Mark Ansteth wants to make one thing clear: The ski resort of Steamboat Springs, CO, isn’t going to become another glitzy resort like its better-known rivals, Vail and Aspen.

But when the $80 million Steamboat Grand hotel opens next month in the resort 157 miles northwest of Denver, it will bring the community to the next level as far as drawing destination skiers from across the country, Ansteth believes. The American Skiing Co. is the developer on the 327-room hotel while it is being operated by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., also manager for the ski resort.

The hotel will include 29,000 sf of meeting space, including a 250-seat outdoor amphitheater situated behind a heated swimming pool that is partially indoors and outdoors for year-round use.”We see ourselves comparable to a Hyatt Regency Beaver Creek or a Vail Cascade,” naming two other top-notch hotels in ski resorts, Ansteth told “It is not our purpose to become another Vail or Aspen. We have our own unique western, friendly atmosphere, and we want to retain that. But it does open us up to a different clientele, who might not have thought of Steamboat before.”

The resort currently draws a lot of visitors from the CO’s Front Range as well as from the northeast, midwest and southeast. “Texas also is a very strong market for us,” he says. The hotel will offer introductory room rates of $85 per night, a fee that will jump to $309 per night during the holiday season, says Ansteth. The hotel also has five-bedroom penthouse suites with over 4,000 sf that cost $2,000 per night – slightly more during the peak season.

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