More than $30 million has been poured into this world-class ski resort since 2006, and the improvements aren’t over yet. While visitors can expect to see some construction in the base area through 2012, one large project near the gondola is complete — One Steamboat Place has all new retail space, restaurants and resort services, such as a convenient Ski & Snowboard School ticket office. Also new is the expanded Kids’ Vacation Center, with a Western-themed play area and age-appropriate rooms for care of children, ages 6 months to 6 years. This slopeside center is also where children meet for ski and boarding lessons; kids as young as 30 months (and potty trained) can strap on skis for an hour-long introduction to the sport. Preschoolers through teenagers can choose from half-, full- and multi-day learning programs for all ability levels — including race camps and terrain-park training. Brand-new skiers and boarders start on one of Steamboat’s five kids-only lifts and two special beginner teaching areas with dedicated Magic Carpet lifts. (Of course, lessons and rentals are offered for grown-ups, too!) Kids can get excited about their Steamboat ski vacation by visiting the Steamboat Snow Monsters Web site.
The mountain is open in the summer months, as well, with gondola rides to the top of 9,000-foot Thunderhead Peak and access to a myriad of hiking and mountain-biking trails. Coca-Cola Adventure Zone, next to the gondola at the base, features a climbing wall, bungee trampoline, mechanical bull, ropes course and other activities for hours of family fun.