Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Businesses Shuffle During Mud Season

imagesAs sure as an April snowstorm each year are closings, moves, swaps and openings in the Steamboat business landscape. “It’s not just April, it happens at the end of summer, too,” Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said. “This time, it seems like quite a large number to me.”

Several businesses are coming and going, with the latter outweighing the former. But Barnett is hopeful open spaces will be filled as the economy continues to turn around. “There’s going to be a lot of space open right on Lincoln,” she said. “We just have to keep our fingers crossed.” Among the changes are:

■ Sears, formerly located in Riverside Plaza, will be opening in its new location in Central Park Plaza in mid-May. Its sign already is installed in the new, larger space.

■ The Steamboat Shoe Market is moving from 908 Lincoln Ave. across the street to 907 Lincoln Ave., a change co-owner Linda Petet said is really going to confuse mail carriers.

■ Downtown stores closing include Tallula Boutique & Spa, White Pepper, Blossom, Don Tudor’s Sleeping Giant Gallery, and The Brown Barn Co.

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Taking Advantage of Conditions in Rocky Mountain National Park

imagesDepending on the location, totals from the April 15-17 storm dropped close over two and a half feet snow on various parts of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Weather recorder John Gulliksen reported close to 28 inches of snow from his location in Prospect Mountain and the Bear Lake area in Rocky Mountain National Park was reporting 36 inches of new snow as of Wednesday morning with more falling. Cold temperatures accompanied the snow, with thermometers dropping to single digits Thursday morning.

The snow in Rocky Mountain National Park enhanced backcountry snowshoe and cross country skiing opportunities. “Backcountry ski conditions and snowshoe conditions are excellent,” said Rocky Mountain National Park public information officer Kyle Patterson. The heavy snows have also enhanced the avalanche danger.

Park officials report the avalanche danger is high on northwest through north to southeast aspects near and above treeline. The danger is considerable in other locations. Spring storm such as the one that slammed northern Colorado this week are not uncommon. Late-season storms like the most recent are “unusual, but not extraordinary,” said Mike Baker, meteorologist with the Nation Weather Service based in Boulder. “Storms tend to move slower this time of year, so they have time to intensify.”


Colorado Fun!

Alpine Slide-LEADWhen it comes to winter thrills, Colorado ski resorts offer nearly everything snow lovers crave. But just because skis and boards have been mothballed for the summer doesn’t eliminate reasons for visiting slope-side resorts.

Here are 33 summer adventures to be found around Colorado’s top ski communities. Like the trails and terrain, we’ve categorized activities by difficulty—family-friendly easy greens, more-challenging intermediate blues and adrenaline-infused advanced black-diamonds. Pick a pursuit and have some fun.

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Rocky Mountain National Park

imagesRocky Mountain National Park is located in north-central Colorado in the United States. The park holds 265,761 acres of protected land and is bordered by Routt National Forest in the northwest, Arapaho National Forest in the southwest, and Roosevelt National Forest in the east and west. The park is separated into two areas by the Continental Divide, giving the west and east areas different climates and habitats. It holds 450 miles of streams and 150 different lakes, as well as 72 mountain peaks that reach elevations over 12,000 feet. The northern area of the park contains smaller mountains that are part of the Mummy Range.

The climate of Rocky Mountain National Park varies greatly depending upon the season. The summer season brings high temperatures that can peak in the eighties and thunderstorms are common. The winter season often occurs between the months of October to April and brings heavy snows. This snow melts quickly at low elevations, but can persist at higher elevations, causing closings of some hiking trails. The spring season brings light snows and rain showers.

Rocky Mountain National Park can be accessed by State Highway 7 and U.S. Highways 34 and 36, although U.S. Highway 34 is the only road that runs throughout the entire park. This road is known as Trail Ridge Road within the park and offers a popular scenic view of the area. Visitors can partake in many activities including winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and other activities like camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and mountain climbing. Hikers can choose from 349 miles of trails that vary in length. Popular tourist attractions include mountain climbing on Longs Peak, hiking near and to Bear Lake, and visiting Paradise Park, which does not have any trails leading to it.

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Steamboat Springs Companies Earn Nod From Backpacker Magazine

031413_Backpacker3_t640Two local companies were honored as 2013 Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award winners.  The awards, which have been given out since 1993, honor the top products in the outdoor industry based on innovation, design, materials and performance.  Big Agnes won for its Scout UL2 tent, the company’s seventh Editors’ Choice Award since 2004.  Sweetwood Cattle Co. won for the first time for its jerky, marking its inclusion into the outdoor industry.  The companies were two of 14 manufacturers to earn the recognition.

“It’s our first award, and we’re super excited,” said Becca Fix, Sweetwood’s general manager. “We’re excited to see where it takes us. We were lucky to be included along the other companies. Anytime you’re listed alongside Big Agnes, you feel lucky and know you are doing something right.” Sweetwood was one of two food companies to earn the designation. The product, offered in four varieties, uses whole muscle cuts for its jerky and all natural flavors.

She said the editor of Backpacker Magazine was introduced to the product at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market a couple of years ago. From there, she said Sweetwood provided Backpacker with plenty of samples, and soon they became a hit.

For Big Agnes, the award was the status quo. The outdoor company has found a niche in tents and sleeping bags and has become a favorite of Backpacker. Big Agnes has won Editors’ Choice Awards from Backpacker in 2004, 2007 through 2009 and 2011 through this year.

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Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs…Rated Top 10 in the World

imagesWinter Carnival starts soon (Feb 6-10)! National Geographic Traveler and Good Morning America rates Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival in the Top 10 Winter Carnivals in the World!!! Don’t worry about getting bored because these 4 days are jam-packed with a variety of activities everyone can enjoy, such as, ski jumping competitions, the Diamond Hitch parade (which features our High School band performing on skis!), street events, and the Night Extravaganza at Howelsen Hill which includes a brilliant fireworks display and the famous Lighted Man, among much much more! You don’t want to miss out on one of Steamboat’s longest and greatest traditions…come join the fun!

Click here to see the entire Winter Carnival Lineup.

Colorado Ski Visits Down 11%

colorado-ski-map-620x406According to The Colorado Springs Business Journal ski visits across the state of Colorado are down 11.5% so far this season, compared to the same period last year. The Journal sites the lack of snow and late openings for many Colorado resorts as major factors in the drop of skier traffic.

“First period is largely fueled by in-state visitors, and an unseasonably warm October and November kept many Coloradans from tallying lots of ski days” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, a nonprofit industry group that represents several of the state’s largest ski resorts. “Snow did not arrive in earnest until mid-December.”

Despite the slow start, ski areas saw a strong holiday period with conditions more in line with an average year. The New Year started with storms, which bodes well for the rest of the season, she said.

“There is some real buoyancy in the indicators for the months ahead. February and March hotel bookings are pacing ahead of last year by 3.5 percent and 8.6 percent respectively,” Mills said. “Carnival and Easter are well-timed for ski visitation this year and Colorado’s traditional snowier months lie ahead.”.

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36 Hours in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

09HOURS1-articleLargeSteamboat Springs evokes an era when cattle ranchers roamed its streets and locals preferred Stetsons to ski vests. But in recent years, Steamboat has sought to shed a bit of its family-friendly image as a cowboy theme park and embrace its inner Breckenridge. The town, nestled along the Yampa River in northwest Colorado, has installed an array of new après-ski bars, haute cuisine restaurants and late-night haunts, as well as upscale lodgings, like One Steamboat Place, that can rival anything at Vail or Aspen. The centerpiece of Steamboat’s face-lift, which coincides with the resort’s 50th anniversary, is a redeveloped promenade at the base of its gondola, with a heated walkway, a musical stage and a three-tiered ice castle. Families still flock to Steamboat for its dude ranches and hot springs. But after the children are put to bed, its downtown comes alive with an impressive night life and innovative culinary scene. “It’s still a cowboy ski town,” said Gerry Verdoner, bar manager of Sweetwater Grill. “But now there’s more balance.”

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Colorado Revenue Continues to Grow, Economists Say

imagesColorado’s economy continues to outperform expectations, spurred on by tax revenue from stock sales, although unemployment remains high, state economists told lawmakers Monday.  The state’s tax receipts are expected to be $548.2 million, or 7.1 percent higher, this budget year than the prior year, according to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s economists. The latest quarterly forecast from state economists touched on familiar trends of past reports: Colorado’s economy is outperforming the national economy, but there remains caution because of the revenue growth is driven by taxes on one-time stock sales.  “We have clue after clue that what we’re dealing with is volatile revenue stream,” said Henry Sobanet, Hickenlooper’s budget director.  With the adjusted revenue numbers from December, the state’s general fund is expected to be $8.3 billion for the fiscal year that began in July. The general fund now exceeds the pre-Great Recession peak of $7.7 billion in 2007. The quarterly forecast released Monday afternoon will play a key role in the upcoming debate over the budget, especially as lawmakers debate an overhaul of the state’s system to fund schools. Lawmakers typically give final approval to the budget next month.  State legislative economists also delivered a separate forecast to lawmakers Monday with a similar outlook of cautious optimism for the state.  “I believe it is the spring of this recovery. However, know that storms can still happen in the spring,” said Natalie Mullis, the Legislature’s chief economist.

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Steamboat Running Series Stretches out Saturday with Mount Werner Classic

080113_RunningFILE_t670Emily Conjura puts up with long nights, stressful days and zero financial compensation to put on a running race. Though to her and many runners, the 50-kilometer Mount Werner Classic is more than that; it’s a chance to give back. “I think what you realize is you not only need to take from the running community, but you also have to give back,” Conjura said. “I can’t run that far anymore, but when I could, I appreciated that there was someone to put on a race like that for me.”

The Mount Werner Classic, planned for Saturday, caught on to the running world’s ultramarathon trend last year when it switched to a 50-kilometer course — about 31 miles — that climbs to the top of Storm Peak and back down with 5,100 feet of elevation gain. “I think ultramarathons are kind of the up-and-coming thing like the marathon was in the 1980s,” Conjura said. Conjura credits the change in course length, along with talk floating around the running community, for an increase in out-of-town participants. She estimated about 75 percent of the runners are coming from outside of Steamboat, and she’s hoping they can help fill out the field.

Click here for the full article and the full Steamboat Springs Competitive Run Schedule.