Sunday, February 25, 2007
All right fellas, one thing must be said when considering a bachelor party in Routt County - we're a long way from Las Vegas.
That can be a curse if you're thinking of an all-night bender with some risque entertainment involved. First off, you'll be lucky to get a drink in town after 1:42 a.m., when most bartenders are turning on lights and shooing patrons out the door. Plus, the last thing the disproportionate share of single ski town men want is another pack of drunk dudes out on the prowl.
But what Steamboat can offer is an endless variety of options for planning a party that creates enduring memories without debilitating hangovers. Such activities can make you rethink the popular notions of what a bachelor party should be.
Steamboat native Morgan Cate had been engulfed by a few bar-hopping bachelor binges, only to come away asking, "what lasting impression was that?"
When Cate was asked to be the best man for a friend's wedding this fall, he opted to orchestrate an adventure in the great outdoors.
"It's safe because there's no driving and dealing with Johnny Law," he said. "If you're outside in the elements, it adds a little adventure because you're subject to the environment."
Cate arranged a private trip down Brown's Canyon on the Arkansas River, near Buena Vista and spent two nights camped near the river.
"The response was that it was a 100-percent success," Cate said. "With the memories, the pictures, the smiles, it's not just the bachelor, it's everybody embarking on the last of his freedom."
It's economical, too. Cate estimated the two-day trip cost less than $150 a person.
To put together a similar trip, closer to Steamboat, bachelors could consider floating the mellow stretch of the upper Colorado River (about 60 miles south of town on Colorado 131). The section offers serene riverside camp spots on public land and even the option for a little evening debauchery at the State Bridge Lodge, which often hosts lively band performances, has an indoor and outdoor bar and rents cabins and yurts along the river to fit a rowdy group.
Bachelors who want the logistics out of their hands can always opt for professional assistance. Bucking Rainbow Outfitters offers overnight trips on the Colorado River as well as overnight fishing trips on the Colorado and the North Platte.
For a winter party, Bucking Rainbow owner John Duty suggests river fishing and ice fishing trips.
The ultimate winter party splurge has to be a day of backcountry snowcat skiing. Steamboat Powdercats offers a group special for a party of up to 12 for a day of all-inclusive powder skiing. In addition, Powdercats offers a $1,790 special for parties including a cabin on the top of Buffalo Pass for the night, a three-course meal and a few moonlit ski laps.
A nice medium between a high-end guided trip and the low-end squat in the woods are the lodging options at Steamboat Lake Outfitters. The larger cabins cost $169 a night, and the hotel-style bunkhouse rooms run $89 a night. And if you aren't interested in an adventure with SLO's ATV tours, horseback rides, snowmobile rentals in the winter or fishing or boating at nearby Steamboat Lake State Park in the summer, don't worry, they still have a bar on the premises.