Locals 2012: Tom Simmins
June 29, 2012
One step into Tom Simmins' office is all it takes to see why he loves where he's at.
Two old pictures of Steamboat Ski Area hang on one wall and a retro skiing illustration on another. There's also a map of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, of which he's climbed 31 of the 51; a signed picture of boyhood favorite Pete Rose (ask him about Game 7 of the 1975 World Series); and, closest to him, a collage of family photos, most of which are in the outdoors.
While all are a testament to his love for the outdoors, family remains the most important reason Tom has been here for 23 years.
"This is the happiest I've ever been," says Tom, a vice president for Resort Group. "It's the best my family has ever been. We've succeeded in raising two kids in a small town, and I'm making a decent living. Things couldn't be better."
Tom, 55, always has been an adventurer. He grew up in Dayton, Ky., just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. When he turned 18, he and a buddy hitchhiked to California. On their way, they went through Colorado. "When I got home, I packed my stuff and went west," he says.
He worked several seasons at the Grand Canyon before meeting his wife, Mary. He spent time in Boulder, Colorado Springs and Telluride before the two settled in Colorado Springs in 1981.
Eventually, the couple had two children, Emma and Natalie, and Tom realized that Colorado Springs wasn't where he wanted to raise them. They had been taking trips to the mountains for five years, trying to find a place to settle down. Glenwood Springs was in the running, but in 1989, Tom received a call that the Sheraton was looking for someone to manage a restaurant in Steamboat.
"When Mary saw Steamboat in the summer, it was an easy sell," he says.
Tom has worked at Resort Group since 2005 and has fallen in love with everything outdoors as well as the Steamboat community, as illustrated by his volunteer work with Mainstreet Steamboat Springs and maintaining Eagle Scout Park.
"He's like my rock," says Tracy Barnett, Mainstreet's manager. "He just really gets it. He really loves this place."
As far as he's concerned, Steamboat has given him everything he ever wanted and more. "You couldn't ask for a better town," he says. "I don't want to hear people talk bad about Steamboat. If you do, you're not seeing this town."