Photo courtesy of Wenk Associates
The project transformed an outdated ski base area into a unique visitor attraction.
Photo courtesy of Wenk Associates
Burgess Creek was diverted from an underground culvert and brought to the surface along the length of the Promenade.

2012 Best Project

Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Development Category

Promenade and Burgess Creek Daylighting

Steamboat Springs, Colo.

The Promenade project created a snow-melted walkway and daylit an underground creek with natural design features to connect businesses at the edge of the Steamboat Springs ski resort. The project has increased visitor activity in both summer and winter seasons in Steamboat and transformed an outdated ski-base area into a unique attraction.

Burgess Creek was diverted from an underground culvert and brought to the surface along the length of the Promenade to provide opportunities for summer recreation.

The designers and contractor took painstaking efforts to place boulders strategically to create the look of a natural stream. The walkway forms a pedestrian connection and allows emergency access to multi-event plazas along the Promenade. The design of the stairs and the pedestrian ramp also provide a year-round amphitheater for small events.

The team had to resolve issues that aren't part of standard designs, such as finding the right kind of grout to place between the rock ponds to keep the water in place, and finding a way to allow the pond water to be drained in different seasons. The attention to detail and constant review of future operations and maintenance resulted in a number of changes. The most significant was substituting the geotextile liner with a clay liner.

Designers knew the creek would be subjected to snow-making operations in the winter and therefore susceptible to damage, so the team installed a clay liner that will reduce long-term upkeep and can be maintained by ski area employees rather than specialized liner technicians.

While the project involved a large amount of earthwork and utilities installation, the real challenge was the creative installation of the rocks. A slot canyon and a variety of pools required artistic placement of many large siloam stones.

The designers and contractor succeeded in creating a natural-looking stream that runs through one of the state's busiest mountain resorts.

Key Players

Owner: Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Architect: Wenk Associates, Denver

General Contractor: Duckels Construction, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Civil Engineer: Drexel, Barrell & Co., Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Structural Engineer: Oddo Engineering Inc., Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: MEP Engineering Inc., Denver

Submitted by Wenk Associates