WINTER SPORTS CENTER
Building for the future of Steamboat Springs!
The SSWSC is proposing to build a community Winter Sports Center! Building this facility at Howelsen Hill requires a land-use agreement with the City of Steamboat Springs. The proposed Winter Sports Center would be a newly constructed facility to meet the current and future community needs consistent with the history of Howelsen Hill. It will allow Steamboat Springs to preserve its commitment to youth recreation and the legacy and Olympic heritage of Howelsen Hill.
We are asking the Steamboat Springs City Council to give the Winter Sports Center a chance! A chance for further dialogue with city staff, consideration from the City Council on the project, and an opportunity for community engagement and public input.
Proposed Winter Sports Center Rendering
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the project the SSWSC proposing?
The SSWSC is proposing to build a community Winter Sports Center at Howelsen Hill, including a strength and conditioning space, an indoor trampoline facility, and 3,000 square feet of open gym space! The facility will provide access to year-round training to the youth of Steamboat Springs. Building this facility at Howelsen Hill requires a land-use agreement with the City of Steamboat Springs.
What is the SSWSC requesting from the Steamboat Springs City Council?
We are requesting further dialogue with city staff, consideration from the City Council on the project, and an opportunity for community engagement/public input.
Will the Winter Sports Center be open to the public?
Yes. The Winter Sports Center will be open to the public with no requirement to participate in SSWSC programs. The SSWSC serves over half of all school-aged youth in the community. The potential public benefit of this facility goes well beyond the 1,300 athletes who participate in SSWSC programs and will allow all youth in Steamboat Springs year-round access to indoor space. Regardless of their sport, all youth in the community can utilize and benefit from this facility.
Why propose upgrades and buildings at Howelsen Hill?
The proposed Winter Sports Center would be a newly constructed facility to meet the current and future community needs consistent with the history of Howelsen Hill. Howelsen Hill began in 1914 as a training facility for local youth. Sports evolve, and Howelsen Hill will continue to evolve. The Winter Sports Center demonstrates building for the future. It offers a facility that will allow Steamboat Springs to preserve its commitment to youth recreation and the legacy and Olympic heritage of Howelsen Hill.
What is the value of the Olympic heritage in Steamboat Springs?
In 2022, our community reached a significant milestone by naming its 100th Olympian, with 179 total winter Olympic appearances. For many athletes, the Olympics are a dream, something to aspire to, a goal that ignites their passion. While few achieve this level, all kids who participate in sports learn about success and failure, perseverance and hard work, and the joy and heartbreak that comes with giving your all. Support for the Winter Sports Center shows how much our community values youth recreation and the positive impact of physical movement on overall wellness and mental health.
Why does the SSWSC and the community need this facility?
SSWSC built the current DeHaven strength and conditioning center in 1999 to serve 45 athletes. Now, there are over 400 athletes in need of strength and conditioning in the SSWSC. In addition, due to a lack of space, over 145 SSWSC athletes cannot train in the current facility and are traveling to remote locations at Old Town Hot Springs, Colorado Mountain College, and Steamboat Mountain School for strength and conditioning space. A facility of this nature is urgently needed to meet the demands of sports today and continue the winter sports heritage of Howelsen Hill and Steamboat Springs.
Was this project approved for the next step and community engagement by the City of Steamboat Springs?
Yes. The SSWSC has worked with Parks and Recreation and city staff on this project for the past 18 months. As a result, the proposed project was recommended by Parks and Recreation Commission to begin the community engagement process in a 6-1 vote on April 13, 2022, and discussed by City Council on May 10, 2022.
Who will pay for the Winter Sports Center project?
The Winter Sports Center will be funded through grants and donations and operated by the SSWSC.
Will the community of Steamboat Springs have an opportunity to give input on this project?
Yes. The opportunity for community engagement is one of our most important requests to the city. It is important to us that the community supports this project.
Were other locations, building designs, and the overall size of the Winter Sports Center considered or discussed?
Yes. The Winter Sports Center proposed project was adapted, adjusted, and modified based on city staff input. We welcome further dialogue with the City Council and the public on all aspects of the project.
Does this project fit into the City of Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PROSTR)?
Yes. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan mentions upgrades and potential construction of new facilities at Howelsen Hill at least seven times. While this project was not asked about or discussed during the PROSTR planning process, its consistency with the themes of the master plan warrants a community discussion.
- “Celebrate the winter sports heritage at Howelsen Ski Hill, which is highly valued by residents and integrally linked to the image of Steamboat Springs.” (p. 66)
- “Partner with clubs and tournament/event sponsors to construct, upgrade and maintain the facilities they use.” (p. 66)
- “Gym Space and Indoor Fields – if funding partners emerge and/or the community supports another funding source that could cover its cost, after funding other higher priority projects, a multipurpose facility should be constructed.” (p.68)
- “Identify location(s), partners (s), and funding sources for an indoor gym with multi-purpose courts.” (p. 65)
- “Iconic Howelsen Park and Ski Hill is an integral part of Steamboat Springs heritage, image and quality of life for residents of the community.” (p. 68)
- “The city should continue to evaluate this agreement (with SSWSC) and other partnerships to improve, maintain, and operate facilities at Howelsen Hill. The SSWSC could also be a partner in facilities that may be of interest for training purposes, such as a field house.” (p. 89)
- “Maintain and upgrade existing facilities, including restrooms, the lodge, concessions, pedestrian and bike connections, pedestrian lighting, aesthetics, landscaping, and skate park replacement.” (p. 68)
Does this proposal fit with the Historic Preservation Plan?
Yes. All aspects of the Historic Preservation Plan are consistent with the SSWSC’s mission, purpose, legacy, and heritage. Since 1914 the same flavor of Howelsen Hill has been alive with the presence of community youth training and experiencing snow sports. These historic facilities have also changed and improved over time. The Historic Preservation document states, “New uses should support the existing and historic uses. For example, a training facility that enhances ski jumping would support historic uses”
Will the bathrooms and gazebo be replaced?
Yes. The SSWSC informed the Parks and Recreation staff that the SSWSC would assume the cost of restroom replacements and the gazebo relocation. Parks and Recreation staff agreed that both facilities in their current location are underutilized.
Proposed Winter Sports Center Floor Plan