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I am not a local, but I do love Steamboat. The mountain, the town and the people. The snow is the best. We have a condo and I have had a season pass for 10 or 11 years and I get to ski enough to make it pay. Here is my take on the declining numbers of folks flying in to ski.
We all know that flying since 911 sucks. The prices keep going up and the service goes down. The airlines strand you, charge for luggage that they then damage and lose for a couple days. This happens on flights to everywhere. The lift ticket prices in the Boat are too high, but they are in most major ski areas. I have listened to my friends who come to ski with us as well as comments from other skiers in conversations on lifts and when warming up.
So, why are folks (in my opinion) deciding to not fly into and ski Steamboat as much as other areas?
It’s about the mountain, the skiing, it’s about value. They have compared what they get for their vacation dollars and lift ticket expenses between Steamboat and other major ski areas and Steamboat, the ski mountain, falls way short. The mountain, and its infrastructure are so outdated – compared to other mountains charging the same for lift tickets it is not even a fair contest.
I am saying this in my experience in skiing nearly all the major areas in Colorado and Utah.
Steamboat’s lifts, on mountain chalets, and grooming are more like a small mid-west area that charges $45.00 for a lift ticket. The food is marginal. When skiing the Storm Peak side, the 4 Points Hut is overcrowded whenever it is too nasty to sit outside. Want to sit down and rest the legs for a while, fat chance, it’s standing room only. I have yet to see a rusted (from urine splash) partition wall next to a urinal such as in the Hut in another ski area. Reminds me of a run down gas station in the middle of nowhere. It does get a coat of paint every few years. I remember a few years ago, just before Christmas, we took a break at Rendezvous. Looking out the window we noticed hundreds of dead flies on the window sills below. They hadn’t been cleaned from the summer, even though the place had been open a few weeks. Disgusting. There is a fine line between rustic and run down, and there are such places on the mountain that have crossed it.
Ran out of room! To be continued:
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Last login: Sunday, September 16, 2012
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