This has surely been a challenging winter. The tragedies of Sept. 11 had an immediate impact on the travel industry. Add to that the uncertainty of the national economy and an unseasonably warm November resulting in a delayed opening. As we finish the season in much better shape than we ever anticipated given that dubious beginning, we need to recognize the efforts of everyone that contributed to what success we had this past winter.
The management team at the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. reacted immediately to the events of Sept. 11 and created a new marketing strategy that appealed to a broad drive market as well as our destination travelers. When the snow finally came, they were ready with live video feed to all the major networks to capitalize on the abundant snow message. The lodging industry partnered with discounts and packages that successfully drew numbers of skiers to town. And many businesses contributed to the Transportation Support Fund so that we were able to provide the direct air service to get our guests here.
The people of this community and all our businesses showed their survival spirit and responded with increased hospitality and caring as evidenced in the nominations and numerous letters we received for the Hospitality Awards. Our guests were touched to the core and were blown away by the friendliness this season. We came in droves for the Olympian Send-off in subzero weather so that our hometown athletes knew how much they meant to us.
I want to thank everyone in this community who had a part in keeping our spirits alive in what looked to be a very difficult season. As traveler confidence rebounded and Mother Nature blessed us, we were able to experience a March that exceeded our expectations. This is truly a wonderful community and I am proud of it!
Executive vice president, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association