Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Announces New Alpine Training and Competition Venue at the Steamboat Ski Area
Long heralded as one of the best winter sports clubs in the US, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) will elevate its training capabilities with the addition of a championship-caliber Alpine Training and Competition Venue located at the Steamboat Ski Resort. Work on the venue is expected to break ground early summer 2015, with plans for opening the course to athletes in November 2015.
“The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has a 100–year tradition of training great athletes and leaders,” said Jim Boyne, executive director of the SSWSC. “Our world class facilities, combined with unparalleled community support, have allowed us to build an Olympic heritage unlike any other club. This new venue is a key component in ensuring that SSWSC remains one of the most successful and competitive winter sports clubs in the nation.”
World-class coaching can only go so far without the facilities to support the athletes’ skills. The Alpine Training and Competition Venue at Steamboat Ski Resort will allow local alpine, telemark and alpine snowboard athletes to excel by giving coaches the ability to control on-mountain conditions and the firmness of the snow surface, which is considered THE critical factor in modern ski racing. Alpine athletes who were previously forced to travel to other ski resorts to train on courses with competitive snow surface, proper course length, and ideal terrain will now be able to remain in the Yampa Valley while achieving their training and racing goals. This new venue complements the current SSWSC facilities by serving the direct needs of the alpine racing programs, while freeing up room on the slopes of Howelsen Hill to better serve both the club’s programs, as well as recreational skiers.
“We are known as Ski Town, U.S.A. because of the world class facilities found in Steamboat,” said Chris Diamond, president and chief operating officer of the Steamboat Ski Resort & Corporation. “The addition of this new venue for the Winter Sports Club is a natural progression for our community and will nurture the next generation of winter sports athletes.”
Howelsen Hill has been the main training ground for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club for more than 100 years, as well as access to terrain at the Steamboat Ski Resort. Through these strong partnerships, competitive level facilities are in place for club programs, notably Nordic Combined and Freestyle. These venues have not only helped train the club’s athletes and attract the highest level of competitors, but have allowed Steamboat to host numerous events. The SSWSC hopes the new training facility will attract elite athletes for training, similar to the mogul course at the Park Smalley Freestyle Venue on Voodoo trail at the Steamboat Ski Resort, and allow Steamboat to host high level alpine racing competitions.
“The new venue has ripple effects for the community,” says Boyne. “Not only can we provide world-class training facilities to support our athletes as they pursue their goals, but by bringing in more alpine events Steamboat receives world-wide exposure and an economic boost.”
The new championship caliber alpine course will be located at the Steamboat Ski Resort to the skiers’ left of the Sitz and See Ya trails and will be dedicated primarily for the use of SSWSC athlete and competitors for training and competition. To finance the new venue, SSWSC has launched the Creating Champions campaign with a goal of fundraising $2.35 million. SSWSC has already achieved more than 50% of its funding goal with $1.3 currently committed to the project. To support the Creating Champions Campaign please visit:
2014-2015 Winter Program Guide
Where has the summer gone! This has been a very busy time here at the SSWSC. For those of you who participated or had athletes participate in the multitude of programs and activities that we offered this summer season, we hope it was a positive experience and that any summer training will be reflected in a safe, successful 2014-15 season. It has been very rewarding to see our athlete’s take advantage of program enhancements that we invested in this past year, including our newly renovated strength and conditioning facility, and upgrades and enhancements to our Water Ramp complex out at Bald Eagle Lake.
During the offseason, we also brought on new leadership within our Alpine and Freestyle departments, and strengthened our coaching staff in a number of important areas. We are focused on continuous improvement in all areas of our programming, staffing, and facilities to allow all of our athletes to achieve their respective goals. Our goal is to make incremental and accelerating progress in our programs and services provided to our athletes, and to improve the SSWSC experience for all of our club members.
Additionally, our strength and conditioning initiative is off to a terrific start. Dave Zink is already driving our progress here working with our coaching staff to enhance the performance and endurance of our athletes and the improvements to our strength and conditioning center are nearing completion.
As we look forward to the 2014-15 winter sports season, we are confident that our athletes will be provided with excellent training and coaches. Our priority is to attract and retain exceptional program directors and coaches by providing them with compensation and benefits that are fair, competitive, and necessary to provide our athletes with the coaching and mentoring that is the core of our 100-year legacy. With that in mind, we are proud to be able to offer health benefits to our full-time coaches and staff. We believe that providing health benefits is instrumental in retaining our staff and attracting new talent to the club.
While we strive to provide affordable training and programming to our athletes, it is necessary to adjust our program prices to continue to provide and improve high quality programs, coaches and facilities. The costs of our usage at both of our partner’s facilities at Howelsen Hill and the Steamboat Ski Area are increasing, and the club's operating costs to sustain and improve our programs also continue to rise. We are working diligently to help minimize the impact of the increasing costs of our key partners on our membership, and we continue to actively manage our costs while investing in enhancements to our coaching and programs.
Despite increasing costs, we want to make sure that our programs continue to be available to those who believe in our mission. For that reason, we are working to maximize and increase the amount of available scholarship dollars to our athletes. Scholarship awards are available to many families with diverse financial situations and we encourage you to apply for both summer and winter scholarships. We understand the significant investment that our member families make in our athletes. Providing scholarships is a way for us to partner with you to help ease the financial burden.
Our programming is so much more than winter athletics; our programs and coaches provide the building blocks for success in the lives of our athletes and allow them to be the best they can be as athletes and as individuals. In our view, this is one of the most important investments we can make in the lives of these athletes.
Thank you for your continued support of the club and our programs. If you have any questions, please call Jim Boyne or Sarah Floyd.
Olympian and Top Coach Returns to SSWSC as Freestyle Director
Known for his high-achieving athletic prowess and his excellent coaching, SSWSC chose Aldighieri from numerous applicants and is excited to see him step forward as a role model for the athletes and a knowledgeable leader for the program.
“I am excited to work with the coaches and athletes in all Freestyle disciplines,” Aldighieri said. “It’s important to build up the grass roots level, help build the sport, and maintain the professionalism of the SSWSC programs. This program has a history of excellence- my goal is to keep that excellence going at the highest levels from proper technical coaching for the youngest kids right up through our potential Olympians. I have enjoyed this sport for so long and really feel fortunate to have found a passion that I can pass on to others.”
Aldighieri has a long history of success as an athlete and a coach. He spent 7 years on the US Ski Team where he attained #5 ranking in the World Status. He won a World Cup Gold Medal in 1988 and was part of the 1991 World Championship Team, and then attended the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. After retiring from the US Ski Team, Aldighieri joined the Professional Ski Tour and became the first mogul skier in history to win a World Cup and a Professional Event. Post tour, Aldighieri worked for the SSWSC as head coach of the Mogul Program before coaching the Canadian National Ski Team/Olympic Team and then with the Canadian Sport Institute in Whistler, British Columbia, as their Moguls Talent Development Coach. SSWSC is thrilled to see the return of Aldighieri to a position of leadership where his successes can influence the club’s program.
“Bobby’s coaching record and his history as a top level skier make him an ideal director,” said SSWSC Executive Director Jim Boyne. “During his tenure with the Canadian National Ski Team/Olympic Team, athletes achieved the first Canadian Podium Sweep in the history of Canadian Skiing. Following, Aldighieri helped to push the Canadian Sport Institute’s Mogul Program to be world-known. When he coached with the SSWSC in the past, he had some of the best athletes excel under his guidance, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see his passion and dedication return to spearhead the Freestyle department.”
Aldighieri’s return to Steamboat will be welcomed by a long line of Olympic athletes and family members. Having grown up in Vermont, Aldighieri transplanted to Steamboat in 1996 and coached with the SSWSC. During that time, Aldighieri helped send numerous athletes to the US Ski Team including Travis Mayer, who won the silver medal at the Salt Lake Games in 2002. His return to the club will be with a heartfelt “welcome home” from the community and club. Aldighieri is married to local Jessica Gray Maniaci, niece to Olympian Moose Barrows, who skied in the 1968 Grenoble Olympics.
The Freestyle Program was formerly directed by Erik Skinner, who served as director for 12 years. Skinner spent 4 years as an athlete and 20 years as a coach before beginning his position as Director. To date, the SSWSC has produced a record of 88 Olympians who have achieved 151 Olympic appearances in 19 Winter Games representing 12 countries; more than any other town in North America.
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