Rainbow weekend to attract 10,700

July 16 expected to be even busier

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Steamboat Springs' condominiums and hotels will be 71 percent full Saturday as Rainbow Weekend draws crowds to see the Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park. However, an early forecast for July 16 suggests even more visitors are expected in town for the Mountain Youth Soccer Tournament.

Tourism this weekend is expected to be heavier than the same weekend last year, when about 9,800 people were in town. The Chamber's lodging barometer forecasts 10,700 people in town Saturday night, when downtown lodging properties are 100 percent booked and U.S. Highway 40 properties already are 95 percent full. Mountain hotels are 73 percent full this weekend, and the condominiums at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area are more than 60 percent full.

People contemplating a visit to Steamboat on July 16 probably will have to book a condo or bring their tents and sleeping bags.

Already, the Chamber projects 11,600 people will be in town during the soccer tournament.

"People don't recognize how important that tournament is," Chamber spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said. "The nice thing is that it's done by local volunteers, and it's a benefit for the local soccer programs."

Steamboat's bed base totals almost 19,000 pillows, but mountain hotels already are 91 percent full, and motels are 95 percent full for July 16. Steamboat's condos still have room -- advance reservations show them 62 percent full.

Steamboat residents will get a slight breather at midweek -- about 4,700 people are expected to spend the night here Wednesday, July 13. That compares with 5,100 on the corresponding Wednesday last summer.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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