An artist rendering included in the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission's agenda for Aug. 8 shows what Steamboat Ski Area would look like at night with the new lights.

Courtesy rendering

An artist rendering included in the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission's agenda for Aug. 8 shows what Steamboat Ski Area would look like at night with the new lights.

Night skiing gets final approval from Steamboat Springs City Council

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council is on board with night skiing.

“We're pumped and jazzed for this skiing,” council member Scott Myller said shortly before the council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve Steamboat Ski Area's plan to light 1,100 vertical feet of terrain in time for the upcoming winter season. “We've got condos that are ski in and ski out, and I swear in 10 years we're going to be marketing night skiing in real estate ads for those units.”

Reader poll

Will you night ski at Steamboat Ski Area?

  • Yes 46%
  • No 54%

435 total votes.

Reader poll

Do you have concerns about noise or light pollution stemming from Steamboat Ski Area’s plan to add night skiing?

  • Yes, I have concerns about noise and light pollution. 35%
  • Yes, I have concerns about noise pollution. 1%
  • Yes, I have concerns about light pollution. 11%
  • No, I don’t have concerns about either noise or light pollution. 53%

369 total votes.

The lighting project will allow skiers to ride down five trails from the top of Christie Peak Express after the sun sets.

Doug Allen, the ski area's vice president of mountain operations, told the council Tuesday night that a ticket for the new amenity is likely to be an additional add on to a season pass and separate from daily lift tickets.

The ski area plans to initially offer night skiing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, extending those hours to 9:30 p.m. in the spring and to 11 p.m. for some special events.

The approval for the amenity came after several community members voiced their support and opposition to the plan.

Most of the 14 people who spoke to the council at Tuesday's meeting embraced the idea and said it has the potential to further revitalize a base area that seems deserted after dark.

“I speak in favor of this proposal on behalf of the 65 Chamber members I have at the base area,” Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Tom Kern told the council. “Those Chamber members have gone through some challenging times especially as a result of development decisions made (at the base area) in 2005. Anything this council and community can do to increase economic activity would be appreciated by them.”

Steamboat attorney Melinda Sherman, who represented the homeowners at the Edgemont and Bear Claw condominiums that border the ski area, spoke in opposition to the plan.

She said the amenity has the potential to severely impact property values, and the ski area should be required to test the lights to show their full impact before the plan is approved.

Several residents of the two condominium complexes wrote to the council asking it to not approve the plan, saying it would bring unwanted noise and light pollution to the area.

The ski area did recently work with the condo owners to minimize the amenity's impact.

Under the approved plan, the light poles that are closest to the residences will be lowered from the proposed 30 feet to 25 feet.

To further appease the property owners that will be most impacted by night skiing, the City Council agreed to hold a public forum in June 2014 to discuss how the new amenity is performing.

Night skiing will place Steamboat on a small list of Colorado resorts that offer riding after dark.

It also comes after about $35 million in public and private funds have been dedicated to updating the base of the ski area in the past six years.

Rob Perlman, the ski area's senior vice president of marketing, reminded the audience in Centennial Hall that the ski industry is a hyper-competitive environment.

“With the Four Points Lodge and night skiing, we are making significant improvements to attract more guests to Steamboat,” he said. “In the eyes of Intrawest and our guests, we have the wind at our back.”

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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Comments

walt jones 1 year, 4 months ago

“We're pumped and jazzed for this skiing,” council member Scott Myller..."

Really a 40ish year old city/community representative talks like a kid in high school. Real classy.

1

cindy constantine 1 year, 4 months ago

YAY, Council!! I am especially impressed that the vote was unanimous - - - -

0

jerry carlton 1 year, 4 months ago

It comes as a real shock that season pass holders will be charged extra for night skiing.

4

Brian Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

I agree with Jerry, I was all in, but its a bit disappointing that my season pass will not cover it.

3

Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

I am glad that they are going ahead with this decision and I think it will be a good thing for the community. ( finally a decision that makes sense..IMO..). We already pay the most at almost twice what other ski areas charge for a ski pass. (over $1000). It will be very disapointing if they decided to rake the locals pass holders for more money considering that the community could have thrown a dagger into this, delaying it indefinately. Intrawest realy needs to consider giving back to the locals in some way and not coupons or vouchers but offering a more reasonable approach to affordable skiing somehow. Sticking us with more money out of pocket seems greedy. More then likely they will try to charge us any way because they can. Lets hope that if they do, they will charge something like $50 onto our pass for unlimited night skiing and not try to seperate it from season pass holders..

3

rhys jones 1 year, 4 months ago

Good for City Council!! The people spoke, and they listened. Thank you contributors too.

Re/cost, a night surcharge to passholders comes as no surprise -- there will be added costs to Ski Corp, to be spread among the users of the service, that's what business is about... and a quick Google of comparable rates puts Steamboat somewhere in the middle of the pack: Telluride gets $1098 right now, $1950 as of 11/2; Aspen offers a variety of plans, and their full unrestricted pass (4 mountains) is $1649 right now, $1939 after 9/13, $1999 after 11/8... and by far the best deal -- which has night skiing at several locations -- is the Epic Pass, where you can ski Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Canyons, A-Basin, Eldora, Afton Alps (Ya Dan) and Mt. Brighton, 5 days at Verbier, Switzerland, and 5 consecutive days at Arlburg, Austria, for $689. Heck, if you can afford to GET to all those places, you can probably afford to ski there.

Steamboat is an island of sorts, geographically isolated from the competition, and offering a unique product (not to say there isn't good skiing at a LOT of places) so I don't think our rates are unreasonable, even including a night surcharge (depending on what it is, of course).

For some reason, however, the best turns are free. I paid cash for my pass two years ago, that terrible year, have gotten many Merchant Passes -- yet somehow the best years are the years I work for The Company. Plus you get a locker too, as valuable as the pass.

Jerry -- I think the Rockies are toast this year, no way will they catch the Dodgers or get a wild card... sure glad we've got our Broncos back, and not too long 'til Nuggets season... you going to be in Havasu again this winter?

0

Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

Scott Myller said “We've got condos that are ski in and ski out, and I swear in 10 years we're going to be marketing night skiing in real estate ads for those units.”

Well, more demonstration of terrible analytical skills by the city council.

I think it falls within what a business should be allowed to try, but expecting it to be big success shows a basic lack of analytical skills. It is a well known idea and nothing new. It is not a hot trend taking over the industry. It is proven to be popular among young people seeking value and local working people. It is popular at lower end value oriented ski resorts. Vail Resorts offers at their resorts with the cheapest passes. Night skiing is typically included in the day's lift ticket.

SB has been targeting a wealthier customer base and a wealthier, 30+ old, destination skier is tired after a day of skiing and wants to ski premier conditions, not at night when it is cold on hard snow. If there becomes any hint that daytime skiing conditions are being affected by night skiing then they risk alienating their primary customers. It is an added cost. Those reasons is why night skiing is generally not offered at premier destination ski resorts.

Ski Corps is not even offering night skiing as an increased value to the skier as it typical, but is expecting to charge for it as another way to extract more money from their customers.

It will probably be popular at the start as people give it a try and then it will fall off quickly. It probably won't last more than a couple of years.

0

rhys jones 1 year, 4 months ago

Better listen, Ski Corp -- He Who Knows All has Spoken. All your market research, customer surveys, investment capital -- WASTED. Your plan is a lark, you have been warned. By a Marketing (and Everything Else) Genius. Anybody who says "Those reasons is why" has got my confidence. Look at all those OTHER night operations that folded up their tents, development money, wasted.

Myself, I look forward to taking a few runs after work, now that the lifts don't all close at 4-ish. I'm predicting a much brighter future for night skiing here.

0

Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

By creating a night skiing ticket, they are not expecting destination skiers on a day lift ticket to spend yet more money that day skiing. Since they are looking to charge for it then it is being aimed at people like you - locals with jobs that would like to get in some skiing.

Maybe it will get enough locals to make it work, but it won't be a draw for destination skiers. It certainly will not be used in ads for real estate.

0

cindy constantine 1 year, 4 months ago

Scott--For you to make a comment like "it won't be a draw for destination skiers" is simply wrong and out of line until it has an opportunity to be tried. I can only think that you get out of bed on the wrong side 9 days out of 10--- so if you don't mind me saying PUT ON LID ON IT FOR GAWDS SAKE!!

0

cindy constantine 1 year, 4 months ago

And further, I grew up skiing lots of nights and quite a few of those were WARMER and less windy than the afternoon skiing. Skiers as a whole are pretty fit people, even those of us middle-aged. I can see paying an additional $100 for a 5 out of 7 day pass on a ski vacation. It seems to me many would like to get off the slopes at 2 p.m., have a hot tub, a nap, a meal then hit the slopes for a couple of nighttime hours. If you have never night skied, it can be magical, especially when it is snowing--so again PUT A LID ON YOUR UNFOUNDED OPINIONS!!

0

rhys jones 1 year, 4 months ago

How many times have I watched it snow all day, and thought "I won't even be able to touch this tomorrow, as early as I work..." No more!! BWA HA HA HA!!!

1

john bailey 1 year, 4 months ago

Oz of Zero knows of what he speaks....... get off the net and go outside.....my spot will be at the bottom of the pass. and yes Cindy night skiing is magical, under the full moon on a pass of your choice. you can't stop him tho we try , he'll explode and take out the county with em, jejeje.remember folks ,,, wash your hair and lets hula for the bike riders.~;0)

0

rhys jones 1 year, 4 months ago

Sage advice, O John... I have an insider's tip on the best place to partake in the races, downtown, for those of us vehicularly challenged... sorry, can't share it.

Funny how night skiing just got approved, and already The Fish has the marketing plan analyzed and critiqued, even before its announcement. Add "psychic" to the growing list of talents.

0

John Fielding 1 year, 4 months ago

.

I hope they don't keep a break in the schedules, shut down for a couple of hours between sessions. Many is the time in early spring I'd have been happy to pay for a couple of late afternoon hours. Skiing in the alpenglow is magical, done it at Park City and Powder Ridge.

.

0

Cresean Sterne 1 year, 3 months ago

I feel some powder nights approaching and its fantastic. For those who work 9-5 it will be a blessing to go ski off a frustrated day at work. I to John hope there is no break between day and night schedules. The only thing that worries me are the 3-5 apres skiers shoveling down a few to many beers and then hitten the slopes. Gaper day, St Pat day, last day are the great few exceptions. Lets hope it doesnt become too much of an issue. Even though I dont want to pay extra to ski later, maybe charging an extra fee to ski nights will keep that to a minimum.

0

Scott Wedel 1 year, 3 months ago

Wow, merely stating why I predict that night skiing won't be a success sure bothers some people.

In six months it will be clear how well this is working out.

0

cindy constantine 1 year, 3 months ago

Re-read your posts, Scott. No where in your posts do you say "I predict . . . ." You state your opinion as if it were "fact" . . . . .typical!!

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 3 months ago

I will be curious as to the conditions of the runs used for night skiing. As there is really only one way to ski off the mountain those runs can get pretty skied off by the end of the day. Could make for some tough night skiing conditions.

0

jerry carlton 1 year, 3 months ago

Rhys I agree. Wait till next year for the Rockies. Broncos stunk it up in the second preseason game but it is preseason. I will be fishing and golfing this winter once again. I hope it snows 600 inches this year. The trees and the Colorado river need the water. We will see if firing George Karl was a good move. I doubt it myself but we will see.

0

rhys jones 1 year, 3 months ago

Jerry -- The Rockies need a new batting coach (at least) as they watch WAY too many strikes fly by. We need offense. I'd have my guys swinging at balls, as opposed to watching strikes. How 'bout that Rosario? Fastest Rockie ever to 50 HR's, a glimmer of hope.

I disagreed with many of George Karl's choices, like playing Gallo ("The Goose" for his layup style) so many minutes, with better talent on the bench -- or Kosta (glad he's gone) who can't catch a pass, while Javale warmed the bench (George likes his white guys) so I hope the starting 5 changes... but worse of a loss, in my mind, is Iggy the Defender, to Golden State no less -- THAT could come back to haunt us. But you're right, we'll see.

Dan -- I hope they're opening enough terrain, and traffic will be light enough, that ski-off will not be an issue, we get plenty of daytime snow to supplement, and the surreal snow definition of the subdued lighting is as I remember.

0

Mark Barounos 1 year, 3 months ago

Great that we will have night skiing, but truely shocked that there is even talk about charging season pass holders. Would be different if this was a locally owned ski resort, but no Intrawest is part of corporate america and looking for another excuse to extract yet more money from our wonderful community. It would be even more wonderful if we could just be shot of Intrawest and have the ski resort as an asset of Steamboat Springs, we would all be a lot better off.

0

Tim Keenan 1 year, 3 months ago

They're going to groom the runs between sessions, so they shouldn't be too badly banged up.

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 3 months ago

I see the hours are going to be 6:30 - 8:30 so if they can get the late afternoon revellers down from Stokers ( I can remember stopping at Ottmar's Hut - Zermatt for a couple of late afternoon libations and skiing down in the twilight - lot of fun) they may be able to get the runs groomed. Will be curious to see how much they will charge for 2 hours of skiing. Might not be a bad idea to allow season pass holders to ski at night at no extra charge for a couple years and get them "hooked". Kind of like going to Costco and getting free samples. Always fun to see the number of shoppers carts with the products that were given out as free samples. More night skiers might help keep the base establishments busier as well. If night skiing turns out to be a hit they will most likely be able to tack an add on to season passes in a couple years. If it's a bust at least they had more night skiers because it was "free" to pass holders. Agree with Rhys on cost of our pass. While it can be difficult to choke down $979 + $50 to add Winter Park, it is certainly less then the likes of Telluride, Aspen, Jackson Hole - although J.H. has 50% off lift tickets at some other resorts included. The Epic pass is bargain priced comparatively and even includes the alps - that's Afton Alps, but there can be a lot of people skiing at those ski areas compared to here.

0

Cresean Sterne 1 year, 3 months ago

Aspen I would expect to be expensive. Jackson hole is in a different league then Stmbt and has a tram just like snowbird which is also expensive. I did not realize that Telluride was up there but they got the locals by the balls as well becuse if there location.

0

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 3 months ago

Snowbird $999 if purchased before Sept. 25 + these add ons 3 x complimentary tickets to Alta Ski Area, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Unlimited 1/2 price tickets to WhistlerBlackcomb, Aspen/Snowmass, Squaw/Alpine, Mammoth, & Jackson Hole

The combined Alta/Snowbird pass is $1499 before 9/25 and includes the same add ons

1

Bret Marx 1 year, 3 months ago

Now Walts complaining how people express there excitement. Geez what's wrong with "pumped and jazzed" says Walt, I mean Ward Clever. Lighten up

0

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