Ralph and Mary Harris: Rodeo site poor choice


— We would like to give you our opinion of the Balloon Rodeo that took place last weekend. We have been attending the rodeo for the past 12 years and were very disappointed in the site where the rodeo was held this year.

First of all, the site is way too small to accommodate the balloons, their equipment, the chase vehicles and the throngs of people who attended the event. The site is undeveloped, so the ground is very uneven, posing a threat to older or disabled people as well as children. The site does not give a good representation of what Steamboat is all about with debris and equipment scattered everywhere. The views from this area are totally nondescript as opposed to the previous site where the views are absolutely stunning. We understand that the site was donated by the people who own Native Excavating; this was a most generous gesture on their part and we are not criticizing these folks who obviously have the welfare of Steamboat at heart.

As we left the rodeo, we heard out-of-town guests expressing their disappointment. One couple in particular said they would not return if the rodeo was held in the same location. These are exactly our sentiments.

Surely the city of Steamboat Springs can find a more appropriate site for this wonderful event. A magnificent event such as this deserves a much better location.

Ralph and Mary Harris

Steamboat Springs


Dan Hill 9 years, 9 months ago

It's really tough to find a site that has the right combination of space, prevailing winds, not too many obstructions like power lines nearby, and that has either parking or is close enough to shuttle people. I know the Chamber of Commerce looked at other sites but they simply didn't fit these criteria.

Personally I liked being much closer to the balloons than at the Tennis Meadows site. I think you always need a year or two to iron out the bugs so hopefully some of the other issues can be addressed by next year.


rlphillips 9 years, 9 months ago

Agree with all comments made by Harrises but would like to add that single lane access and the absence of trained traffic management and vehicles sharing roads with pedestrians is a formula for disaster. To my knowledge and mercifully, there were no medical emergencies during either day of the rodeo. Fire department or EMT response to any emergency would have been very challenging. Enter the lawyers. The planners of this event have fallen well short of envisioning all normal and non-normal contingencies. Luckily, this time, we only got a little dusty and bored while standing in line for one of only five buses dedicated to this event. My wife kept asking, "why doesn't somebody do something?" Find some "somebodies" next year and maybe at least one volunteer police officer with a two-way radio....not to mention a more suitable location. Another year like this one and we'll all be traveling to Albuquerque to watch balloons.


Tom Whiddon 9 years, 9 months ago

Maybe next year you balloon rodeo experts will step up and volunteer to help instead of expressing your 20-20 hindsight!


soccercstate 9 years, 8 months ago

Here is an idea for a site: Haymaker Golf Course! It's city owned and the event is for the city. Golfers may be mad but they can get the course back in the afternoon. Folks....we can't lose this event and this years site was a joke!!!


JazzSlave 9 years, 8 months ago

I second soccerstate's proposal. Golf courses are an unmitigated waste of good real estate (JazzSlave ducks & runs for his life...).


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