Mustang roundup brings classic cars to town

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The hotels on the city's south side are booked almost solid this weekend as the Mustang Roundup returns for its 10th season here.

The lodging barometer produced by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association anticipates 10,700 visitors will spend Saturday night in area hotels and condominiums.

A Triple Crown youth baseball tournament involving 90 teams and the Haywhacker youth golf tournament also are contributing to the big tourism weekend.

The Chamber reports that hotels on U.S. Highway 40 will be 96 percent full Saturday night. David Gatton, general manager of the 66-room Fairfield Inn, confirmed he had fewer than a dozen rooms remaining for Friday and Saturday nights and that those were filling quickly.

"It's always great to have Mustangs in the parking lot," Gatton said.

The Chamber expects the resort's bed base to be 71 percent full Saturday night. Downtown hotels are 98 percent full. Mountain condos are 54 percent full.

Brett Abbott, chairman of the Mustang Roundup committee, said the event attracts members of six Front Range car clubs.

The public is invited to watch Friday's autocross event, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the ski area's Meadows Parking lot. More than 180 car owners have signed up to race in individual time trials through a twisty course. The Sports Car Club of America will supervise and time cars in stock and modified classes.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, hundreds of restored Mustangs will be lined up along Lincoln Avenue for the Show 'n' Shine.

Abbott said visitors can expect to see more than a dozen of the hot new 2005 Mustangs, with lines that harken back to the muscle cars of the '60s.

Exotic Shelbys, which can sell for more than $100,000, and some beautifully restored 1965 and 1966 models, which sell for as much as $35,000, are expected to participate.

Beginning Mustang collectors still can find a stripped-down '60s-era car for about $5,500, Abbott said.

Not far from the Show 'n' Shine, the first farmers market of the summer will be taking place Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Routt County Courthouse, off Fifth Street. Organizer Tracy Barnett of Main Street Steamboat said she has confirmed 24 vendors will be present. They'll be selling produce, French pastries, natural beef, Rocky Mountain elk, locally produced salsa, gourmet muffin and soup mixes, and herbs among other food items and crafts. The farmers market runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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