Steamboat Ski Area gets county approval for new Four Points dining facility

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— Steamboat Ski Area has tentative plans to replace the existing Four Points Hut at 9,700 feet on Mount Werner as soon as this summer with a two-story building that would allow for a new dining concept and more seating.

“This is a facility that we really need. … The second story is like a Whole Foods cafeteria with made-to-order salads and a pasta station,” Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Vice President of Resort Services Jim Snyder told an audience of about 25 business leaders at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Business Outlook Breakfast on Tuesday.

The Routt County Planning Commission gave final approval for the project Feb. 21, Planning Director Chad Phillips said. Because the current plan does not vary significantly from a conceptual plan that already was approved in the 2004 ski area planned unit development, it will not have to go to the Routt County Board of Commissioners for approval, Phillips said.

“There was no opposition during the public hearing, and a lot of planning commissioners who are familiar with the (Four Points Hut) were glad to see it come through,” he added.

Although Ski Corp. officials would like to build the new lodge this summer, Snyder said, final corporate approval has not been given.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll start in April and have it open for ski season, but it’s quite a tight timeline,” he said.

Steamboat Ski Area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said, “We’re still steps away. We’re waiting to hear what projects we can go forward with this summer.”

The current Four Points Hut allows limited indoor seating with more seating on an outside deck. It would be demolished and replaced with the new Four Points Lodge, with more bathroom facilities on the main level and seating for 200 on the second level.

Innovative systems planned for the restaurant include a powerful dishwasher that dramatically will reduce food solids in gray water and facilitate using reusable dishes, glasses and utensils at Four Points. There also are plans to use a system that will bring cold outside air inside to work in coolers and freezers in the restaurant.

The lodge will include a retail shop and a bar with windows looking up the ski mountain, Snyder added.

Phillips said the Planning Commission approved the new Four Points for evening and non-ski season hours, and Snyder said evening operations will be facilitated by a snow taxi that will ferry guests by appointment back to the upper gondola terminal at Thunderhead.

During the summer, Four Points will be available for parties and weddings on the large deck.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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