Steamboat Springs Culture and Nightlife

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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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.

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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Crane Festival Returns to Steamboat for 2nd Year

090613_CraneFILE_t670They are the biggest of their type. They can mate for life. Their mythology and symbolism are marked in cultures across the world. And they can dance. “They’re the best dancers in the animal kingdom,” said Nancy Merrill, the president of the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition and one of the co-organizers of the second annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival.

For Merrill, the meaning of the crane is deep and rich. They greet her every morning near her ranch in Hayden. And what started as an informal meeting of friends around this time of year eventually turned into a full-blown festival. “We thought it would be great to have a crane festival,” Merrill said. “It’s a great draw for bird watchers and nature lovers. But also, cranes are culturally transcendent. They have a great appeal.” The event made its debut last year in response to Colorado Parks and Wildlife considering a limited hunting season for cranes. After the proposal was withdrawn, Merrill and co-organizer Barb Hughes decided to turn their decadelong idea into a reality.

“We were very surprised by the turnout last year,” Hughes said. “We had people from 28 cities around Colorado and 12 states. That was with minimal publicity.” This year, with more time and planning, the second rendition is packed full of events across the Yampa Valley. Merrill and Hughes said that in the second year they wanted to showcase the cranes but also do it across the valley to help highlight the area.

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Colorado’s Top 13 Family Vacation Ideas for Summer 2013

indexSummer is just around the corner and you don’t need to look far to have a world-class vacation with your family. From theater hikes to Outhouse Races to free events galore, we have the inside scoop on All Things Colorado.


It may be summertime but Snowmass has returned to the Ice Age with the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center that features the most significant Ice Age ecosystem find in Colorado history (and it’s free). Touch a mastodon tooth, marvel at a half-sized 6-foot Wooden Mammoth Skeleton, do a dig of your own or a daily Ice Age Discovery Hike by  Environment Studies.  Visit the Snowmass Rodeo on Wednesday nights (June 12- August 28) and sign up your kids for the Calf Scramble and Mutton Busting. Ride the Elk Camp Gondola up Snowmass Mountain where the Elk Camp Restaurant will open for activities including downhill biking, dinner, campfires, live music, movies, Stryder Park and Kid’s Playground on Friday evenings. Try your hand at some slopeside bowling at the new bowling alley below Venga Venga Cantina featuring eight full-sized lanes, a lounge area with full bar, wood-fired oven pizzas, upscale bar food and more. Then, get inspired at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a stellar place for kids of all ages to take workshops that include sculpture, photography, painting, beading, and mask-making.

Click here to read about all the other fun Colorado towns.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Five HOT Summertime Activities

IQ2A2110-141x200This charming resort town, also known as Ski Town, U.S.A.®, was originally just a summer destination, owing much of its allure to the 150 natural hot springs that dot the landscape.  Travelers as far back as 1880 came here to partake of the waters as well as the abundance of outdoor activities. The name of the town, in fact, was given by French fur trappers who thought that one of the springs sounded like a steamboat engine.

Summertime is still one of the best times to visit, and hot springs are just an appetizer in the smorgasbord of available activities. So here is my short list of the top five things to see and do.

Located just a short drive from the center of town, Fish Creek Falls is currently ranked as the #1 attraction on TripAdvisor. There is a $5.00 parking fee that provides access to a couple of hiking trails and the overlook trail is an easy, paved affair that is ideal for families with strollers or anyone using a wheelchair. This walk is quite scenic among the aspen trees and natural foliage and ends with a grand view of the 283-foot falls after about a quarter of a mile.

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28 Hours in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

pools-signs-steamboat-springs-strawberry-park-hot-springs-colorado-300x168You know what I love about Steamboat? It can be the lazy man’s mountain town. You can lounge in their hot springs, float down their river or cool your feet off as you admire their waterfalls. (You can also, of course, hike, bike, climb, ski and/or snowboard the mountains.)

For me, Steamboat has the remote feeling everyone loves about Telluride, the pace of a small town that has no interest in overzealous developers and a beauty that can and does hold its own. Unlike many sought after mountain towns around the world, Steamboat still has a main street that staves off the t-shirt shops, small bungalows with Hondas in the driveway and people with a ready and easy smile.

David’s friends from Spain were traveling around Colorado. They had seen Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, Telluride, Ouray and Crested Butte. We had to make sure they saw another of Colorado’s gems before leaving and told them we must meet in Steamboat.

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Pot Votes in CO Raise Specter of Weed Tourism

Hit the slopes — and then a bong?

Marijuana legalization votes this week in Colorado and Washington state don’t just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug laws for residents. The measures also open the door for marijuana tourism.

Both marijuana measures make marijuana possession in small amounts OK for all adults over 21 — not just state residents but visitors, too. Tourists may not be able to pack their bowls along with their bags, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they wouldn’t violate the marijuana measures.

Of course, that’s assuming the recreational marijuana measures take effect at all. That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal supremacy over drug law.

So the future of marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington is hazy. But that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation, especially in Colorado, where tourism is the No. 2 industry thanks to the Rocky Mountains and a vibrant ski industry.

The day after Colorado approved recreational marijuana by a wide margin, the headline in the Aspen Times asked, “Aspendam?” referring to Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.

Colorado’s tourism director, Al White, tried to downplay the prospect of a new marijuana tourism boom. “It won’t be as big a deal as either side hopes or fears,” White said. Maybe not. But many are asking about marijuana tourism.

Ski resorts are “certainly watching it closely,” said Jennifer Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association that represents 21 Colorado resorts.

The Colorado counties where big ski resorts are located seem to have made up their minds. The marijuana measure passed by overwhelming margins, with more support than in less visited areas.

The home county of Aspen approved the marijuana measure more than 3-to-1. More than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. The home county of Telluride ski resort gave marijuana legalization its most lopsided victory, nearly 8 in 10 favoring the measure.

“Some folks might come to Colorado to enjoy some marijuana as will be their right. So what?” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the Colorado marijuana campaign.

Marijuana backers downplayed the impact on tourism. Aldworth pointed out that pot-smoking tourists wouldn’t exactly be new. Colorado ski slopes already are dotted with “smoke shacks,” old mining cabins that have been illicitly repurposed as places to smoke pot out of the cold. And the ski resort town of Breckenridge dropped criminal penalties for marijuana use two years ago.


31 Things to Do in Steamboat in August

1. Attend the Steamboat Annual Wine Festival
2. Run the Steamboat Stinger Mountain Marathon
3. Spend time at the Moffat County Fair
4. Take in all of the different types of art on display at the Annual All Arts Festival
5. Go downtown to shop the Come Sale Away Sidewalk Sales
6. Steamboat Olympic Triathlon at Catamount
7. Go to Fish Creek Falls to learn about flora, fauna, geology and history for FREE by a Yampatika Naturalist
8. Enjoy a sunset bike ride at the gondola with extended hours on Twilight Tuesdays
9. Enjoy sunset happy hour with beautiful views of the Yampa valley and signature cocktails, tapas and live music atop the gondola
10. Visit the Annual Wild West Air Fest and Labor Day Celebration
11. Experience rafting with a full or half day trip on Colorado’s best rivers.

To see the other 20 things to do in Steamboat Springs in August, Click Here.