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Mountain News: Intrawest investments welcomed in Steamboat

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Ten months after the Steamboat ski area was purchased by Intrawest and its corporate parent, Fortress, things are going swimmingly, says the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

“We think Intrawest’s first 10 months of ownership paint a rather rosy picture for the future of the ski area,” said the paper. “For years, the biggest complaint about (former owner) American Skiing Co. was that it didn’t have the capital to invest in the ski area. While other ski resorts made significant on-mountain improvements, Steamboat got by with Band-Aids.”

Intrawest has invested $16 million in upgrades, including many such to-dos as a new gondola haul rope. That investment, in turn, has triggered new base-area development.

Plans are moving ahead for one million square-feet of redevelopment at Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge, a 1970s-style component of the base area. The plans “represent the kind of investment developers are making in Steamboat’s base area — long considered the resort’s Achilles heel,” says the newspaper.

 

New jets will fly in spring

DENVER, Colo. – The new chief executive officer of Frontier Airlines is now saying that it will be March or April before it can begin flying its new Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes to Aspen, Jackson Hole, and Ketchum.

The Denver-based company last year created a new subsidiary, called Lynx Aviation, with the goal of expanding service to the smaller markets, many of them resort areas, from Denver. Among the other markets expected to be serviced by the new planes are Eagle County/Vail, Montrose/Telluride, and Yampa Valley/Steamboat.

The Q-400 is one-third more energy efficient, allowing costs to be discounted. Even in Aspen, that discount is considered a major plus for tourism. As well, Ketchum is eagerly awaiting the link to Denver, with the expectation it will make Sun Valley a more attractive destination for people in the East.

 

December to remember in Colorado

TELLURIDE, Colo. – If not necessarily a record, it was a December to remember in Telluride, Aspen and a lot of other mountain towns.

The Telluride Ski Resort reported 82 inches, which it claimed was the largest in the ski area history. Operations there date to 1973.

There were some doubts as to the accuracy of that report, said The Telluride Watch, although there were no doubts that the snowfall gave the previous December of record, 1983, a run for its money.

A new record was also established atop the Snowmass ski area, where the 119 inches of snowfall edged the 117 inches recorded in December 1983. That’s three times the average.

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