Steamboat businesses get ready for shift to mud season |

Steamboat businesses get ready for shift to mud season

Businesses across city start specials, temporary closures, reduced hours

Mike Lawrence

— Traffic on ski slopes stopped while traffic downtown accelerated Monday as Steamboat Springs residents, visitors and businesses began the transition into what many are calling an ominous mud season.

Steamboat's Village Inn restaurant on Central Park Drive is an early casualty of the season and the lingering economic recession. The restaurant will close its doors Wednesday. Elsewhere across Steamboat, several businesses are reducing their hours for the next few weeks or closing altogether until May or June, while others are remaining open and trying to drive customer visits with special offers and deals.

Kristi Brown, co-owner of the Cantina of Steamboat at 818 Lincoln Ave., said the Mexican restaurant's "Sizzlin' Sundays" two-for-one fajita special will continue into spring, and she plans to unveil new, additional specials next week.

"We have a lot of year-round staff with families to support," she said. "Closing isn't really an option for us."

Brown said Cantina has about 25 employees on board for mud season.

On Monday afternoon, she looked out the restaurant's wide front windows at the massive repaving project that's slowing traffic to a crawl and blocking access to downtown businesses as work moves in phases down Steamboat's main drag. She smiled ruefully.

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"We went ahead and put our patio furniture out today," Brown said. "We'll probably have to dust it off every day."

Brown noted that parking is available for Cantina customers right out the restaurant's back door, in the public lot on Eighth Street. And a few patrons enjoyed Monday's sunny weather on her patio. But those seats might not be as appealing later this week — Brown said Scott Contracting crews told her they could soon start tearing up pavement in front of the restaurant.

A few doors east at Straight­line Sports, owner Brett Lee said the store is offering a sale on clothing and some winter items in order to make room for spring and summer inventory.

"We're packing all of our (ski) rentals away and tuning 'em up," he said. "They're not doing us much good. … We're just making the transition from winter to summer."

Lee said he sold a pair of skis Monday, though, one day after closing day at Steamboat Ski Area. He said he's planning some store maintenance such as re-doing the floors in the coming weeks while business likely slows during mud season and the construction.

He said he doesn't plan to change the store's hours or reduce staff, but that could change.

"I kind of have to see how it all pans out," he said.

The Steamboat Springs Cha­mber Resort Association provided the following list of mud season closures and hours of operation changes submitted by member businesses.

By location, they include:


■ Talulla Women's Boutique, closed on Sundays

■ Tread of Pioneers Museum, closed until 11 a.m. April 27

■ Ghost Ranch Saloon, closed until May 6, then open only Thursdays through Saturdays until mid-June

■ Old West Steakhouse, closed until April 27, then open only Tuesdays through Saturdays until mid-June

■ Giovanni's Ristorante, open through mud season but closed on Sundays and Mondays until the summer

Mountain area

■ Sheraton Steamboat Resort, closed until noon June 11

■ The Ptarmigan Inn, closed to overnight business until May 28, and its Snowbird Restaurant, closed until Thanksgiving

Across Steamboat

■ Carpets Plus, closed April 19-23

■ Sweet Pea Tours, closed from Thursday through April 25

■ The Ore House restaurant, closed until May 14

■ Hot Springs Adventures, closed from Thursday through June 1

Crosstown traffic

The massive repaving project on Lincoln Avenue through downtown is picking up speed this week. Details include:

■ Overnight paving is scheduled to begin tonight, from just west of 13th Street to 11th Street.

■ There is no parking on Lincoln Avenue this week between Sixth and 13th streets.

■ Left turns off Lincoln Avenue westbound, toward Yampa Street, can be made at Fifth, Sixth and Ninth streets.

Left turns off Lincoln Avenue eastbound, toward Oak Street, can be made at Fifth, Fourth and Third streets.

■ Work zone crosswalks are near Seventh, Ninth and 11th streets.

■ Left turns off Lincoln Avenue westbound onto 13th Street are not available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To reach the Fairview neighborhood and 13th Street businesses, detour via the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge on Shield Drive.

Project updates

Jody Patten, project information manager for Scott Contracting, updates construction plans at least daily on the project information hot line, 970-819-7008.

To sign up for e-mail updates on the project, visit this site and click on the “Sign up for E-mail and Wireless Alerts” link in the upper right corner.

The next public meeting about the project is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Centennial Hall at 124 10th St.

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