COLORADO - STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
Colorado - Steamboat Springs - Luxury Travel Magazine
|Issue 51 Winter 2012|
|(Ski, Colorado, Steamboat Springs)|
|CRAIG TANSLEY HIT THE SLOPES AT THE HOME OF 'CHAMPAGNE POWDER' - STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO.|
|“This is a cowboy town that just happens to have a ski resort in it,” a local in a Stetson explains. He has a point; Steamboat Springs sells as many Stetsons as North Face ski jackets; at its most famous rancher outfitting store – FM Light & Sons (‘Outfittin’ The West For 100 Years & Five Generations’) – you can choose between knives, pistols, rifles, banjos, jerky or something from Gun Tote’N Mamas – the brand for affordable leather concealed weapon handbags. But then the alternative lifestylers have their place: like a lot of Colorado mountain towns, there’s just as many hippies as cow-bothering types, you’ll find just as many flyers for Pure Flow Yoga Retreats and meditation workshops than posters for rodeos or snowboard competitions.|
But that’s Steamboat Springs’ appeal: for this is the ski town with the lot. First and foremost, it offers skiers one of the largest ski mountains in the United States (1200 hectares). Its tree runs are legendary – the perfect spacing between aspens and pines makes Steamboat the best tree skiing mountain on Earth. Let’s not forget the snow; for that’s Steamboat’ real trumpcard. This is the home of ‘champagne powder’ – snow with the lowest water content in the entire United States, meaning it’s as light and fluffy as anything on the planet. The name also gives away its other infamous natural phenomenon – its natural springs. Just outside town, Strawberry Park offers the most spectacular mineral springs in the world. Set amongst forest, sit in natural rock pools while snow falls into naturally heated water and elk feed metres away. You can also experience unique Watsu massage in the hot pools – where therapists gently knead your body while holding you gently in the hot water.
Steamboat Springs now offers over 40 restaurants and bars - over $30 million has been spent in the past five years to expand services offered. There’s also over 90 specialty stores for non-skiers and for time off the slopes.
It’s a ski town that’s produced 84 Olympians and is home to the oldest ski area in North America - the Howelsen Ski Hill that overlooks the town of Steamboat Springs turns 100 in 2014. But Steamboat is far more than a breeding ground for the ski elite. These days Steamboat Springs is as sophisticated a ski town as any in Colorado – with a huge array of restaurants, bars, boutique stores, wholefood shops and off-piste activities on offer. But it’s the quality and quantity of the champagne powder snow that falls on the resort that gives Steamboat its reputation as one of North America’s snowiest ski resorts.
|WHERE TO STAY|
|Sheraton Steamboat is located at the base of the ski area offering ski-in, ski-out accommodation. Traditional Rooms start from US$169 (about A$173) per room per night; sheraton.com/SteamboatSprings|
|WHERE TO EAT|
|Steamboat’s best cuisine can be found at Café Diva, go to cafediva.com or eat on top of the mountain at Ragnars, go to steamboat-dining.com/restaurant/menu/44/Ragnars|
|For more information on Steamboat ski resort and town visit steamboat.com|
Qantas flies daily to Los Angeles (LAX) from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Flight time is around 14 hours. Return economy class fares start from A$1,499 and business class fares from A$8,863. Oneworld codeshare partner American Airlines flies to Denver, Colorado from LAX. Flight time is about two hours. Return economy class fares start from US$289 (about A$296) and business class fares from US$1,725 (about A$1,767).
|TO STEAMBOAT SPRINGS|
American Airlines operates flights from Denver to Yampa Valley Regional Airport. Flight time is around two hours. Return economy class fares start from US$560 (about A$573) and business class fares from US$2,012 (about A$2,062).
Storm Mountain Express operates private transfers from Yampa Valley to Steamboat from US$745 (about A$763) return for up to six passengers. Transfers take around 30 minutes.