Fireworks explode over Howelsen Hill during the 2014 Winter Carnival. A new training area planned at Steamboat Ski Area for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club had some Steamboat Springs City Council members wondering about the club's future at Howelsen Hill.

Photo by Scott Franz

Fireworks explode over Howelsen Hill during the 2014 Winter Carnival. A new training area planned at Steamboat Ski Area for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club had some Steamboat Springs City Council members wondering about the club's future at Howelsen Hill.

Winter Sports Club tells Steamboat City Council that Howelsen continues to be home

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— When the Steamboat Springs City Council first learned the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club was planning a new training area on Mount Werner, some concerned council members wondered what this meant for the club's future at Howelsen Hill.

"My initial concern was that we were going to find (Howelsen) still being utilized by the Sports Club, but less and less," council member Scott Ford said Friday. "You certainly want that facility as utilized as possible."

Officials with the ski area and the club recently told the council the new training area isn't the start of any sort of departure from the city's ski hill.

"We view Howelsen Hill as our home and hope that the city and the community continue to support our being here," Winter Sports Club Director Jim Boyne recently wrote to the council.

He said that at this time, the Winter Sports Club's new Alpine training venue on Mount Werner will not have an impact on Howelsen other than to make the city's ski hill less congested during the training hours there.

"Even if we enhanced our Alpine training at Mount Werner, we would like to increase our hours of training at Howelsen Hill," Boyne wrote. "We are also discussing ways to improve training for snowboard and free skiing at Howelsen Hill, as well as provide better access to Mile Run."

During an update about the success of night skiing on Mount Werner, Doug Allen, the ski area's vice president of mountain operations, also told the council the training area would not negatively impact Howelsen.

The proposed new ski run for the club at Steamboat Ski Area earned unanimous approval from the city's planning commission earlier this month.

The proposal is to regrade and create a new trail along the See Ya trail.

The area would be lit and would be closed to the public because it will be groomed differently to better accommodate racing.

Ford, one of the three council members who had asked about the club's future intentions earlier this month, said he was satisfied with the response from the club.

"It causes me no heartburn," he said. "It probably enhances our overall training of a variety of athletes who compete."

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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