Thursday, July 14, 2005

Steamboat Springs : Base-area plan draft revealed

The Steamboat base area update plan continues to proceed. The first steps are pretty low key. They will serve as a precursor to larger changes that will come once money from the new Urban Renewal Area on the Mountain starts to kick. The URA money comes from a tax on the value of new building in the mountain area so dollars for the big hitters will start to flow once units are built and sold in developments like Wild Horse Meadows (the whole field above the tennis bubble and lower parking lot) and the connected Snowflower lot (the parking lot where the ski school dropoff is and the area around it) development.

From the Steamboat Pilotand Today:
"From a promenade around the base of the ski area to looking at building a conference or arts center where the Steamboat Ski Area parking garage sits, many of the proposed changes in the draft plan were hashed out during community meetings this spring."

"It also recommends making streetscape improvements and beautifying Mount Werner Circle with raised crosswalks, alternative-paving materials, light fixtures, tr ashcans and benches. Removing Checkpoint Charlie at the entrance of Ski Time Square is another item in the plan.

Among the first suggested improvements for private landowners is to initiate designing and building a promenade to run along the base of the ski area from Ptarmigan Inn to Torian Plum Plaza. The plan also recommends creating a wayfinding and signage plan within Gondola Plaza and Ski Time Square Drive, and improving the drop-off area into the ski area and off Apr├Ęs Ski Way.

The long range plans -- and perhaps the more dramatic changes -- include determining if a conference or arts center is necessary and if it should go where the ski area's parking lot sits.

Other recommendations include closing part of Ski Time Square Drive for a pedestrian plaza and rerouting the road through the parking lot in front of Mountain Movie.

The plan also proposes a public/private partnership to expose Burgess Creek and to install a new or relocated chairlift at the base of the gondola to create a north entrance into the ski area near Torian Plum. To go along with these improvements, the plan also suggests that private dollars be used to develop a new Torian Plum and Thunderhead Plaza with an ice skating rink and water features.

The plan, in its five- to 15-year projections, also proposes the elimination of the parking garage at the intersection of Mount Werner Road and Ski Time Square Drive and the Knoll parking lot. In their place, the plan proposes building hotel and residential units with underground parking.

The plan also calls for redeveloping Mount Werner Lodge as a resort residential neighbor."

For the full article in the Steamboat Pilot:
The Steamboat Pilot: Base-area plan draft revealed

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