Steamboat Springs Banners worth $4,300 were stolen from a baseball field at Howelsen Hill Park sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Joel Rae from the Steamboat Springs Police Department said the seven banners were padlocked to a chain-link fence at the field. Someone cut the banners off of the locks, he said.
The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association hung the banners to be seen during the Triple Crown softball and baseball tournaments. The banners were advertisements for local businesses, Rae said.
The association has a financial obligation to help pay the hosting cost of the Triple Crown tournaments each summer, said Jennifer Fuller, special events and marketing assistant for the Chamber Resort Association. The banner sales raised money for that cost.
"It's just unfortunate," Fuller said. "It's a little of a setback for us."
For $750, the Resort Association offered to produce and hang the banners for businesses from June through September. If a business had its own banner, it could be displayed for the same amount of time for $500.
Fuller said the Resort Association produced three of the seven banners that were stolen. The Resort Association will replace those banners, free of cost to the businesses. The banners advertised Johnny B. Good's, Steamboat Resorts and Alpine Taxi.
The other four businesses that displayed their own banners -- All That Jazz, City Market, Backdoor Sports and Pisa's Pizza and Pasta -- will have to pay to replace them. Fuller said the Resort Association has decided to assist these businesses with replacement costs.
"This is a program that needs to be successful for the chamber," Fuller said. She hopes that the incident will not deter other businesses from purchasing banners.
"We're still going to keep going with this," she said.
Sixteen banners still are on display, and Fuller said five more will go up soon. The Resort Association will not be taking any further precautions to prevent theft, Fuller said. Since the Triple Crown tournaments begin early in the morning and end late at night, storing the banners somewhere else would be too difficult, she said.
Sgt. Rae said the SSPD is "heavily" investigating the case.
Anyone with information about the theft should call the SSPD at 879-1144.