Our View: Ski season success a tribute to resort workers
April 20, 2013
With another ski season in the books, it's appropriate to stop and thank the personnel at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. for a job well done in this the 50th anniversary season.
Whatever challenges come with each winter, the team at Ski Corp. always has demonstrated a resiliency in handling whatever comes its way. After an immensely challenging 2011-12 season, in which snowfall barely topped 200 inches, the ski area received 338 inches of snow this season, the 13th snowiest winter in 34 years of recording snowfall totals. It seems that every time a good snowstorm was needed, the snow gods delivered. It's a pattern that has continued even after the mountain closed.
But snowfall alone is never enough. Ski area success — and by extension the success of the rest of the community — is dictated by the courtesy and hospitality of the people who work at the resort. Visitors continue to score Steamboat high on friendliness and hospitality, and those traits — as much as snowfall — are what bring guests back.
Another key factor in the guest experience are the facilities. The public and private investment in the base of the ski area in recent years has been critical to keeping Steamboat among the top ski resorts in North America. The public promenade, the gondola from Wildhorse Meadows and the addition of major complexes like One Steamboat Place and Edgemont significantly have enhanced the experience of visiting Steamboat.
We hope that ski area and city officials keep that perspective in mind as they discuss future projects to be funded by the tax incremental financing in place at the base of the ski area. The brewing dispute between the members of the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee and the city, which flared some at last week's Steamboat Springs City Council meeting, serves no one's interest.
We'd be remiss if we didn't note how exciting it is to see construction start on the new Four Points Lodge. The new $5 million, 13,000-square-foot lodge will sit 9,700 feet above sea level and have room for 200 diners. The lodge is expected to open by Christmas.
The new facility will be a far cry from the now demolished hut, which offered little in the way of comfort for guests. The new lodge is exactly the kind of on mountain amenity that can enhance the guest experience and bring visitors back to the mountain.
The 50th season of Steamboat Ski Area is in the books, and by objective measurements of everything ranging from snowfall to retail sales, it was a success. For that, we can thank everyone who works in and around the resort.