Longtime Steamboat Springs property management expert Steve Dawes went home Wednesday with a Navigator Award for his commitment to civic projects. Kathy and Terry Stokes of the PostNet store claimed another Navigator for being the national franchiser's top-selling store.
Dawes was named business person of the year and PostNet was named business of the year as the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Steamboat Pilot & Today handed out the Navigators during the chamber's 97th annual meeting at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.
Guest speaker Richard Wobbekind, an associate dean with the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, told the gathering that Routt County's leaders should begin to prepare the region for demographic change and a different kind of economy. The graying of the skiing base suggests Routt County needs to diversify its economy and adapt its tourism offerings to the inclinations of older Americans, Wobbekind said.
Pilot & Today editor Scott Stanford praised Dawes for his community involvement, including his work on the Howelsen Hill Ice Arena and his recent acceptance of the presidency of the Yampa Valley Healthcare Foundation.
"This year's winner has had a tremendous impact in Steamboat Springs for many years, including the one most recently passed," Stanford said. "Steve Dawes has served the Chamber Resort Association for 24 years. He has served as president of the chamber's board of directors and has chaired the Lodging Committee throughout his tenure."
Dawes was instrumental in the expansion and roofing of the ice arena and played a key role in the approval of the city's original accommodations tax, which funded the construction of Haymaker Golf Course, Stanford said.
He is a former Yampa Valley Community Foundation Philanthropist of the Year and before taking his new role with the Healthcare Foundation, he served on the hospital's board of directors.
Dawes' most significant contribution to the business community may be realized next week if voters at the base of Mount Werner approve Ballot Issue 2A, creating an additional lodging tax of 2 percent, Stanford said. The tax, collected only within the limited boundaries of a new Local Marketing District in the commercial area at the mountain, would create a dedicated funding source to secure year round jet flights at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.
A former principal in Steamboat Resorts, Dawes has continued his career in resort property management most recently with his own consulting firm, Dawes and Associates.
The Stokes have used the freedom allowed by PostNet CEO Steve Greenbaum to adapt the range of services they offer since opening their store in 1997. That adaptability has driven company-leading sales figures out of a small market.
"Kathy sits on the franchise's national advisory board and has helped PostNet expand its customer service in the face of new competition," Stanford said.
"It isn't about where you are," Greenbaum said of the Stokes' store in November 2003. "The issue is that people understand you're there. It's about reaching and educating as many consumers as possible."
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