College students coming

Approximately 2,000 expected for College Week

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— Approximately 2,000 college students are expected in Steamboat Springs over the next 10 days as the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. offers events and prices aimed specifically at luring the college crowd.

This is the 17th year for College Week in Steamboat. Now through Jan. 12, college students from around the country are expected to spend portions of their semester breaks skiing and partying in Ski Town USA.

The big event for the week is Steamboat Music Fest 2002, a two-day music festival featuring Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Seth James, Dub Miller and Trish Murphy.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday in Gondola Square, Green and Morrow will return for the second year to perform a free concert for college students, other visitors and Steamboat locals. Green, whose career to date has been built playing Texas college towns, released a self-titled CD in the fall on Republic Records and Morrow will release a new CD this year.

John DiNicholas, Ski Corp. sales and marketing representative, said there will be a Cajun cookout with two Louisiana chefs, including Junior Herbert, during the performances of Green and Morrow.

The second free outdoor concert is from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday in Gondola Square with James, Miller and Murphy playing their brand of Americana music. That event is also open to the public.

DiNicholas said the music festival is growing every year and Ski Corp. has decided to add the festival as a part of College Week.

DiNicholas said Ski Corp. is expecting about 2,000 students.

Cathy Wiedemer, Ski Corp. public relations manager, said College Week started 17 years ago when Ski Corp. thought recruiting college students during their semester break would make for a smart marketing move.

"As you can tell, the crowds are thinning out after Christmas and New Year's when the families leave," Wiedemer said. "The college students are still on winter break."

Wiedemer said Ski Corp. wants to give them access to the slopes and the timing fits perfectly.

Students can purchase "Party in the Rockies 2002" T-shirts and see the aforementioned musical artists and others including Honey Browne, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Roger Creager and comedian Doug Moreland for "After the Slopes" at Levelz nightclub in Ski Time Square.

DiNicholas said although the musical artists hail from Texas, the tour company that organizes the students' trip is based out of Milwaukee. Hence, College Week is not particularly aimed at Texas college students but rather all of those in the Southwest, he said.

The College Week trips are sold in five-day packages. The first groups arrived Thursday. More groups are expected next week. The packages include private parties at the top of the gondola and at Bear River Bar & Grill, snow volleyball, ice sculpting and a keg toss at the base.

The Travel Channel was in Steamboat to film the nightlife scene at Levelz and will return next week to film during the second College Week trip.

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