Ski Corp. holds open houses

The Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. will give the public a glimpse at its future in a pair of open houses today and Feb. 17.

The Ski Corp. will host the meetings from 1 to 3 p.m. today and again from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Priest Creek Ballroom of the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. The purpose is to introduce amendments to the master plan that Ski Corp. must file routinely with the Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest and to gather reactions to the plan's content.

The meetings will consist of an open house sandwiched around formal presentations of the plan. Today's presentation is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The master plan details future capital projects at the ski area ranging from new chairlifts to new restaurants. However, the fact that specific projects are mentioned in the plan does not mean a decision to fund or build them has been made.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Senior Director of Mountain Operations Doug Allen has made it clear that the ski area's first priority is replacing the aging Burgess Creek double chairlift. Necessary permits for completing that task already are in hand, but the budget has not been approved.

One of the most dramatic changes anticipated in the amended master plan calls for replacing four small chairlifts at the base of the mountain with one, six-place detachable quad chairlift. Potentially, Headwall, South Face, and both Christie chairlifts could be replaced by the "six-pack" lift. There also is a chance one of the Christie lifts would be preserved to serve Alpine ski races on the Sitz/See Me trail and freestyle competitions at the Park Smalley Freestyle Center.

Other projects, such as replacing the Sunshine chairlift with a detachable quad, are further out in the five- to seven-year term of the revised master plan, Allen said. Once the capital funds are committed to that project, it would take two years to complete environmental assessments, obtain Forest Service approval and build the chairlift.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail

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