For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Rob Douglas: Is business a dirty word?

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Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas' column appears Fridays in the Steamboat Today. He can be reached at rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Douglas here.

— Last week's column concerning Triple Crown's request to use Emerald Park on an interim basis - coupled with my belief that City Council should grant that use - elicited much reaction.

Some positive.

Some not so.

I heard from every imaginable demographic in Routt County: men, women, young, old, employers, employees, government officials and private businesses. In short, I got an earful from every conceivable interest group in our little slice of paradise.

Perhaps the most, uh, interesting, was the woman who left a message requesting I either move or die of a heart attack. While this struck me as a tad un-neighborly, I'll assume it was a momentary meltdown because of an overabundance of caffeine. I've suffered the same condition from time to time.

But, for the record, I've grown fond of the summertime campgrounds of the Utes and don't intend to leave. And, Doc Baker over at the Heart Center of the Rockies - after making me run half-naked on a treadmill while turning my veins into a glow-in-the-dark superhighway - swears my ticker is good for a few more miles.

Among all the calls, comments and e-mails, there are several consistent themes from those reacting negatively toward mention of Triple Crown's relationship with Steamboat. Strangely, the most common complaint is that by negotiating with Triple Crown, the City Council is favoring businesses over "locals" - a loaded term if ever there was one.

I say "strangely" because I'm at a loss to understand why some see the business community as an enemy. After all, business in the 'Boat is overwhelmingly us - you, me, family, friends, neighbors, fellow parishioners and the people we nod to as we pass on the street.

Quite simply, to see the Steamboat business community as some evil force is an act of self-loathing.

From individual employees and independent contractors, to the small businesses that line our streets and shopping centers, to the larger companies that provide significant numbers of jobs - we're all in the circle of business together.

In Steamboat, as in most small communities in America, the circle of business intersects with the circle of life. Without the former, you can't have the latter. And, like it or not, absent the lifeblood of tourism most businesses in Steamboat would fail - and most locals would be locals no more.

To be blunt, without the nourishment of tourism, Steamboat would be no different than many ghost towns in the Midwest and crumbling cities in the Rust Belt. As residents, we have a symbiotic relationship with our businesses and with tourism.

So, why all the vitriol about the misperceived imbalance when it comes to interactions between City Council and the business community? I believe it is because of a long-term growing angst we all feel given the increasing constriction of middle-class incomes in the U.S. during the past 30 years.

Those of us in our 40s and 50s have seen median family income rise at less than 25 percent of our parent's generation. Those in their 20s and 30s are coping with even smaller gains. Any way you cut it - other than those who inherited well because of accident of birth - it's getting tougher to get ahead.

But, the downward pressure on incomes has far more to do with global forces emanating from developing countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, than any decisions made here at home.

Still, while difficult, Steamboat remains a launching pad for successful businesses. Typical of those getting it done are Dave Pepin and Peter Boniface of Backcountry Provisions. Starting with their Steamboat deli back in 1999 - through hard work and determination - they've opened two more delis, in Fort Collins and Jackson, Wyo.

I'd bet that Dave and Peter realize that in today's business climate you grow, stagnate, or perish. And here's the best part. As Dave and Peter grow Backcountry Provisions, they're sinking roots deep into Steamboat that will last a lifetime and provide jobs for others who share our dream of living in the most beautiful place on earth.

So, when you're tempted to curse the businesses that bring and service the tourists who - after all - supply the dollars and taxes that allow us to live here year-round, remember who you're insulting.

You may be insulting your friends.

You may be insulting your neighbors.

You're definitely insulting yourself.

Rob Douglas can be reached at douglas@privacytoday.com

Comments

addlip2U 6 years, 3 months ago

Bigdog, right on!

Obviously, Robs silly commentary have insulted others. Fortunately he is NOT the voice of majority.

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bigdog 6 years, 3 months ago

this issue is the same as the "affordable" housing one: "I cant afford a house thus those that can are evil and taking advantage of me".

Pure envy/jealously. I have seen it in da Boat, and about every other community I have lived in. Amazing.

PS: You sure love to shake the proverbial "Hornet's nest". Thanks for the entertainment!

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colowoodsman 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh great clueless one- give it up or get a clue. We do not think business is a "dirty word" only that there is 'dirty business' going on. Most of us having been doing business in some form or another all are lives. We don't need you to come in here and lecture US on economics or what we should or should not be doing. The problem is that local government is supporting one single industry and that industry is cause the majority of the local problems. Take "housing' for instance. It takes local workers to build housing for the tourists but then workers have to COMPETE with tourists for the housing. Guess who is winning?

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

One of the hardest things about raising a child is having the patience to say the same things over and over and hopefully they finally get it.

One can only hope that the baseball gods will cause a ball to go thru a window of Robs from kids looking for a place to play catch.

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

There's a big difference between a sandwich shop....no matter how good the fare is....and a busines that prevents kids from throwing a ball any place in a 3 county region.

Although to be fare, I'll trust your judgement on where to find a good sandwich.

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peanutgallery 6 years, 3 months ago

Robs continued lack of enlightenment on the true nature of issues is appalling. To sum up the viewpoints and discussion about his trite column of last week as "locals against business" just further marginalizes his credibility.

The point is simply balancing commercial uses of public facilities. Especially in the one park built, recognizing the increasing demand of commercial uses, to provide local kids with a place to play.

Like the Bush adminisrations' cliche of "you're either with us or against us" to discredit critics of their policies with a broad brush, so is this comment of "You"re against business" if you believe commercial uses should be subject to some policies and regulations.

If this is just Robs'ploy to infuriate, ala Coulter and Limbaugh, it's a tired act. If it represents the exent of his comprehension -he is a dim bulb indeed...

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BoatMaster 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Rob in many aspects other than giving away Emerald Park. I think you can keep Triple Crown without giving away the Park.

I think the bigger problem is the sense of entitlement that many of the residents of Steamboat have. Steamboat residents and cmc students always feel they are owed something as a resident and anyone who was not born here has no rights to Steamboat.

  1. They are owed cheap housing
  2. They are owed longer ski seasons
  3. They are owed the right to party on the mountain at the expense of the comfort of visitors.
  4. They are owed to have all the public places protected for their use only
  5. They are owed easy jobs with high salary's (try to be a business owner and deal with all the excuses of why your employees did not show up for work today because "We live in Steamboat and its a powder day."
  6. Etc................

Steamboat is not owned by ANYONE so don't act like you have more rights than others and if you have a opinion on a issue be civil about it or there will be no place for this type of discussion.

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BoatMaster 6 years, 3 months ago

I just read stirringuptroubles post after I posted my last note.

My I suggest you read my last paragraph above.

"Steamboat is not owned by ANYONE so don't act like you have more rights than others and if you have a opinion on a issue be civil about it or there will be no place for this type of discussion."

You should be ashamed of your comment of a baseball going through a window of Robs house.

GET A CLUE PEOPLE AND DONT MAKE THREATS AGAINST SOMEONE WITH A OPINION !!!!!!!!!!!!

OR GET THE HECK OUT OF "PARADISE" AND BACK TO THE HOLE YOU BELONG IN.

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Brian Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

stirrinuptrouble,

One question, and I am done. Is the only place for kids to play catch a baseball field? I use to play catch with my dad in the back yard/front yard/pretty much anywhere. Steamboat LL doesn't have practices/games until after the 3C events are over (4PM or so in the evening, 3C should be done by 3PM), so it doesn't interfere with our kids LL games or practices.

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fish 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob, I am sorry that you only see this as a locals against business issue. May I suggest that you try to really listen to what some of the opponents have to say about this issue instead of while your reading their post or listening to their comments, be busy thinking about what your response will be.

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ybul 6 years, 3 months ago

Steamboat is owned by Intrawest. Steamboat Springs is not owned by anyone.

I do not believe the comment is making a threat, just a comment about how if there is not a place to play catch, they might play next door and throw a ball through the window.

Get a little thicker skin.

The problem is as it was stated above. That tourism is king and a better question would be how to you create an economy that is not dependent upon tourism. As if there is a serious downturn as there have been in the past, Steamboat Springs' economy could fare much worse than most. 1970s style stagflation is here, and the energy boom of the late 70's in Colorado is back. What if the fed pulls out double digit interest rates to put a lid on food and energy inflation? What happens to tourism then, what happens to condo, second home prices?

I think that history has been forgotten, and this community needs to focus on the diverse revenue base it has, energy, agriculture and tourism as a whole and not focus on one so that some group can make large sums of money at the expense of having a solid economic foundation.

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

MtnSmith,

Little room to throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball given the density of our City housing.

Games are scheduled in the afternoons/evening.....practices typically are during the day. A typical 12 yr old schedule would be practices Mon and/or Wed during the day, games Tue and Thursday.

Howelsen is pretty much unavailable as are the school fields all summer long. Whistler is pretty much lacrosse. This leaves Emerald.

For Boat....I said that tongue in cheek....however, I enjoy my hole and will gladly stay in it if folks would just leave Emerald alone for the purposes of which it was built.

Emerald is on the bike path giving a safe mode of transportation that allows parents to work while the kids have a fun summer.

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Brian Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Stir,

Density of our city housing, have you ever been to Chicago?

Practices during the day? Guess the coach's have pretty flexible jobs. I coached 11 - 12 year olds last year, and none of our practices were during the day, all of them after 3PM, except for a couple of Saturday practices. Matter of fact, the city gives the LL a schedule at the beginning of the year to schedule all games and practices at local fields, and none of the times they offer are before 3PM.

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blackthroatedwind 6 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, Rob, I think you "missed the boat" on this one. It's your relative newcomer-ness that may be to blame. Its not about business, its about one, non-locally-owned, business that is attempting to monopolize ballparks in Steamboat. I reiterate my post to your previous article. If I have to leave town and drive through gridlock during rush hour to take my kids to soccer practice at Heritage Park, rather than utilize the acres and acres and acres of ball fields and parks literally within a stone's throw of my house, there is a problem. And yes, I AM a business owner, so I am not against business. TC is a problem, and the problem is their domination of our parks. Get rid of them!

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

MTN:

Then you know each coach choses his own schedule. And yes, many coaches make themselves available during the day. My kids have grown beyond LL age but three of them had practices during the day and this time should be available for coaches.

Likewise.....a child should have the option of working on his own without a coach or a formally scheduled session. Asa coach I'm sure you said to yourself more than once last year "he could be good if he just practiced a bit more"

When did your tournament teams practice last year?

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Brian Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Stir, I may be mistaken, but the practice times that were available to us, were not before 3PM. If we were lucky enough to have a full team show up, do to science club, soccer, lacrosse, or 30 other things that kids have going on these days. I also believe that if a kid would like to get better at baseball, they don't have to have a diamond to do it. Our tournament team practiced in the late afternoon/evening.

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panky 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob, your "newbie" is showing.

This issue from your perspective seems a simple conflict between the "haves" and the "have nots." Please understand the business folks are not the only "haves" in this discussion.

I assure you the roots of this conflict are deeper and more complicated than your superficial impression.

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

Mtn,

LL "reserves" the fields in the evening....but for the past 12 years, since the park opened, they have been available on a first come first served basis. Of course, for a very reasonable fee, like $5 an hour, you can "schedule" a field during the day so that Parks and Rec can coordinate the evening's field preps.

Absolutely much can be accomplished without a "official field".....where then? Not Howelsen, not the school areas (TCS 12 weeks of the summer Tuesday thru Sunday). If they are going to get "good" at any sport they absolutely need to learn how to practice on other than official fields....take advantage of whatever they have.

But why should the kids have to play baseball on a soccer field? Why should they not be able to use their own batting cage? Why should they not be able to practice their pitching on mounds built for them? After all.....we, The City and those that went before, built these fields specifically for the purpose of allowing them to have a place to gather safely and work on their ball skills.

So....where can they ride their bikes to in Steamboat and work on thier own individual skills should they desire? Why should they compete with the Hockey and Lacrosse players and why should the hockey and Lacrosse players have to compete with them.

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Brian Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

All good points. That reminded me that we were actually unable to practice a couple of times last year, due to a Soccer tournament being played at Emerald, that involved teams NOT from Steamboat. Should our kids have been denied because of this soccer tournament? How about the kids that did NOT make the tournament baseball teams, should they have been denied the fields when Steamboat hosted the regional LL tournaments, which again, had games that did NOT involve local teams? Where should they have gone to practice, in order to maybe improve their skills in order to make the tournament team next year? I think what we can learn from this, is that we all need to be flexible (might be good for kids to learn that as well).

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

Mtn.

All good questions and difficulty arises when we have greater demand than facilities available. In fact I've never liked having to remove the Blue Field fence for the season so that soccer can be played in the outfield. And I've never liked but have acceptd that our short summers cause the LL Tournament season to overlap the "regular season". My guess is LL runs a significant risk this year of not getting on the fields until June do to heavy runoff, truely.....in years like this there is every chance that a "River will run thru it".

However, if demand is already high why would we consider making the fields less available?

Maybe I'm dreaming but I'd like to see a Steamboat Team actually qualify for a TCS World Series Tournament and be competitiv as opposed to gaining entry thru the kindness of TCS heart. This has never been done although in 2006 a good group of 9 yr olds won a division 3 tournament (not a World Series Qualifier)

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

Mtn,

One other thing, for at least the proposed two years (yeah right) of the new contract it will not be necessary to worry about hosting LL Dist 3 tournaments or Colorado State tournaments......the fields will be contracturally obligated.

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Brian Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

So after we run 3C off, we need to start working on running of the Soccer people...

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misterkindbuds 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob,

You make some excellent points. Steamboat is a transient town and when that observation is made, the "locals" tend to become upset.

Steamboat also is a tourist town. Always has been, always will be.

Unless you are a Ute indian.

Then you are a real local and native.

Triple crown brings money to the 'boat ... plenty of money.

Enough money to say ... build a couple more fields ... with 210 ft. fences (LL regulation) so that the poor local Ute kids can play the great-American pasttime.

Folks, you need to stop focusing on the minor problem of too much revenue and start searching for a solution.

Steamboat is full of snow fences for the winter that work just fine as outfield fences in the summer.

I guess it's easier to yell at Rob that it is to rent a Bobcat and scoop out an infield.

Keep it up "locals!"

As the former mayor of Steamboat would say, "Ungawa!"

Get it? Cause he's a Ute.

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

Mtn,

No, absolutely not, we need to add to our athletic facilities thru good urban planning. For instance, the Steamboat 700 proposal has lots of open space. Unfortunately most of the "open space" is too steep to build on at reasonable cost which will also make it very expensive to construct athletic fields on. These folks will likely have to drive thru town to get to most athletic facilities.

Each year, 10 to 15 minutes of "practice time" is shaved from rec basketball, soccer, etc as the demand out strips facilities.

What amazes me is folks actually put up with this lack of planning from our planning department and our City Council.

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kellyreuter 6 years, 3 months ago

Bravo Rob, Your commentary uses logic and common sense.

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elkeye 6 years, 3 months ago

It's time that the whole issue of Triple Crown Sports be put to a vote of the residents of Steamboat Springs.

Does the business community truly believe that the majority of residents of Steamboat Springs approves and/or welcomes the invasion of Triple Crown Sports?

If the City Council approves an "ordinance" extending and/or modifying the contract with Triple Crown, the residents of Steamboat Springs should exercise their right of referendum.

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kielyj 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob, You are right. Emerald Park is a hot button ;it represents more than just the park for a lot of people. The argument that the rancor over the City Council proposal is related to middle class fears or cosmic changes in the world economy is bizarre. This is not a question of being anti-business. The issue is whether a particular park built for specific reasons with certain restrictions on its use is to be turned into a commercial venue. I can only speak for myself. My opposition to TC in the park and the machinations of the Chamber to make that happen is based on my understanding of what the town's kids' sports need. I say this from long experience with local kids' sports. There must be a balance between commercial uses of city property and local use; a balance between the town as a tourist attraction and as a place to live. The park was built to help achieve that balance. It is also a question of fairness. I was on the Parks and Rec Comm. when the fields were built. Words were spoken and promises were made to Pamela Lane as well as those that worked on the park. There is no compelling reason to back down on those promises. Certainly I agree that SBS is a tourist driven economy and that facilities need to be made available for use by tourists. The town needs to make a decision about whether to continue to target TC as the driver of the summer economy. If the decision is made to do so then the need for facilities needs to be defined and constructed to accommodate an agreed upon level of activity. TC to my mind is as good a group as any. I am not in the tourist business so I have no real opinion about rudeness, destruction of rooms and miserly tips. My suspicion is that vast majority of TC participants are fine people and that there are, as always, rotten apples. Emerald Park is a different animal. The park was built specifically so the commercial activities associated with the tourist economy would not drive the kids in town to the fringes of the calendar for their sports. Once Emerald Park was built the city and the Chamber could schedule whatever they wanted on Howelsen and the tennis center fields; the little league and the soccer association could schedule whatever they wanted on Emerald. Things have worked out more or less as planned. TC attempted to get access to the Emerald fields before they were finished; they continued he effort each time their Contract comes up for renewal- aided and abetted by the Chamber. TC in the Park advocates say that access is to be granted on an interim basis only; history belies that notion. Once in they will always be there and protestations to the contrary ring hollow.
My strong conviction is that allowing TC into Emerald is breach of faith with the people who worked so hard to build the fields, the kids they built them for and with the people who live on Pamela Lane.. You speak of insulting our fellows. What about lost integrity? Jack Kiely

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob,

Jack is absolutely correct....you should listen to him.

DC is a vibrant community with many more cultural opportunities than SBS, especially for a middle aged grey haired fellow.

Still, there was something that caused you to pick SBS as opposed to Vail, Aspen, Crested Butte, Park City, etc.

Perhaps it was because SBS is(was?) a town that has a ski resort?

What do you hold dear and how can compromising Emerald possibly be outweighed by the inclusion of perhaps 10 additional teams a week?

Why are you not writing about the total lack of planning, commitment and advancement of such a necessary element of SBS summer business?

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ybul 6 years, 3 months ago

Is the only business option for Steamboat Springs tourist related? What about trying to develop business' which are not dependent upon tourism, and yet can work with the tourism related business'?

Look into the resources that are available in the area and work to harness those. Work with the forest service to selectively log the forest, thinning it and making it healthier. Turning the wood into fuel for pellet stoves, or milling it into lumber to be used in the local economy or shipped elsewhere to bring in greenbacks.

Put together a program to make frozen dinners to be shipped to the front range. These could be crafted in local restaurants at the slow times of the year, increasing the need for year round employment in these business'.

Think outside the box. Yes business needs to exist, however, does the tourism industry need to be the only industry. The rust belt, the ghost towns of Colorado's gold rush and energy rush of the 70s are both good examples of how an economy based upon one leg is more susceptible to problems.

What happens if the tourism industry falls on hard times? Steamboat Springs will not end up a ghost town but it will have serious issues as the city is basing its livelihood on tourism alone.

What about courting another good start up from here, Smartwool, that is a primary employer, who as opposed to Backcountry Provisions, is not a tourism centered business. What about looking into fostering business' such as this?

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id04sp 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob,

The average wage earner in the service sector and tourist industries in this town has no idea whatsoever regarding what it takes to make a living as a business owner in this environment. They do not understand why you can't just pay them more. They do not understand that the dollars that get paid out on Friday had to walk in the door at some point. They just want to enjoy themselves, get their paycheck, and do their job, in that order.

This area could very easily become a retirement community for affluent folks who would only need medical care, groceries, and limited dining and recreational facilities. That's because the money they would spend on those things was earned long ago, flows in on a regular schedule from the pension and government benefits systems, and does not have to be yanked out of the ground (like coal, or lumber, or steel, etc.), refined and exchanged for currency on the world market.

People don't know where money comes from and don't understand what's required to produce it. They majored in art or English or philosophy and couldn't get a job doing anything else if they wanted to leave town and look for work.

If the tourist dollars stopped coming in, and they lost their jobs, and they had their homes foreclosed or got evicted, they'd never really understand what happened except their employer went out of business, and they got screwed as a result.

I used to own a business where the employees stole from the cash register, alienated customers and didn't much care whether I made a living or not. As a result, I closed the business rather than continue to lose money, and they lost their jobs. QED

There are a few secure jobs in town. They are with the city, county and state governments, and with the utility companies. Certain functions and services are funded from property tax and would always continue because they would be paid for with money earned elsewhere, or in the past. YVEA only needs a few folks to handle the billing and collection of payments, and furnishing electricty to homes is a steady business. It would drop if lots of people lost their homes, but only long enough for others who don't need to work anymore to move in.

The locals who depend on consumption of local goods and services are continuously at risk of unemployment if the flow of cash falls. They don't understand it, and don't care, because the traffic on Pamela Ln is the problem today. Eating next week is a problem for another day.

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meethinks 6 years, 3 months ago

really tried to keep quiet, but cant help but pose a question, how can Steamboat be anti business when most of the locals are EMPLOYED by the local businesses? It isn't about local business Bobby Boy, it is about honesty, integrety and keeping a few promises.

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

(p)reserving one field, ONE, for local kids shouldn't be such a difficult thing to comprehend. Out of all the others fields currently consumed by TC and now for the sake of a dollar there are those that would deny local kids and families the ONE field left for them to use during TC's tournaments. ONE out of how many? Don't you see the selfishness here? Is greed and selfishness the only thing that drives this community these days? ONE lousy field. To consider allowing this is more than sad, it's pathetic! Maybe the Fri. edition of the Pilot would be better suited for wrapping up the garbage.

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

meethinks, I would add two more things to your list of admirable qualities, "consideration of others and common sense!"

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meethinks 6 years, 3 months ago

colobob- how true. although I need to disagree about the Friday comments, only one section should be used, an excellent idea.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 3 months ago

How many pictures of Rob does he need of himself on his articles?

Some of the finer points of the article.....

I heard, I got, I'll assume, I've suffered, I've grown, I say, I believe...blah blah blah.............

Colorado Native says. Rob's opinion is just that. Everybody has one.

You know what they say about opinions.

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lovescolorado 6 years, 3 months ago

This country's in an economic recession.

And it is truly astounding to read comments so disconnected from the frightening national reality that economic times are going to be tough for working men, women and their families.

Thank you Rob Douglas for having a grip on the reality of how an economic works in a small town.

Turning down business in the midst of a recession?

Those of you who would write things behind the cloak of the internet so mean spirited, just nasty, it's hard to know what to say to you. Perhaps you are the same who admire the wonderful teachings of the Dalai Lama, want to Free Tibet and will vote for Obama or Clinton for hope of progressive change and fear of the economic times ahead. And yet you would say things so hostile on this blog? Or pretend that Steamboat is somehow immune from the national economy? Perhaps you have never started a business of your own and taken on risk for your family in doing so. Perhaps you have, and just forgot that being in business is a challenge.

To elected officials or opinion leaders, please keep a clear head, recognize the economic times and vote to keep working class jobs, not turn them away.

In any case, we all have a responsibility to be civil. If anything prevails, I hope it is that.

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

LC

Doom and gloom...the Country's in a recession and the kids must be to blame.....lets take their fields to keep the economy going.

Never would we consider compromising adult softball which takes over Howlsen at 5PM Mon thru Thursday.

Its the kids who are to blame......those suckers in their mouths are so easy to remove, they don't vote and besides, they'll get over it.

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grannyrett 6 years, 3 months ago

Seems as if Triple Crown just keeps giving ultimatums. "Give us this or we'll leave-Give us that or we'll leave. This conversation has been going on for years. The city has known for years that it needs more ball fields. As for Pamela Lane, a promise is a promise. Once Triple Crown gets it's foot in the door at Pamela Field, it will stay there. The city should be big enough about it to honor that promise. Craig and Hayden fill their ball parks with Triple Crown every year. There are no more fields to use. What will Triple Crown do if the city says no. Triple Crown knows how many fields are available. They should be able to organize so that this is enough.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 3 months ago

sbvor, You are correct about media hype! I study the "global economics" daily. And yes, I do believe we are feeling the effects of an economic slow down that have recession written all over it. Recession in the new millennium, has different rules than the recessed eighties because, global markets have changed dramatically. I have sympathies for any partisan who has to deal with that in Washington!

id04sp, You have said a lot here. Not many people in the labor force understand what it takes to be self employed and maintain a business. You never know, unless you try it yourself, then the reality educates! I owned two successful businesses that I built from the ground up. You are absolutely correct about finding help that will invest in your business hand help you run things as you would yourself, regardless of how well you pay them!

ybul, I truly believe that you have a good point! I have asked this same question many times before. It's just my opinion that manufacturing compared to tourism, may have too many environmental issues associated with it. Some would give great argument about manufacturing industry and its contribution to pollution, for just that reason alone! We live to close to the top of the water shed. People down stream might have a say about pollutants in the water! Besides, who wants to visit a resort that looks like the place a lot of places people escape! That's the impression I received when the same idea was addressed a long time ago! If it isn't pretty, it isn't here! It seems to me that business must now be green and fit the landscape of Steamboat to be accepted.

grannyrett, Good point and my sentiment exactly!

Jack Keily, You addressed this blog best! Thanks!

Have a good day!

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

good morning sbvor. As usual find a number of your links to be of interest. Glad to see threats of losing your aninimity hasn't deterred you from posting on these threads. Have a good weekend. CB

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ybul 6 years, 3 months ago

sbvor,

correlation does not mean causation. Probably a larger factor has been loose monetary policy, resulting from easy credit from other nations pegging their currencies to the dollar.

Mtn,

Are their not small mfg business' which would not harm the environment, and further accentuate the resources within the valley that draw people here to visit? Say a small spinning operation, utilizing the wool from the 100,000 sheep in NW colorado? This could be both a tourist draw and a source of cash coming into the community when tourism slows down. As opposed to utilizing all funds to promote the area, why not use some to develop more reasons to come to the area, which also can generate revenue without tourism?

There is plenty of wheat grown in NW colorado also, why ship it out to be milled then brought back into the community. Why not have a King Arthur Flower style operation which mills the wheat grown in this area, sells to local companies, bakes a style of bread similar to the sourdough bread of SF which is a tourist attraction in the area, but not tourist dependent. This would serve to increase the food security of the area, add local flavor, and provide a more dynamic business sector.

Get out of the box. Business does not have to have a negative impact upon the environment. It can have a terrible one, which if the economy goes far south and tourism dries up you might have the drive to incorporate mines which would be much worse in the long term then trying to be proactive.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 3 months ago

sbvor, As usual, your linkage is good. I think what I neglected to specify in my post, was the fact that the global economy has become more competitive and broad in the last decade. In my opinion: during the 1980s, Reganomics and the trickle down theory, helped stimulate the economy however, it was a slow process. The tax breaks were great for the wealthy! I'm just failing to visualize a new economic stimulus plan that will turn things around at a more expedient rate than Ronnie's old plan. Billy's old plan in the 90s worked in a booming economy however, we were taxed more than any other time in history! Since the great depression, we know the Fed came up with safeguards to eliminate depression. Now we have recessions instead. Recession can be a bump in the economy or it can be a deeper seam. The 1974 oil embargo created all kinds of havoc with the economy, which lasted quite a time! We know the economy runs on an up ( booming ) and down (recession) cycles. I feel that we are in for a deeper recession that the last couple of dips in the economy. Why? It's tied to oil (like in 1974) and now, China's booming economy and increase in the oil consumption world wide, not too mention the competition world markets and government unrest in oil producing counties and the value of the US dollar which makes investors turn to commodities futures for gains. I don't feel the price of crude will reduce because, consumption decreases. I believe we are heading for a lengthy adjustment period. Until the price of the dollar gets stronger, and the housing industry gets straightened out, and our war efforts get some expedient resolution, etc., we're in for a ride. I can't determine how rough it will be however, I feel it may be awhile. If folks don't think that our lack of expendable cash in pocket due to an economic down turn, won't affect the tourist industry, they're badly mistaken. Steamboat is not immune! Triple Crown may not have as many teams come this year, at a last minute decision. Then we may not have to give up the Emerald fields, Pamela residents will remain in a peaceful neighborhood, and the locals can enjoy a less congested town with less cash in pocket to patronize local businesses. Our shop owners will not need of the extra help in their shops and the government entities can adjust their budgets for shortfalls in the tax collections, cutting back on municipal services. As many know, the economy is either feast or famine and so is the resort business. I guess we won't know how bad or unstable things are, until the final numbers are in! Just my observations!

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okiegal 6 years, 3 months ago

you really are an idiot.

the town would not shrivel up and die without TC.

also, the point is not whether the town wants business or not it's about the promiseade by city council to the pamala lane residents.

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

While I disagree with the name calling of a fellow poster I do agree that Steamboat would not shrivel up and die without TC. I also would agree however that any income brought into this town is important for the local economy. That said, if SB relys on income generated to such a large degree by TC than this town is in much bigger trouble than could possibly be imagined. It's like saing that one player is the whole team. No one player or entity is expendable and I don't know why TC should be any different. The majority of the locals realize that all contributors to the local economy are important. They also realize that ONE field for local kids and families should not be such a difficult thing to comprehend. If TC would plan their tournaments on what's available vs what's wanted we wouldn't be having this discussion today. The concept of ONE shouldn't be so hard to understand!

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

While I disagree with the name calling of a fellow poster I do agree that Steamboat would not shrivel up and die without TC. I also would agree however that any income brought into this town is important for the local economy. That said, if SB relys on income generated to such a large degree by TC than this town is in much bigger trouble than could possibly be imagined. It's like saing that one player is the whole team. No one player or entity is expendable and I don't know why TC should be any different. The majority of the locals realize that all contributors to the local economy are important. They also realize that ONE field for local kids and families should not be such a difficult thing to comprehend. If TC would plan their tournaments on what's available vs what's wanted we wouldn't be having this discussion today. The concept of ONE shouldn't be so hard to understand!

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colowoodsman 6 years, 3 months ago

BoatMaster- As you should know, the first rule of 'boating' is 'Never Overload the Boat'! This 'Steamboat' is headed for shallow water and will run a-ground with too many tourists on board. The new Pilot can't get a good crew because all the cabins are rented to the passengers and the crew can't afford to stay on board. Some speak English and some Spanish and the decks are so crowded they can't get their work done. Just remember 'the Captain always goes down with his ship!

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 3 months ago

okeigal, My analogy was of the national economy which has an affect on Steamboat tourism. TC will be the least of our worries if things go bad economically! The town won't die without TC but, it will feel an impact! Add the national economics to that component and you will see a major issue here! I believe this was the intent of the blog. I just put a okeigal, My analogy was of the national economy which has an affect on Steamboat tourism. TC will be the least of our worries if things go bad economically! The town won't die without TC but, it will feel an impact! Add the national economics to that component and you will see a major issue here! I believe this was the intent of the blog. I just put a spin of current blogger talk to relate it to the blogs main topic. We get sidetracked sometimes in our blogs.

sbvor, You may be right here, and it's my hope you are! We have to pay the bills of our country some how!

colobob, Good point on planning!

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

One Rob, -O-N-E-, one. I can't help but wonder what part of that you don't understand when you pen your articles with regard to Emerald & TC. Time for me to either do some chores or grab my flyrod (without the warden......, I mean the wife seeing me) and sneak off to some fishable water. It's my weekend off. Here's wishing you all a good day!

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

Mtn, It's not an idea that originated with me but by many before me. It's TC's and "others" apparent indifference to the feelings of the "entire" community that promotes such ill will among many with regards to TCs presence here. I'm out the door, fish are waiting to be duped by my latest creation.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, I repeated in my blog as well! Not good at the multi-task thing today. Too many thumbs, not enough fingers! I'm outta here as well! It's 50 at my house! Good day!

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okiegal 6 years, 3 months ago

mtwarlock, you on the other hand at least have done some homework and have at least some knowledge of economics. Mr Douglas seems to take a catchy and provocative title and write to match it with no knowledge of anything.

his idiocy is being revealed with every article....... like peeling layers off an onion.

I agree that steamboat is a tourist town. if we rely on tourist dollars to pay taxes maybe we would n't to overbuild everywhere.

I think the promises made to the pamela lane people should be honored.

tc can adjust it's numbers. they will not die and neither will our economy.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 3 months ago

okiegal, Thanks for the verification. A wise man always watches his investments and anything that affects them. Like I've said before, Pamela Lane residents and the tax paying public that built those fields need their promise kept! TC will always be a scope of negotiation and concern, seeing it is the biggest community event that contributes to Steamboats summer revenues. Have a good day!

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Books 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob seems to have his own special brand of TC McCarthyism. Anyone who opposes TC is a Communist!

When is there going to be a limit on how many TC people you can stuff onto the downtown sidewalks? Seems to me that when they start using the street also, the town is full. Now they want to bring in 40 more teams.

Why are people who prefer a calmer town in the summer written off as commies? No one in this town is against businesses. I own a business too. We are just tired of TC flooding the town at a time when it would be packed anyway.

The Pilot is good at stirring things up to keep circulation going but they should pick more experienced writers when covering hot button local topics. In reading this article and the last, I never got the feeling that Rob understood the problem. Maybe he just hasn't been here very long.

TC would not need Emerald is there weren't so many of them.

Let's put the 09 / 10 contract up for a vote in the general election in November. Let the people decide.

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turtledove 6 years, 3 months ago

The pilot never ceases to amaze me. My dog can think more clearly than Rob Douglas. Is this guy really going to have a column every week? His first column about TC was dumb enough, then he got on the blog and made an idiot of himself. Now he writes another one where he tries to make it 'locals vs. business.' He clearly didn't read or couldn't get the meaning out of the many intelligent comments that disagreed with him. He seems to really hate these people.

Boyer, Larsen, whoever's home at the Pilot: what are you thinking? Do you just want to annoy a lot of people to keep the hits coming on your website? Maybe that's it because the Pilot was never really based on journalism. It's always been about advertising and money with good journalism way in the back seat. Yes, you've got to make a buck, but come on. Your editorial in favor of TC fit right in with the theme: anything for a buck, who cares about anything else.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 3 months ago

Douglas Dude- Your popularity is dropping faster than George Jr's. Did you learn to write from Ann Coulter? Maybe it's not too late to get your money back. Better check with Scott Stanford and see if he has any room for you in the advertizing dept.

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Ilike2dv8 6 years, 3 months ago

The writers points should be well taken. I truly can't imagine how many of the above posters would deal with a real problem. This issue is NOT that difficult to work through. It would be amusing to see the brain trusts that blather on in this blog run our town.

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turtledove 6 years, 3 months ago

dv8 - oh right, Einstein, and yet your comment is brilliant. The blather of everyone else is just so amusing. Sure, "this issue is NOT that difficult to work through" just shove it down our throats and give TC whatever they ask for.

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Rob Douglas 6 years, 3 months ago

Triple Crown Update-- As per the latest information available from those working to solve the issues raised by the growth of Triple Crown: 1) Additional field space will be needed by the summer of 2010, instead of 2009. 2) Significant efforts are underway to obtain fields, other than those at Emerald Park, prior to 2010. 3) A first reading by City Council of a contract extension for Triple Crown, without the use of Emerald Park, will most likely take place at this Tuesday's (April 15th) council meeting. Of course, the above is subject to change as negotiations continue and until a contract is finalized and voted upon by the council. I would encourage anyone and everyone to attend the council meeting and make use of the political process to express your desired outcome. Thank you for your interest and involvement in this important issue. Rob Douglas

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BoatMaster 6 years, 3 months ago

colowoodsman

I agree with you.

My previous posts on this matter supported not giving away Emerald park to TC but also keeping TC.

As someone pointed out, this may be a tough couple of years for tax money coming into Steamboat, so I would not want to just get rid of some income. This will only result in our property taxes going up to cover the city's expenses if there is a shortfall for a few years.

There needs to be some discussion on if TC brings in needed and significant funds then possibly build more fields for them with a contract that would make that option profitable.

If they don't bring in the funds to support more infrstructure for them , then time to say goodby.

But for now... Ask them to pleaselet us keep Emeral Park and we will provide more space for them later.

Remember - Steamboat will be a dead decaying place without the tourists. There is no way 50% of the business's can stay open and the the mountain would close also without them. How would the locals make a living? There is ony so much ranching that can be done in the boat and your favorite company Smartwool will leave as soon as their new owners find them a less expensive facility.

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

A fellow poster writes, " The writers points should be well taken. I truly can't imagine how many of the above posters would deal with a real problem." The polite answer to that would come in two parts. "Many of us" and "with common sense & consideration of others vs greed and self indulgence!" Booking teams beyond the capacity to host them is an example of greed as well as poor planning. Overbooking just because you know that there is one more field in town is pure arrogance. Depriving local kids and their families of a place to play and practice when all other fields are are taken shows a total lack of consideration of others. The same poster writes, "This issue is NOT that difficult to work through." Again I would politely reply, "you're right, it's not!" Nor is the concept of "one" a difficult thing to comprehend!" THIS "brain trust" is curious of YOUR definition of what "our" is? If I read it right, YOUR "our" excludes the majority of the community along with their kids. I'm pretty sure I already know what your definition of "IS," is.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob, Thanks for the update. In section 3, you post; 3) A first reading by City Council of a contract extension for Triple Crown, without the use of Emerald Park, will most likely take place at this Tuesday's (April 15th) council meeting. This tells me since it's a first reading, things can still be changed in negotiations and that "all" interested parties better be in attendance to voice concerns! It also makes it clear to me that Emerald use could still be a possibility! All opposition to Emerald Field use should participate in that particular meeting, if they want their voice heard on the issues of field usage and neighborhood traffic preserved from Triple Crown. Numbers speak in magnitudes! Good day everyone! The weather is going to be great today!

colobob, Good response! Good day!

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Malcolm_Reynolds 6 years, 3 months ago

Rob, Good work on your articles. I love reading that stirrinuptrouble, colobob, sbvor, and MtnWarlock think they are the spokespeople of the community. 35 out of 76 blogs are from them. If you read the other blogs in the paper, they have a comment on everything. To sbvor, you need a life.

I would like to be at the meeting Tuesday, but I have a high school baseball game to watch. Some of those boys DID play in the TC World Series, because local teams are given the opportunity to play against the best in the country.

So the comments that local kids lose out is incorrect. Search in the Pilot the "Northwest Colorado Lynx" and "Colorado Cutthroats" local teams that played in the TC World Series.

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colobob 6 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Reynolds, with regards to my comments concerning Robs article(s) you may have a point. To be fair I will sit back and read (listen to) the comments of so many others you failed to mention who are in support of keeping Emerald for ALL the local kids not just the few kids by comparison, to whom you refer that compete in TC's World Series. Enough said.

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BoatMaster 6 years, 3 months ago

colowoodsman

Steamboat would be nothing without the tourists. I bet even your job would not exist without the tourists.

No SKi Resort, No baseball fields, No Rodeo, Most Lincoln Ave shops closed, no bus service, no road snow removal. etc. You would have a ghost town full of a few folks that think its their town only and pissed that there are no more handouts of cheap housing and high paying jobs.

You better watch out if you want the tourists to leave.... You will have very high property taxes and no jobs to pay the taxes with.

by the way colowoodsman, I am on the boat and it is called the SS Reality. You may want to take a sail also.

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id04sp 6 years, 3 months ago

One good thing has come out of these threads for me. Every time I click on the link in the Active Discussion box regarding one of Rob's articles, the next things I see are his photographs.

I'm down one notch on my belt already. Thanks for a dose of reality. A picture is worth 1000 words.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 3 months ago

Malcom-Reynolds, All of this judgment coming from a possible Hayden resident? Please! I've read all your blogs! I am glad you like the blogs and I respect your opinion however, I don't think any blogger has proclaimed to be the "spokespeople" for anything! It is my opinion you have a clouded perception and comprehension of what your reading!

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colowoodsman 6 years, 3 months ago

BM- You need new glasses! I stated that I either "worked or did work for" those entiities. If I had to rely on revenue from tourist businesses I would surely starve. I have hired people but it is VERY difficult to pay them enough to afford housing in this area. Lately I have lost tens of thousands of dollars of business to companies that appear to be hiring illegal workers. Illegals are here but the the community is not willing to do anything about it.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 3 months ago

BM- I would like to take that bet! In the thirty-plus years I have been in the area I have worked or done work for just about every entity there is including farmers, ranchers, loggers, the railroad, mines, schools, churches, libraries, cemeteries, hospitals, developers, private residences, retail stores, county and city governments,property management companies and even some of the resorts. The most demanding, hardest to deal with, cheapest and slowest to pay are by far the tourist resorts. No one has said any thing about eliminating ALL the tourist. But people are getting fed up with the BIG LIE that SS will turn into "ghost town" if we try to curb 'wall to wall' tourism.

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BoatMaster 6 years, 3 months ago

colowoodsman,

I agree to disagree.

The interesting thing about your comment is that you "worked" for all the places you listed. You did not say you owned and hired any employees.

You should ask the people you worked for if they would have been able to hire you without the tourist dollars that their business was collecting. I'm sure the property management company and the resorts would not have been there to hire you so you probably would have a much smaller list of occupations and therefore would prove me correct.

Anyway, I'll let this one go.

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

Mr Reynolds

Neither the Lynx, Cut Throats, or SBS Black Sox were offered positions in 2007 TCS World Series.....bracket full.

I know I may be dreaming but I'd like to see a NW Colorado Team QUALIFY for the TCS World Series as opposed to being a "host team".

TCS takes up all Moffat, Hayden, and SBS fields, save Emerald, 9 of the 12 week or so season. For our guys to qualify they absolutely need these fields to play ball on.

It is nice to be a part and play against the better teams....its another thing when you belong there due to the developed talent.

Thanks for working with the kids....now young adults. I hope upon reflection you'll join me in striving to provide/maintain the facilities they need to be able to develop their athletic talent.

Best, and again ...Thanks

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Brian Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Stir,

When you said "Neither the Lynx, Cut Throats, or SBS Black Sox were offered positions in 2007 TCS World Series.....bracket full". Could the brackets have been full due to the fact that the local teams may have decided to play/register way too late? Should 3C have to leave open spots for the local teams up until the weekend the tournament is suppose to start? I know that if I decide to fly out of Hayden two days from now, the seats might all be taken, is that the Airlines fault that I waited so long to make my arrangements to fly? Just curious about when they tried to register, and then were denied. I am sure you will be able to tell us.

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justathought 6 years, 3 months ago

"Words were spoken and promises were made to Pamela Lane as well as those that worked on the park." WAS any of this put into writing, if not, why not? The next time the citizens are promised something, GET IT IN WRITING! Those opposed to TC's use of the park should get a petition started to force an ordinance outlining the appropriate and inappropriate uses of Emerald Park. There is nothing wrong with the locals wanting to keep SOMETHING for themselves. TC has gotten along this long without the use of Emerald, why is it a deal breaker now? In stead of being blackmailed by TC, tell them Emerald is not an option and if they choose to go elsewhere because of it, I doubt it will be the fall of the economy.

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Harvey Lyon 6 years, 3 months ago

Just a Throught,

There is an ordinance, 1511. It secifies the appropriate uses and states Emerald is for youth activities only. It does not say "local youth" because it was ment to support SBS Soccer's annual fundraiser, the Mountain Soccer tournament and it did not want to prevent SBS Little League from hosting tournaments. This is what was discussed when the ordinance was drafted and approved and has been verified many times since 1996.

Presently there are some folks that say this ordinance does not prevent TCS from hosting tournaments there.

Mtn:

I'm not entirely sure why there were no local teams in the TCS World Series last year except in one case where they wanted to sign up late. I do know that the former policy of free entry was abandoned about two years ago with "discounted entry".

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Rob Douglas 6 years, 3 months ago

Triple Crown update: as per http://steamboatpilot.com/news/2008/a...

"City Council was scheduled to hold the first reading of an ordinance (at tonight's meeting) extending its contract with Triple Crown Sports through 2010. The reading of that ordinance has been postponed so council members can first meet with Triple Crown officials. Triple Crown has put forth a controversial proposal to use fields at Emerald Park in 2009 and 2010. Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski said postponing the ordinance also will allow for officials in Hayden to discuss the possible use of fields in that town instead of Emerald Park."

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playa46 6 years, 3 months ago

I like the idea of triple crown, but when people say our economy is based off of tourists, don't we have enough? I mean, I hear people from places like Texas all the time on the mountan here in Stmbt. Why even bother giving TC Emerald field? And can't we just reach a compromise by making another field for all the whiny people out there?

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justathought 6 years, 3 months ago

playa46, "can't we just reach a compromise by making another field for all the whiny people", could you tell me WHO'S MONEY you think should be spent on this new field?

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okiegal 6 years, 3 months ago

soooooooooooo....if we prefer to book tourists according to capacity we are against tourism and business?

I vote to let the chamber pay to bring the hayden fields up to snuff.

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