A snowboarder comes through the trees at Steamboat ski area. (Provided by Steamboat)

Winter Park’s signature Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge will be completely renovated and Steamboat will see its first terrain expansion in 20 years as part of $223 million in capital improvements that were announced Tuesday for Alterra Mountain Co. resorts next season.

Steamboat will pass Keystone and Winter Park to become Colorado’s third-largest ski area with the addition of 355 acres on Pioneer Ridge, which is north of Steamboat’s current boundary. It will feature 1,800 vertical feet of advanced/expert terrain, resulting in a 12% increase of Steamboat’s total acreage. Only Vail and Snowmass will be larger.

“Pioneer Ridge is a game-changer for Steamboat,” the ski area’s Chief Operating Officer Rob Perlman said in a news release. “While we have always been known as an intermediate paradise, this expansion will provide the ‘Champagne Powder’ snow we are known for in more steep, advance/expert terrain, meeting a need long expressed by our locals and our visiting guests. Some of our dedicated locals have been getting fresh tracks in this area for years. By bringing it into the resort’s boundary we can offer patrol services in the area, creating a safer experience.”

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The Sunspot is an easy-access place for families to reconnect for a meal after a few hours on the slopes. (Provided by Winter Park)

Both areas will get restaurant upgrades. Winter Park’s Sunspot, which provides spectacular views of the Continental Divide just five miles to the east, will get a much-needed expansion that will feature an expanded deck with a barbecue site, increased seating inside and two new bars. At Steamboat, Hazie’s Restaurant at the top of the gondola at Thunderhead Lodge will get a makeover. Both resorts will see improvements to their snowmaking equipment.

Denver-based Alterra Mountain Co. owns 15 resorts across North America.

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