Steamboat Springs Steamboat Ski Area is moving forward with its plan to launch night skiing at the base of Mount Werner during the upcoming winter season, city officials said Tuesday night.
City Manager Deb Hinsvark told the Steamboat Springs City Council that the ski area is working through the city's planning process on the project that first was revealed in April.
The ski area plans to host public meetings to discuss the lighting and its potential impacts.
Planning Director Tyler Gibbs added that the plan could be heard by Steamboat's planning commission early next month.
Ski area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten told the Steamboat Today in the spring that night skiing could lure more skiers to town.
“As a resort known for family activities, night skiing seems like an excellent opportunity to further our guest experience,” she said. “The promenade enhanced the guest experience here. The Four Points (Lodge) will do that, and night skiing could potentially be another way to enhance it.”
Kasten said Wednesday that public input will be important as the project progresses.
"We want to let the community know about this really interesting tech we're looking into that would create an exceptional skiing experience but avoid excess light pollution," Kasten said.
As the project moves closer to reality, City Council member Sonja Macys said she was anxious for community members to be able to weigh in during the public forums.
“People in close proximity to the ski area are getting concerned about this,” Macys said. “I have my own concerns about the impact night skiing at the ski area will have on Howelsen Hill."
Howelsen is one of only a few ski areas in the state that offer nighttime skiing. Keystone Resorts added the amenity in 1985, and officials there said it has proven to be a popular attraction.
City officials who attended a small-scale test of the lights at the ski area said they would be much lower to the ground than the lights that illuminate the city-owned Howelsen Hill, put out less light pollution and better define the slopes.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com
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