Looking to the Future, Grounded in the Past
● By Alesha Damerville
Image from Noah Wetzel
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- Something’s different… it might be hard to put a finger on it, but the Steamboat Ski Area has the beginnings of a new look this winter, under its new parent company, Alterra.
One of the major changes at the mountain this ski season is the complete renovation of Gondola Square’s Bear River Restaurant, which is now called Timber & Torch and serves bistro-style food and signature cocktails.
“The new name is a nod to Steamboat’s Olympic heritage,” says Maren McCutchan, digital communications manager at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “It’s getting a complete overhaul as the centerpiece restaurant in Gondola Square.”
This overhaul includes expanded indoor seating, a new heated outdoor deck, two bars (one indoor and one outdoor) an exterior fireplace and an outdoor barbecue.
“We’re definitely excited about it,” McCutchan says. “I have a soft spot in my heart for Bear River, but Timber & Torch will be a great spot to come inside and warm up.”
Another addition on the mountain this winter is the Taco Beast – a snowcat (the same kind large, tracked vehicle used to groom the slopes at night) which roams around the mountain and acts as a Mexican food truck. The Taco Beast serves everything from carne asadato Mexican-style beer, and its location can be tracked at Steamboat.com/TacoBeast.
Looking beyond this ski season at Mount Werner, Steamboat is abuzz with talk about the possible changes that Alterra may make. “Alterra has said they definitely want to help enhance our base area in the future,” McCutchan says.
Whatever changes, Steamboat Springs and its ski areas will always be steeped in tradition. Annual ski area events like the Cardboard Classic, Hot Air Balloon Glow, and Torchlight Parades bring the Steamboat community together with visitors, year after year. Even seemingly insignificant traditions, like Gaper Day, where Steamboat locals crowd the mountain in ridiculous costumes, or parents teaching their kids to stay upright on their skis – just like their own parents taught them – contribute to Steamboat’s long history of skiing culture.
With much-anticipated changes ahead, history and tradition are still woven into the fabric of the Steamboat Ski Area. And with each new ski season, locals and visitors are invited to become part of the story.