Top business, leader to be honored

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— Lieutenant Gov. Jane Norton will be in Steamboat Springs Wednesday to pick up an award on behalf of the governor's office and to speak to a gathering of business leaders.

The occasion is the 99th annual meeting of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel and Conference Center.

The luncheon also provides an opportunity to recognize Steamboat's best businesses and business people with Navigator Awards and to look ahead to the Chamber's centennial next year.

The Chamber will give the governor's office an award for its support of state tourism funding. Recognition will be given to Gov. Bill Owens, State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, and state Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park.

Norton is expected to comment on the role tourism plays in the state's economy and how the new funding will be spent on a statewide basis.

John Kerst of First National Bank of Steamboat Springs and F.M. Light and Sons were named the businessperson of the year and business of the year, respectively in 2005. This year's nominees for businessperson of the year include David Baldinger, Jr., of Steamboat Village Brokers LTD; John Centner, Steamboat Motors LLC; Chris Diamond, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., and Tom Ptach, Pilot Office Supply Inc.

Nominees for business of the year include Black Tie Ski Rentals, Central Park Liquor, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and Coffee House and Sundance at Fish Creek.

Sponsors of the event include Steamboat Pilot & Today, Pinnacol Assurance, Steamboat Floral, Vectra Bank and PostNet.

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