Sunday, February 19, 2006
Fourteen thousand extra people apparently is just another winter day in Steamboat Springs.
Law officers, airport employees and ski resort officials said that despite the influx of an estimated 14,200 visitors to Steamboat during the weekend, operations across the city and on the mountain ran relatively smoothly.
"It's been pretty quiet. People have been behaving themselves," Sgt. Nick Bosick of the Steamboat Springs Police Department said Sunday.
Michael Von Schalk, security officer at the Steamboat Ski Area, echoed that sentiment.
"It's been pretty mellow," Von Schalk said. "The lockers are full downstairs, which is pretty unusual -- but that could just be from people buying lockers Saturday and using them all weekend."
Routt County Sheriff's deputies reported a collision between two skiers on the crowded slopes Saturday at ski area but said no citations were issued and that the people involved received only minor injuries.
As for crowded roads and snowy weather, dispatch at the Colorado State Patrol office reported no significant injuries as of Sunday evening.
Employees at Yampa Valley Regional Airport downplayed the effects on local flights of subzero temperatures and windstorms in the Midwest and eastern United States that left tens of thousands of people without power for much of the weekend.
"The biggest problem has been excess baggage -- baggage making it here and people not making it here," said passenger services employee Mike Bertram, who said Sunday the number of people landing at the airport was "not a huge overload" and "pretty much on par" with previous busy weekends this winter.
Levi Morris, a rental agent with Avis Rent A Car at the airport, said business at his counter was "pretty decent" during the weekend.
"Some delays here and there, but that's what you expect in wintertime," he said. "President's Day is always busy for us."
Airport administrators could not be reached Sunday.
Riley Polumbus of the Steam--boat Springs Chamber Resort Association said visitor numbers have passed 14,000 only twice in the past decade, according to the Chamber's lodging barometer. The most significant effect of the unusually large crowds likely was felt on crowded city buses, in long lines at grocery stores and while waiting for cabs.
Alpine Taxi manager Jeff Hall could not be reached Sunday because he was behind the wheel, helping out his staff with the driving.
At the Avis counter, Morris said he has a simple way to handle his job when things get busy.
"You just put your head down and get to work," he said.