News for Sunday, January 12, 2003

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Stories

The year when visquine replaced Champagne Powder

What do skiing and visquine have in common? Read on and I'll connect the dots for you.

Ski area was Jim Temple's dream

But founder's involvement ultimately ended in heartbreak

When construction of ski trails on Storm Mountain began, Jim Temple got calls asking how big the jumps would be. It was 1958 and the idea of a new Alpine ski area in Steamboat Springs -- let alone an internationally renowned ski resort -- seemed far-fetched to some. All the largely agricultural town knew was Howelsen Hill, which was built in 1917, and the ski jumps that were built on it.

The evolution of hot-dog skiing on Mount Werner

The 1960s brought free love. It was also a decade that brought free skiing. Youngsters who came of age 40 years ago in the United States sought change from the social norm. Free spirits in Steamboat Springs found it on the slopes.

Ski Area Timeline

1963 Storm Mountain, under local ownership, opens for business with one double chairlift, Bear Claw and Poma lift. An A-frame warming house known as the Storm Hut constructed in November of 1962 is a shelter for up to 250 skiers, with a snack bar and a ski shop. Cash receipts from opening day, $13.75 with temperature of minus-25 degrees.

When it comes to skiing, Kidd is a living legend

Billy Kidd figured his window of opportunity was a couple of years at the most. As an Olympic silver medalist and world champion, Kidd had an opportunity to create a new life for himself in Steamboat Springs, but he predicted his moment to shine would be short-lived as skiing fans waited for the next great American racer to come along.

Hayden students take part in new program

The high school experience has been expanded this year for Hayden students. Not only can they learn the derivative of a trigonometric function or how to understand Faulkner, Hayden students are now learning how to be philanthropists.

Werners became first family of Steamboat

If any family has ever approached the status of royalty in Steamboat Springs, it is the Werner family, said longtime family friend Rod Hanna.

Steamboat retains character as owners change

The Steamboat Ski Area has had five distinct ownership groups in its 40-year history, each ushering in distinctly different eras.

Contracts discuss mediation

School board may make adjustments

Strawberry Park Elementary School Principal John DeVincentis and Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Cyndy Simms previously agreed to use a mediator to help them establish and maintain a professional working relationship in the wake of last year's evaluation controversy.

Trail names come from a variety of sources

Decades ago, a group of excited skiers in their teens and early twenties hiked up the backside of Storm Mountain from Rabbit Ears Pass. They had waited for early spring when a layer of crust made for easy skiing. They raced each other through trees that would someday make way for groomed runs.

Rancher came up with 'Champagne Powder' in 1950s

The quality of the snow in Steamboat Springs is sure to leave skiers and riders thirsty for more. Champagne powder earned its name half a century ago. Today the term continues to capture the surreal quality of skiing or riding on a surface lighter than air.

Lifts critical to building a world-class resort

Before there were high-speed quads with detachable chairs for easy loading and unloading and an eight-passenger gondola, there were two 12-foot diameter bullwheels, a flatbed farm truck and a whole lot of determination.

Mountain name changed to honor Buddy Werner

Many years before Mount Werner was renamed in honor of Steamboat Springs' first family of skiing the massive bald peak that dominates views from downtown Steamboat Springs had a simple name. Most local people didn't have to ask how Storm Mountain got its name.

John Fetcher played key role in ski area

He has lunched with Supreme Court justices in Washington and exchanged gag gifts with legendary football player Doak Walker. He planned four of the area's reservoirs and designed world-class ski jumps from Howelsen Hill to Crested Butte. He designed and constructed many of Steamboat Springs' first ski lifts, not to mention the gondola that put Steamboat on the international map.

Expansions important to ski area growth

With more than 65 miles of trails and almost 3,000 acres of terrain, the Steamboat Ski Area has a reputation for being one of the biggest in North America.

Marketing campaigns focus on western heritage

The most recognizable marketing image of the Steamboat Ski Area is of a man and woman on horses, with skis across their laps, breaking trail through deep snow. The majestic old More barn is in the background and the ski-trail-striped Mount Werner is behind that.

Cowboy Downhill a Steamboat tradition

Put a couple cowboys together and a competition is bound to ensue, at least that was the thinking of Larry Mahan and Billy Kidd when they created the Cowboy Downhill in 1974. Originally staged with just a handful of pro rodeo cowboys, the Cowboy Downhill, entering its 29th year, has become one of the Steamboat Ski Area's grandest winter events.