Summer tourism slowing


— Steamboat's summer vacation season is starting to wind down.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's Lodging Barometer forecasts 5,000 fewer overnight guests in town this weekend than last weekend, the second-busiest weekend of the summer.

The number of people expected to spend tonight in Steamboat lodges and condominiums is just slightly off from the corresponding weekend in 2005. The lodging barometer forecast visitor occupancy at 8,600 people for tonight. Last Saturday, 13,415 pillows were occupied, according to estimates.

Early projections for next weekend show a significant drop compared with last year. About 11 percent fewer people are expected with be here next weekend compared to the same weekend the previous year. Aug. 19 predictions call for 4,900 people.

Weekend events are still taking place in Steamboat, but Chamber spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said the number of family vacations are tapering off because school is starting soon.

"In the Front Range, they're starting to think about school," Polumbus said.

Triple Crown Sports baseball and softball tournaments are coming to an end, which prompts the decrease in Steamboat visitors.

An adult softball tournament is taking place this weekend, but that tournament mainly brings in participants and not as many full families, Polumbus said.

"It doesn't have that big of an impact," she said.

Last-minute travel is common this time of year, and the Wild West Relay today is expected to be a big draw.

The race is a 195-mile team event starting in Fort Collins and ending at Steamboat Springs Middle School.

"I hope that a lot of these participants will take advantage of Steamboat and spend the night," Polumbus said.

The Tour de Steamboat-Century Road Ride also is on today. The bike race covers Rabbit Ears, Gore and Yellow Jacket Passes.


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