Shave ages off your VIS compile times, and improve r_speeds in your maps!
It really is as easy as pie. Very useful for saving r_speeds in both Source and Goldsource.
Instead of the usual methods of building your stairs block by block, start off by making a triangular ramp where your stairs will be. Texture this in BEVEL or NULL in Goldsource, or NODRAW in Source.
Now, create your top step and use the clip tool or vertex manipulation tool to make it a triangle, the bottom face of which lines up with the ramp you've just made. This should also be textured in NULL, BEVEL or NODRAW.
Next, press shift+a to bring up the face editor and texture ONLY the top and front faces of your stair. It is important that the faces out of sight remain un-drawn.
Now tie your stair to an entity. In Goldsource - use a func_wall. In Source, use func_detail.
Finally, duplicate this stair down the ramp until you have a fully-functioning, and very cheap-to-render staircase. Using this method drastically reduces VIS compile times!