Steamboat Springs Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. is rewarding skiers and snowboarders who carpool and help take the pressure off its primary parking lot Saturday.
Steamboat is anticipating a busy three days as Valentine's Day and Presidents Day weekend overlap. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association expects 12,500 guests to spend Saturday night in area lodges and hotels.
"The resort expects to see a lot of activity at the Meadows parking lot," said Mike DeGroff, vice president of resort services for Steamboat Ski Area. "I encourage powderhounds, not only this weekend but throughout the entire season, to use the free (Steamboat Springs Transit) bus or their lodging property shuttle. If you need to drive, please share the ride with friends, family or co-workers."
Each adult arriving at the Meadows parking lot Saturday in a vehicle occupied by two or more will receive a coupon good for a free beverage (hot chocolate, coffee or 20-ounce dispenser soft drink) at mountain dining venues.
Ski area spokesman Mike Lane confirmed that the Meadows Lot has been filled to capacity on two or three occasions this winter. In those cases, arriving skiers were directed to park and catch a shuttle at the Doak Walker Care Center lot.
Vice President of Skier Services Jim Schneider previously told the Steamboat Today that the capacity of the Meadows lot declines as snow is plowed from parking spaces and stored on the margins.
The ski area added 350 spaces to the lot this summer, bringing the total to 1,300. The circulation pattern for shuttle vans also was changed to reduce congestion.
"The expansion over the summer, coupled with the restructured shuttle lanes and new parking alignment has maximized the lot and improved the overall parking experience, generally the first and last impression for many people," Lane said.
Beverage coupons may be redeemed through Monday at Thunderhead Food Court, Rendezvous Food Court, Four Points Hut, Gondola Joe's and Geano's.