How to stay afloat in the Boat over the holidays.

What could be better than spending the holidays in Steamboat? After all, you are pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas in a place that many (locals and visitors alike) describe as paradise. Well, we hate to break it to you, but you’re not alone in thinking that this sounds like the perfect idea. That’s why it is, without a doubt, the busiest time of year. At least by our own small mountain town standards, it can also get very crowded.

When you live here, you learn a few tricks about how to avoid the mob scene. It just means being a little more strategic about where to spend your time and when.

Here are the top 4 ways to avoid the crowds over the holidays:

The early bird gets the worm—and the powder.
A lot of people don’t know about First Tracks, which is one of Steamboat’s coolest and most unique programs. For $39, (in addition to the cost of a regular lift ticket) you can board the gondola between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. and be the first to hit the slopes with access to Priest Creek, Sundown Express, Sunshine and South Peak areas. Not only will you avoid the long line at the gondola and beat the crowds, you’ll get to enjoy some Champagne Powder® before most people have even had breakfast—first tracks always means fresh tracks.

Instead of going out to eat, bring the restaurant to you.
It’s no big secret that the restaurants are packed during Christmas and New Years with long waits, hard-to-get reservations, and busy, loud dining rooms. We get it that you don’t want to deal with cooking or cleaning the kitchen while you are on vacation, either. That’s where the Drunken Onioncomes in. Pick up chef-prepared meals like spicy sausage Italian lasagna, pulled pork with apple-habañero barbeque sauce, blackened chicken with alfredo, and a slew of salads, sides, and appetizers. Or keep it simple with Papa Murphy’s Take & Bake Pizza.  Every Tuesday is $10 pizza day! Cooking doesn’t get much easier than that.

Skiing, minus the crowds.
This is the ultimate local’s secret so we probably shouldn’t even be telling you, but we will. The truth is, most locals don’t even ski at the resort during the holidays. That’s because just a short drive away, on the summit of Rabbit Ears Pass is an oasis of cross country ski trails through deep forests where you can go out for two hours without ever having to wait in a liftline and where you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the wilderness. There are actually a few good options for cross-country skiing in and around Steamboat, a great alternative to getting on snow, and for a fraction of the price. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association has a great summary of all of the different options available.

The most happening spot in Steamboat? City Market, of course.
If you’ve ever had to navigate the treacherous parking lot at City Market, you already know that it just might be the craziest place in town when it comes to crowds. Set your alarm, because the only way to survive the shopping cart shuffle is to get to the store before 10 a.m. If you’re not an early riser, try going in the evening after 8 p.m.—you might even be able to find a parking spot.

And if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em …
Let’s just say when it comes to celebrating the holidays in Steamboat, the old saying “the more, the merrier” was never more true.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty!