General Information: Steamboat: 970-879-6111.
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Steamboat ski area is in the town of Steamboat Springs in northwest Colorado 155 miles from Denver, served by free shuttles from the Yampa Valley Airport 22 miles west. This town has produced more Olympic ski team members than any other city in the U.S. It is not as glamorous as Aspen, but it usually has the finest powder skiing in Colorado and weather that assures good skiing when other areas may have little snow.
Steamboat has a definite Western atmosphere. Jeans and cowboy hats are more popular than fashionable ski togs. It is one of the Colorado resorts where, when you look from a mountain top, you see more ranch land than condos. It is, in fact, primarily ranch country with a beautiful ski resort set down in the middle of it.
Steamboat's skiing is spread out across a large area covering five mountains, with 113 trails and 2,680 skiable acres (30% advanced, 56% intermediate, 14% beginner). Steamboat's highest lift goes to 10,567 feet and the longest run is three miles. Average annual snowfall is 300 inches, considerably more than some other areas receive.
Snowboarding, snowcat and Nordic skiing are available, plus children's lessons and one of Colorado's best child-care centers.
First-class lodging includes the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, a 266-room, ski-in/ski-out hotel with restaurants, lounges, pool, hot tubs, saunas and steamrooms. Condominiums include the Atriums at Eagle Ridge, with Jacuzzis, fireplaces, kitchens, pool and hot tub. The Ranch at Steamboat has excellent one-to four-bedroom townhouses with kitchens, pool, hot tubs and saunas. Condo management companies include Steamboat Resorts, 800-525-5502.
Good restaurants include The Butcher Shop, Cipriani's, L'Apogee, Matti Silks and a horse-drawn sleigh ride by Windwalker to a mountain cabin dinner with live music and dancing.
Night spots that usually have music or dancing include The Inferno, Tugboat, Greenhouse at the Holiday Inn, the Overlook Lodge, and the Conservatory at the Thunderhead Lodge.