I have been to steamboat twice in late December and both times were good for different reasons. The first time I went was with family and a decent snow year. It stays shielded from the wind because the max elevataion is just above tree level. We didn't have great snow but what we did was good. It is know as having "champaign powder" and although I did not get to experiance the powder it is known for it was still one of my best snow condition year trips I've taken to Colorado. My second trip was last year on a bad snow condition year and I stayed with locals (I work with a lady who's daughter and son lived in steamboat for a year). We stayed over New years and had a great time. Although the snow was shit and some of the iciest I have ever ridden (and I am from the east coast) the nightlife made up for it. Granted we did have half a dozen locals showing us the hot spots, all the major bars downtown were packed and a great time. Steamboat both times proved to be an extremely fun area and I wish sometime I can make it back it very good conditions!
Hope this helped!
Well ever since I lined up the condo and the rest of the trip I have been stoked about going. So any info helps. I will be sure to post on how my trip turned out when that time comes.