The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association will honor top businesses and businesspeople during its 97th annual meeting, to be held Oct. 27.
Nominations are being sought for the Navigator Awards, co-sponsored by the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
The guest speaker will be University of Colorado economics professor Richard Wobbekind, director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business at CU.
His responsibilities include preparing an annual forecast of the Colorado economy, and his talk in Steamboat will focus on those issues, as well as a glimpse at the economy of Routt County.
Wobbekind, who is known for his engaging speaking style, is also the associate dean for external relations at CU. His office recently completed the economic development strategic plan for Colorado. He is a member of the Governor's Revenue Estimating Advisory Committee, as well as other boards.
Another highlight of the luncheon meeting will be the announcement of the "business person of the year" and the "business of the year." Last year's business of the year was Ski Haus, owned by Rod Schrage. Scott Ford of the Small Business Development Center at Colorado Mountain College was honored as businessman of the year.
Speaking about Ski Haus at last year's meeting, Steamboat Pilot & Today editor Scott Stanford praised Schrage and his staff for their innovative marketing techniques. They include awarding wooden "bucks" to customers at Schrage's Conoco station, which are redeemable at his other retail outlets. Stanford also noted that Schrage has made his outdoor sporting goods store a part of many birthday celebrations in the Yampa Valley.
"Few Steamboat Springs residents have allowed a birthday to pass without taking advantage of the well-known birthday discount at Ski Haus," Stanford said. "This wildly popular marketing strategy serves as an example of how Rod Schrage has built one of the city's most successful retail stores."
Chamber Executive Director Sandy Evans Hall said Ford unabashedly describes himself as a "geek with personality." But his passion for statistical analysis has resulted in the chamber's long-standing lodging barometer and the exhaustive consumer preference survey published in the spring of 2002.
Ford has encouraged and advised many fledgling business operators and entrepreneurs, but always urged them to confront the realities of running a small business.
People interested in making nominations for the 2004 awards may call Gina Norton at 879-0882, ext. 205, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is Oct. 18.
Tickets are available at the door for $20, but reservations are required through Sarah Hoeller, who can be reached at 879-0882, ext. 201.
-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205
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