Romick races

Snocross returns to Romick arena

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By Saturday, the typically flat surface of Brent Romick Rodeo Arena will take on a different appearance.

Bombardiers will move mounds of snow to form the jumps, track and kickers needed to hold a world-class snocross event.

"We've got a lot of work to do, but it will come together," promoter Henry Billet said.

Billet and Warrior Snocross Freestyle brought snocross back to Steamboat last year. The two-day event drew thousands of spectators to Howelsen Hill to watch the racing and a special nighttime freestyle air show.

Billet is bringing a similar event to Howelsen this Saturday and Sunday, a kickoff for a series featuring events in Steamboat, Hayden and Craig.

Racing will begin at 9 a.m. both days, and the Pro Cup race and a freestyle show are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $15 for the entire weekend and $10 for the Saturday night show. Tickets will be sold at the gate.

Billet said the event draws between 80 and 100 racers and features racing in a number of classes ranging from beginning to professional riding.

While last year's event was wildly popular among racers and the snowmobile community, it did draw complaints from downtown residents who thought the event was too noisy, congested or just not the right fit for the area.

Chris Wilson, director of Parks, Open Space and Recreation, said he received eight complaints about last year's event. Six were phoned in, one was sent via e-mail and the other was a personal visit.

Wilson said special events are required to have a waiver if they exceed 55 decibels.

He admitted that last year's snocross races did exceed those limits a few times, but the races typically were at or below the specified noise threshold.

Wilson also pointed out that in tests conducted at Fifth and Oak streets and the Howelsen Lodge before the event, the background noise exceeded those limits.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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