Steamboat Springs Bringing cross-country skiing to Haymaker Golf Course seemed like a “well, duh” kind of decision to Steamboat Ski Area officials and their partner on the project, Birgitta Lindgren, and now the Yampa River Valley is on the verge of adding another Nordic touring center and 10 new kilometers of groomed trails to its repertoire.
Haymaker will open as a touring center Dec. 20, operated jointly by Steamboat Ski Area and Lindgren’s Steamboat Ski Touring Center. The new facility will offer a shop selling and renting gear, lessons and lunch at the Haymaker Patio Grill, which already is operated by Steamboat Ski Area during the summer and, in the winter for sleigh rides.
“It is an opportunity to add to the expansive off-mountain activities that the entire community offers,” ski area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said Friday. “That’s one of the reasons Steamboat is continually ranked as one of the best ski resorts in the country, that there’s so much to do in addition to skiing and riding. We love to have that collaborative effort with the community and this will compliment the Nordic terrain already out there for our guests.”
The main draw of the new trails will be their relative ease, more than 6 miles of groomed courses across the undulating terrain of the golf course. It won’t be steep as other in-town terrain at the Touring Center or Howelsen Hill. With daily group and private lessons available, it should be an ideal stop for tourists looking for a day away from the lifts. And with all that new trail, it should be worth a look to experienced locals, too.
“We encourage everyone locally to ski everywhere, and they’ll enjoy coming out to ski at Haymaker, as well,” Lindgren said.
The center will be served daily by shuttles from Gondola Transit Center. Group lessons will cost $45 and go off daily at 10:15 a.m. An adult daily pass will cost $18 while a child can ski for $12. A four-day pass, meanwhile, will go for $64, and a season pass for $195.
Those who already have the Valley Pass or a season pass to the Touring Center, Catamount or Howelsen can add Haymaker for $99.
For Lindgren, who will cover the lessons with her current staff, the opportunity was one to be seized. She’s hoping the ski area’s marketing power can pull in tourists who may have never made the trip to her current location, on Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course, and that Haymaker’s flat terrain can give those potential customers a chance to to learn to love the sport the way they may never on the limited novice terrain the Rollingstone course offers.
“I’m positive about it. I’m excited about it,” she said. “This will be a very good partnership, and we can make both places even better.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9