. 21 opening of the 2007-08 season.
"As we get into September, people will start to see a lot more things taking shape," Ski Corp. spokesman Michael Lane said Friday. "Most of the work so far has been done up high."
Lane said Ski Corp. is more than halfway through a total regrade of the Headwall area that slopes to the ski base.
Other improvements on Headwall include the dismantling and removal of the Southface and Headwall chairlifts, realigning the Preview lift, utility work on the south side of the Headwall slopes and groundwork just below the Bear Claw property.
Lane said Headwall will be revegetated with grass this fall after the regrade is complete, which could comfort those who worried that Headwall would be a muddy mess come ski season.
The construction of the new Christie Peak Express - a six-passenger, high-speed Leitner-Poma lift - also is progressing. Lane said the foundation is being poured for the mid-mountain lift station and that helicopters will be installing lift towers sometime in September. Helicopters have to be used to install lift towers in environmentally sensitive areas.
While the Headwall work is expected to be complete in time for opening day, Lane said the Christie Peak Express won't be open until mid-December. Contractors have been working seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, all summer to prepare for the opening.
Public improvements at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area also are taking shape. Lane said he expects culvert work in the Burgess Creek area to wrap up soon.
Joe Kracum, redevelopment coordinator for the city of Steamboat Springs' multiyear, $23 million redevelopment of public infrastructure at the base area, said an existing 60-inch culvert running underground from Slopeside Grill to the future site of One Steamboat Place is being replaced with a 78-inch culvert.
"It's on schedule for sure," Kracum said. "And we should be finished by October for sure."
Kracum said city sidewalk and landscaping projects also are on schedule.
"Our intent is to connect the Gondola Transit Center to Ski Time Square with a sidewalk," Kracum said.
That project is scheduled for completion Nov. 16, but Kracum said he expects it done before that date. One Steamboat Place construction, which has significantly altered traffic in the Gondola Transit Center area, should not be a headache come ski season, said project director Jim Wells of Carbondale-based Timbers Resorts.
"It'll be all reconfigured and complete before the snow flies," Wells said. "That's why they're doing it now."
Wells said a reconfiguration of the transit center will add new drop-off points to help alleviate the loss of a parking lot at the gondola building. He said the work should be done by the end of September.
Lane said there has been good coordination and communication between Ski Corp.'s projects, other private projects and the city's work.
"Things are going pretty well," Lane said. "It's a big project with a lot of different contractors working in a small space."
Wells agreed. He said communication has been a powerful tool in preventing all the different projects from getting in the way of one another.
"We meet pretty regularly, usually once a week for coordination meetings," Wells said. "It's worked really well."