Steamboat Resort adds Pizza Ranger for grab-and-go dining on the slopes

The Steamboat ski resort will give new meaning to the concept of pizza delivery this season, serving a variety of pies on the mountain from a mobile vehicle equipped with an oven and treads that can navigate on snow.

Christened the Pizza Ranger, the new vehicle will follow on the success of the Taco Beast, a taco stand mounted on a snowcat which debuted at Steamboat two seasons ago, offering four varieties of $5 tacos with eight salsa choices.

“The Pizza Ranger is kind of a utility vehicle, smaller (than the Taco Beast), but it has a little warming box on the front and in the back there is a little pizza oven,” said Steamboat spokeswoman Maren Franciosi. “They both have snow tracks for easily navigating around the mountain.”

When it goes into service, the Pizza Ranger will be stationed in the Bashor Pavilion area where there is a terrain park.

“There’s a covered pavilion, a place for people to spread out and enjoy their pizza,” Franciosi said, noting that the menu is forthcoming.

The Taco Beast typically is stationed in the Sunshine Bowl area. Neither it nor the Pizza Ranger will be in service when Steamboat opens with limited terrain on Nov. 21.

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“We will have the Taco Beast and the Pizza Ranger operational as soon as we are able to open terrain for those dining options to travel to the areas they are available,” Franciosi said.

While dispersed dining will be widespread at Colorado ski resorts this winter due to the pandemic, that isn’t the only reason the Pizza Ranger is being added to Steamboat’s mobile menu.

“The Pizza Ranger did spark out of needing to make some changes,” Franciosi said, “but since we already had a model that worked — and we had talked about this concept in the past — we thought, why not put it into action this year?”

The Taco Beast menu includes beef barbacoa (ancho-seasoned shredded beef), elk chorizo (a blend of ground elk and pork seasoned with chorizo spices), pollo asado (seasoned grilled chicken) and a vegetarian option featuring summer squash, pinto beans and corn.

“People can grab and go, or we traditionally have set up a little sitting area with fencing around the Taco Beast where there’s fun music happening,” Franciosi said. “The Taco Beast has its own mood, if you will, for skiers to grab something quick and fun and easy and get on with their day.”

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