Joanne Palmer: We could enjoy a starry night at Ski Time Square |

Joanne Palmer: We could enjoy a starry night at Ski Time Square

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or

Imagine this. No, seriously imagine it. Close your eyes and put your imagination in the driver's seat. Suspend logic.

Fast forward a few weeks. It is now Dec. 2. Thanksgiving is over. You survived! After one more punishing workout at the gym, the food guilt will be gone. You have a few free evenings before the tourists arrive and your life is turned upside down. You're in the mood to do something fun. Something different. You're tired of the bar scene, and you aren't earning enough money for a big night out on the town. You head to Ski Time Square, slide into a heated lounge chair, wrap yourself in a heated blanket and toast the night sky with a complimentary mug of hot cocoa (of course, with whipped cream and mini marshmallows) and get ready for a night of stargazing. Winter stargazing with Jimmy Westlake. The moon is full, your tummy is toasty, and you can't imagine living anywhere more beautiful than Steamboat Springs.

Winter stargazing is just one of the activities that could happen in Ski Time Square … until we get a professional football team. A professional football team would require a professional football stadium, which could be professionally built in Ski Time Square, putting a lot of former professional people back to work.

Seriously, let's get down to business. The demolished site of Ski Time Square commercial area needs something that will attract tourists to the area. Here are a few ideas, in no particular order:

  1. A "pray for snow bonfire" that burns 24/7, 365 days of the year.
  2. Sledding hill. Build it and they will come. One pile of snow, and I guarantee you kids and adults alike will bring their own hot chocolate, sleds, tubes and toboggans and have some fun.
  3. Build-your-own snowDOG or snowCAT contest. Steamboat is the most animal-loving community I have ever lived in, so why not sculpt your pet's likeness out of snow? I volunteer to be the judge.

Winners will receive one year of free veterinarian visits to the veterinarian of their choice and free dog or cat food. Because our snow is often too dry for sculpting, please have snow makers deposit some wet snow there so we will have an easier time.  

  1. Ugg boot demo center.
  2. Après ski with high school marching band on skis every Friday afternoon.
  3. Yurt-ville. Affordable ski-in, ski-out lodging for budget-minded guests. Still need those heated chairs and blankets.
  4. The return of the Hot Cookie Shack. Bring it back; bring it back.
  5. The noon whistle can be relocated to Ski Time Square. Ditto for the Sundance Post Office.
  6. Heated ski jacket demo center courtesy of Mountain Hardwear.
  7. Winter ice-climbing lessons taught by the irrepressible climbing monkey himself, Matt Tredway.
  8. Winter zoo with polar bears, seals and penguins.
  9. Outdoor movie night, again with the heated chairs and blankets.
  10. Tweetville, a social media center offering "How to Tweet" classes every hour on the hour.
  11. Winter greenhouse, chicken coop, winter farmer's market and community garden center. Grow local; buy local.
  12. Winter garage sale. Every Saturday. C'mon, devoted garage salers are going through withdrawal.
  13. Giant heater for frozen fingers and toes.
  14. Frequent questions visitors have concerning snow, such as "When is it going to snow? Why is it snowing? Can you make it stop snowing?" Create a snow station/weather station to provide factual answers to these questions.
  15. Bookmobile in winter; ice cream truck in summer.
  16. Droid-ville: a cell phone demo center offering a five-second charging service for your phone.
  17. Inflatable ski lockers.
  18. Book signings with local authors … yay!
  19. Did I mention the heated chairs and blankets?

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