Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the start of summer.
In Steamboat Springs, however, this weekend of barbecues, breaking out the baseball gloves and remembering fallen soldiers plays second fiddle to a weekend of singlets, aid stations and finish lines.
The June 1 running of the Steamboat Marathon kicks off summer events in the Yampa Valley, said Riley Polumbus, public relations director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.
That's when guest numbers take off, said Tim Johnson, Steamboat Resorts' director of marketing.
So it's no surprise the lodging industry isn't fretting about less-than-full motels and condos today through Sunday. Rooms are expected to be a little more than 50 percent occupied Saturday.
Mountain condos are projected at 27 percent occupancy. That percentage is down 5 percent from last year, but it isn't out of the ordinary for Memorial Day weekend, Johnson said.
The absence of fatigued runners on Lincoln Avenue doesn't mean people are staying away this weekend.
Pleasant temperatures are creating quite a last-minute draw.
"Memorial Day is the end of mud season," Polumbus said. "People want to get out."
People have heard the Yampa Valley is drying out and are eager to come, she said.
Saturday's projected occupancy is 6 percent higher than in 2002. About 7,960 people are expected in comparison with 6,900 in 2002.
The biggest increase comes from downtown Steamboat. The Chamber anticipates downtown motels will book 97 percent of their rooms. That's a 26 percent jump from last year.
Renovations have closed two downtown motels, but a few are still open and ready for visitors.
"It's looking to be a good weekend," said Greg Koehler, owner and manager of the Rabbit Ears Motel.
Downtown bookings for the weekend were exceeding 50 percent as of Thursday.
John Latek, owner of the Alpiner Lodge, is hoping a few more walk-ins will boost those figures.
Guests are expected to fill 50 percent of hotel rooms near the Steamboat Ski Area. Rooms near the east entrance of Steamboat are projected at 72 percent occupancy.
Bookings in the downtown and mountain areas typically flip-flop in the summer, as guests no longer seek rooms in close proximity to the Steamboat Ski Area, Polumbus said.