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: In search of the mythical tourist

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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.

— Wanted: 32,000 summer tourists to replace Triple Crown. Must spend $25 million at local businesses and generate $1.19 million in local taxes during a 10-week period. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to be invisible to locals at all times.

Ridiculous?

Of course.

But this is what a vocal minority seeks in its demands that the Steamboat Springs City Council end a 27-year relationship our community has maintained with Triple Crown Sports. And, if you listen closely, you can discern two themes within their complaints.

First, Triple Crown should be discarded and replaced by something else. They aren't sure what "something else" is or how to attract it, but as charter members of the Grass is Greener on the Other Side Society, they're convinced that two in the bush are always worth more than the bird in hand.

A few of these fantasists believe the City Council and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association (insert evil-sounding music here) have formed an unholy alliance with Triple Crown in a plot to deny "something else" from patronizing Steamboat.

These utopians bemoan traffic, noise and bad behavior they believe come with Triple Crown and - in their imaginations - only Triple Crown. In their gauzy world, no traffic, noise or bad behavior comes from locals, winter tourists or other summer tourists. In their mind's eye, we live in a land of milk and honey - where money grows on trees like the golden aspen leaves of fall - and nary a blemish exists until Triple Crown invades like a swarm of Mormon crickets.

These dreamers live in a mythical world, and they are in search of the mythical tourist.

The second theme is that decisions about Triple Crown should be removed from the City Council and put to a vote of "the people." This theme's genesis results from cross-pollination with those seeking referendums on every significant issue facing the council. From Steamboat 700 to the Iron Horse Inn, from Steamboat Springs Airport to Triple Crown, they're convinced that if only "the people" could vote, the tide would turn against the City Council elected by, strangely enough, "the people."

I'm convinced this faction skipped civics class in favor of a doobie under the bleachers the day terms like "democracy," "republic" and "representative democracy" were taught. So, let's quickly review.

We do not live in a democracy.

We live in a republic.

The Founders intentionally created a republican form of government - sometimes called a representative democracy - for enough reasons to fill the Federalist Papers. But, one of the major reasons was to empower our elected representatives to act for the greater good while not succumbing to those who merely gripe the loudest.

It is true that ballots across the country and locally are growing each November with referendums instigated by special interest groups. But that trend is a result of cowardly legislators shirking the responsibilities of their office for fear of disfavor with the most belligerent and myopic.

Let's turn to those who, while not so loud, risk it all in order to provide jobs for their employees and a better community for all of us.

Since I first wrote about Triple Crown three weeks ago, local entrepreneurs have expressed to me their desire that Steamboat maintain a relationship with Triple Crown. From downtown sidewalks to restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and banks, not a day has passed that someone hasn't stopped me to talk about the lifeblood Triple Crown brings their business and their employees. One afternoon, I was stopped three times in the span of 100 feet by locals wanting to tell me firsthand why Triple Crown is important to the year-round viability of their business.

So, what should the City Council do?

The council should continue negotiations with Triple Crown with the goal of securing a contract that benefits both entities for many years to come, while simultaneously investing in long-term economic development that further stabilizes our local economy.

The good news is, based on discussions I've had this week with Councilman Jon Quinn and City Manager Alan Lanning, I'm confident the Council is pursuing a course of action in the best interest of Steamboat vis-Ã -vis Triple Crown. The council is seeking a relationship with Triple Crown that provides economic stability for the foreseeable future, while not losing sight of the need for broader long-term economic development.

As for the rest of us, instead of seeking mythical tourists and inane referendums, I'd suggest we encourage the council to invest significant dollars in a viable long-term economic development strategy focused on attracting businesses with high-salaried jobs - independent of tourism - to our valley.

Steamboat Springs resident Rob Douglas can be reached at Douglas@privacytoday.com

Comments

MtnWarlock 5 years, 11 months ago

bloggy, They whined because of street closures and noise! I am one who misses them!

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bigdog 5 years, 11 months ago

What do you mean "Mythical Tourist"? They come from the same place as "Energy Independence", "Efficient Government Run Health Care", "Affordable Housing" and of course "Guaranteed Secured Retirement".

ROTFLMAO!

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Malcolm_Reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

Rob, you're my hero. The people that have complete distain for Triple Crown will never understand and are blinded by their own fears. Most have never met Triple Crown families, but have joined the hate bandwagon with pre conceived ideas. Some want to take it to a vote of the people, since they feel City Council is not capable to make that decision. Then turn around and expect City Council and the Chamber to take on the responsibility to find a solution to replace Triple Crown.

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colowoodsman 5 years, 11 months ago

Dude- Great idea! Let's lock TC into a new contract before they realize what they are getting into. The beetle epidemic is moving this way. Soon almost all the forests surrounding SS will be turning brown. The risk of wildfires will rise significantly and remain high for several more years. What will happen if the valley air becomes filled with smoke and TC cannot play thier games? Will CC be responsible for not warning TC? Or will TC just gladly pitch in and help fight the fires? BTW-who made you a spokesperson for the tourist industry? Do you work for SSCRA?

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Doug Marsh 5 years, 11 months ago

Rob, great article and well thought out reasoning. The people who have moved into Steamboat with the half empty mentality should move on to another town and try to poison their community. Steamboat needs more pro-active, positive thinking families wanting to contribute to our town. They should have a check mark on applications asking if you are a half empty, half full kind of person. Who do you think would be hired?

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Neil O'Keeffe 5 years, 11 months ago

Doobies under the bleechers, get a life. I see who's paying your sallary, have an eye on Sandy Evans-Halls' do ya? This is precisely why we need a vote because the issues with TC, shared by many in the SS community are not a vocal minority. Now where did I put that bong? Believe!

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steamvent 5 years, 11 months ago

It is no secret that there are many areas of this country that are drying up economically, an impact that will linger for quite some time. Some around here think we are immune, that the money will just keep coming to Steamboat because, well, we are Steamboat. We are about to share the pain with the rest of the country so buckle up. Realtors will only be able to keep up the smoke screen for so long before the reality of growing listings and decreasing sales show themselves.

TC has been in our face for sure. I have personally been tailgated and nearly run over more than once by a team and player number painted up SUV late for the next game, and God forbid, forced to have lunch at home because the line in front of the place where I wanted to eat was out the door.

At least TC is comprised of actual people and families who, as it has been pointed by more than one, will return over the years to experience things other than playing ball. The real damage being done to us is the continued growth of second homes that sit vacant sucking the life blood out of the community feeling most of us were attracted to when we chose this valley to call home.

Some peole will just bitch no matter what. People who loudly complain about the impacts of TC are like the construction worker I heard in the grocery line at lunch time a few years ago, after yammering to the clerk about all the new homes and people in town and the rising prices of real estate ended his conversation with, "Well, gotta get back to work."

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MtnWarlock 5 years, 11 months ago

Steamvent, 2nd home owners pay taxes as we do. In fact, they contribute a lot and they don't use the municipalities as much as a permanent resident. Look at the average resident size home and compare it to some of these mini castles! It is a fact that there are many 2nd homes and that the increased numbers have changed the landscape of Steamboat however, they help pay our municipal bills and add to tourism.

Rob, I like the mythical tourist description. LOL! I see you didn't "myth" a thing! Would a mythical tourist be one of those who visits Steamboat, gives away all of their money to do nothing, then returns home? By some of the content posted here, I would anticipate that the directive towards a mythical tourist would be one that replaces a Triple Crown tourist. That description could fit increased volumes of: mt bikers, motorcycle rallies, campers, fishermen, hikers, retirement seekers, boaters, summer concerts with big current ticket tours every week at the base of Howelson Hill! However, then there will be too many of those folks congesting our town, raising cane and P-ing off locals! Doobies under the bleachers! Dude, 4/20 was last weekend, ok! LOL! Have a good one!

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bloggyblog 5 years, 11 months ago

blog loves living in a place where the hot button topic is a large group of baseball playing tourist. blog doesn't directly benefit from TC and must admit to being mildly inconvienced by them but is willing to put up with them because of the overall benefit to our local economy and business's. blog also gets a kick out of people who say things like 'bring back the vintage car races'. thats a great idea! except the races had to stop because... too many "locals" were complaing about the inconvenience!

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 11 months ago

Bloggy- To be fair, I believe the races stopped because the Mt. Werner Circle changes due to the Steamboat Grand Debt Star going in. It tightened the track down to a single lane in areas. They had no other places that would work, locally, at the time.

Personally, I enjoy most TC coming in and enjoy the money they bring to the valley, allowing a lot of people to work during the summer. Yeah, the traffic sucks...but it sucks right now when I go to and from work.

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MtnWarlock 5 years, 11 months ago

kielbasa, You are absolutly correct about the race closure. They have been trying to get them back however, there are no streets available to make a track.

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dogd 5 years, 11 months ago

With the gas-price scenario-TC is a pretty good way to insure some people biting the (3.80 by then?) bullet and coming here this summer.

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STEMBOATwannabe 5 years, 11 months ago

You made some very good points.

There are ways to work around some of the complaints.

In some of the other threads it has been said that due to economic stress in our country, maybe everyone should re-think their positions regarding TC. This might be very prudent. This summer could be very stressfull for many but the influx of added revenue from TC will help bridge the gap til the next ski season.

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Neil O'Keeffe 5 years, 11 months ago

So now according to Mr Douglas, anyone opposed to TC is a pot smoking, dim witted high school drop-out. Just what this town needs is our own little Karl Rove using devisive tactics to prove how correct his thinking is. Just keep digging Rob, your grave is getting deeper and deeper, still have a ways to go though to make it big enough for that ego of yours. Believe!

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justathought 5 years, 11 months ago

rokboat, comprehend the article. He said "this faction skipped civics class in favor of a doobie under the bleachers the day terms like "democracy," "republic" and "representative democracy" were taught." HE was talking about those that want everything to go to a vote of the people; not just those opposed to TC. Is it possible you were under those bleachers during more classes than civics?

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corduroy 5 years, 11 months ago

wait.. if we are a republic, how come we're trying to "spread democracy" to nations like Iraq??

//thought we had a Democracy, or at least, the people's voice USED to be properly expressed by our representatives.. (those that weren't bought or changed sides)

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ruff 5 years, 11 months ago

the point is this I think.....in a town where every business is to a certain extent a service business, out worlders must be allowed.....or you just keep swapping around the same old money....not everyone who is here came with a matched set of luggage full of cash, so we need to have "new" money come into town..... having tourist in town does indeed make for more traffic, more trash, more everything, including money.... perhaps you would like a different kind of industry??? You can do anything in life you want to, providing you are willing to pay the price......because there is always a price.

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 11 months ago

Locals unite! We need to have a "tripple crown" day. Dress up in your most ridiculous baseball outfit, soap up your car, enter the TC tournyment, and show them what civil disobedience we have in steamboat.

Then the police will show up and brethalize all of the texans, and californians because of the unrest. I guarantee, that if we can pin a couple TCer's with a DUI, and take their liscense, they will not come back. A check point at pamela lane?

Also, I think that moving some ball fields to hayden is a mistake. Make the TCers drive 30 miles to play ball, what a joke. Also, put up some signs so the TCers know to take river road to the ball fields, then your traffic "problem" is solved.

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424now 5 years, 11 months ago

Rob,

Bullseye! The vocal minority will use this aricle and any outlet they can find to attempt to sway public opinion. The debate follows when the majority stand in favor of TC.

Silver,

A quote for you,

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret."

Ambrose Bierce

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53native 5 years, 11 months ago

Greed is an insidious thing. But if residents would rather tolerate the TC crowd than reach into their own pockets to pay a PROPERTY tax, that the City of StmBt Springs and more far-sighted residents of the town have been advocating for a couple of decades now (remember the 3 legged stool analogy? right now it's got 2 and one them is called Triple Crown), the results are entirely predictable. And contrary to Mr. Rob's assertions, a single entity or event does not have to replace TC over night- who's in town when TC ISN'T here?Any of them spending any money? How many more of THEM would come if they didn't have to put up with the TC crowds? Aspen, Vail, Breckendridge, Telluride all seem to do just fine in the summer without TC. Just a thought...

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smart65 5 years, 11 months ago

If you're not happy with the CC, boycot their businesses and stop writing comments. All you do is make Bob look good.

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meethinks 5 years, 11 months ago

ok, cant help but say, Rob, I was also at Starbucks yesterday eating my muffin...you left and didn't hear the other comments, let me give you a few..... "pompus, arrogant, not loyal to locals, needs to go back to where he came from, ect ect ect" exactly which business are so in favor, as a local patron, I hear things differently. Really, We ALL know you will boot this comment before it is posted but which bussinesses are so in favor of TC? Lets see if you can be an honorable journalist and allow my comment to be answered. Now, I do realize how important the monies are to the community but for petes sake, how about asking TC to recognize that this is a SMALL community and at least obey the traffic laws and such. Is that really such hard thing to comply with? I believe it is called mutual respect. Yes you do bring some good questions but I really am offended by your "doobie" comment. Do you have kids? did you try to raise them here? I am and so are a lot of other families. Respect the community in which you live, and stop insulting us that do work so hard to live here, how many jobs do you have to pay your rent/mortgage ect? I have three........

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ybul 5 years, 11 months ago

--2nd home owners pay taxes as we do. In fact, they contribute a lot and they don't use the municipalities as much as a permanent resident--

However, they do not typically pay as much. When they buy a vehicle it is registered elsewhere, and as such the sales tax/plate fees are collected for another location.

They use the police/fire departments as much as everyone. If they only visit the park one time as opposed to your ten times it still requires that the park was maintained.

They do make it more difficult for the average worker to live in Steamboat Springs, they do not pay as much in taxes as the average local does, as they are part time.

As for the TC, a doubling of the number of teams in 5-8 years seems like it would stretch the resources of the town beyond its capabilities for 1/12 of the year. Do the additional annual expenses that would be required as a result of the increase justify the additional expenses?

At what point do you forego additional marketing for tourism, as the additional crowds drawn actually cause those who come to have a less than desirable stay? Would that occur if TC grows to 800 teams, would that cause others to not want to come, or not be able to come? Does not working towards a more diverse tourism base behoove the City as opposed to one dependent upon one event over a month, which has threatened to leave, in the past?

Seems to me that working towards a more diverse market is better than chasing the golden goose as that goose will always want more, and have you in a very bad position in the future.

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spukomy 5 years, 11 months ago

Boy, that first paragraph is priceless. Nice job Rob.

As far as the $ goes, if 1.19 million in taxes were not available next year, who would be the first to lose out? And the second?

As far as unrulyness goes, and I've seen it, treat it as you normally would. Report crimes, ask people to watch their language, don't let road rage get the best of you.

Leading by example is the best way. Any group replacing TC will still be made up of people. If it's less people you want, you may need to move to somewhere more remote, without a tourism based industry.

Beyond the typical gripes we all have; more traffic, lines in restraunts, longer grocery checkout times, TC provides more than tax $. Their positives include the following - more excercise for kids, learning a team dynamic, sportsmanship, self-discipline, dealing with pain and loss, traveling, social interaction and family time. Not to mention, nobody carpools like TC teams.

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colowoodsman 5 years, 11 months ago

Doobie Dude- you must have spent too much time "under the bleachers" as well! Your lecture on civics is no better than your lecture on economics. You should try to find some friends other than those "whose brains leaked out on the pillow overnight". When the first condos we're being built here 'winter tourism' was seen as a way for locals to have some income during the slow months. However we soon relalized that tourism jobs really 'sucked'. The construction we did in the summers was now working against us in the winter because all the rentals were being reserved for tourists and prices soared. Then SSCRA decided they needed to fill those condos in the summer as well. That is what brought TC here. Your problem is you have no clue what it was like here before the TC invasion. You have done absolutly nothing to make SS what it is today and yet you think you know what is best for this town. You are the one that is delusional. Tourism has gotten SS into a hole they cannot get out of. 27 more years of building ballfields and sucking up to 800 teams of TCers will only put a bigger drain on city resources make the hole deeper. Even now the city is having trouble hirring and housing workers. More tourists will only make it worse.

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carel 5 years, 11 months ago

methinks - Remember "The King And I"?....etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...thus, etc.

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bigdog 5 years, 11 months ago

Steamboat Pilot;

Rob has been a great addition to your paper. Agree (mostly) or disagree, he tends to strike a nerve or two with every article, which in my opinion is good for Steamboat. Gets a dialog going both in the community and online.

Great Job!

BigDog

PS: maybe we should put it to a vote however:-)

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MtnWarlock 5 years, 11 months ago

ybul, A lot of 2nd home owners do not use the schools and that is almost half the tax bill! Many 2nd home owners have vehicles they keep here in the garage for their friends to use. Owners friends who use the home, pay the extra tax when the owners are not here. I feel that price of some these second homes has influenced the housing market.

colowoodsman,

I believe you make a true and very good point in saying;

The construction we did in the summers was now working against us in the winter because all the rentals were being reserved for tourists and prices soared. Then SSCRA decided they needed to fill those condos in the summer as well.

meethinks, Good for you with three jobs! I've have three jobs I've worked here for 25 years now! 55 hour week minimum. Beats unemployment! Many people hate working that much to live here and leave! I feel fortunate.

Bigdog, I agree, this forum gets dialog going but, gets a little radical at times and can be hostel.

Have a good day!

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ybul 5 years, 11 months ago

You got me, I guess I was speaking about city taxes, as it is the city which is required to maintain the ball fields, roads, parks and infrastructure that primary, secondary and tourists use.

Yes some second home owners do have a vehicle in their garage. Though if the home is only occupied 1/4 of the year, the amount of food purchased, as well as other goods, creating less sales tax.

The point was that the second home owner, most likely uses the same level of city services as a resident (fire, police and other services). Even if they use them less frequently than a resident, they still enjoy them and require the same level of maintenance as if they were a full time resident. Yet, they on average probably pay less in Sales tax (not property, which goes to fund the schools. The school district and city are two different entities.) than a year round resident. I have not personally studied the issue, but that would be my guess.

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another_local 5 years, 11 months ago

More noise about second home owners and property taxes.

For every dollar raised by a local property tax, second home owners will pay about 20 cents. Local home owners and renters will pay about 25 cents and local businesses will pay 55 cents. Who is that local business owner? Mostly your neighbors... locals again.

You want rental property to pay for its share? Enforce the lodging tax on rentals under 30 days and do not allow rooms rented by the night to be classified as residential property (make it commercial like the other hotel rooms in town)

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lovescolorado 5 years, 11 months ago

Great column. Thank you.

You are a great addition to the community because you will help the debate.

Many on this blog are unrealistic. They cash their paycheck and don't connect from where the dollars came, but then turn around and berate the source -- people spending money, with that money turning over and over and over within Steamboat.

It seems clear that the most vehement bloggers do not have their own businesses, or employ people in this community. Because if they did, they wouldn't want to drive out the very money source of a tourist economy -- especially in the midst of times of severe economic struggles.

We employ many people. And recently have had a big increase in the number of applicants for jobs -- as their second or third, maybe even fourth job -- so that they can put expensive gas in their tanks and pay for increasingly higher food costs at the stores.

Rob, please keep writing with such clarity. It matters to a great many people.

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steamboatyahoo 5 years, 11 months ago

I like Colowoodsman's reference to ss being in a hole.

In my mind SS is basically unliveable at times in the summer, no possibility of making a left hand turn anywhere downtown, no place to park downtown, no chance of eating in a restaurant, 1/2 hour needed at certain times of the day to get West of town from Tamarack Lane, etc. etc. That will be even more interesting when the 700 project goes in. Walk across the river on TC tubers and river trashed out with broken tubes, cans, etc.

The quality of life here in SS is deteriorating and Rob, now that you mention it, if I ever do see you I'll make sure to stop you and give you a piece of my mind.

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bigdog 5 years, 11 months ago

steamboat yahoo, like you really can afford to give even 1 brain cell let alone your mind.... I bet every time you sneeze your loved ones wonder if it is the last of you!

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toboyle105 5 years, 11 months ago

Years ago in No. Conway N.H the Volvo Tennis Tourney was chased away. Things were never the same. Be carefull what you ask for.

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424now 5 years, 11 months ago

All of the opposed,

You are asking that the major generator of summer cash flow for the Boat goes down river. You that secure? Got that much income that you don't need to work in the summer?

Here's a question in the form of a video...

Will you?

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oofcboy 5 years, 11 months ago

money is tight this year it is cheaper to fly than drive so maybe less people will come this year after Tc leaves,You might want to think about this for awhile.Even if you dont depend on tc maybe your favorite restraunt does,and your buddy who delivers food there and the liquir store,remember 3 2 beer. Yes find something else first then boot them out

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Ilike2dv8 5 years, 11 months ago

For a person who hasn't been here a great number of years, you sure seem to size things up pretty well quickly. The funny thing about the good old days was... they weren't all that good. Other than the 4th of July or Labor Day you could practically walk or ride a bike down Lincoln Avenue blindfolded and never hit a car. A huge percentage of the main street windows were empty with "gone out of business" signs. Although I remember well the strain of holding three jobs at once to make ends meet, the strain of NO job was way worse. It's fascinating to me how many of the bloggers (could easily substitute the word "haters") here talk about the amazing town Steamboat was 15, 20, 30 years ago. It was a great town then and I believe it still is. Sure things have changed, it's busier but there is more opportunity, the town has grown, what nice place to live hasn't? The town now has a year-round economic balance that allows for people to actually make a living, they can open a business and pay employees, and these are GOOD things, not bad. Keep up the writing Rob, I know many people who enjoy your perspective: at least most of the time. :-)

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ybul 5 years, 11 months ago

If the TC is allowed to double its size you will have found an additional 32,000 mythical tourists.

As they have stated this is their desire, how do you house them, what happens to traffic, etc.. The ranting about how they behave and how they are needed is crazy. The real question is CAN Steamboat Springs handle their desired growth? Today no, spending quite a bit of money would help the problem, but would that money be better spent on something else?

The comment about having an economy based upon three legs, takes on meaning in the micro economy of tourism. Do all of the eggs get placed in the TC basket, pushing out those who want to golf (killing the golf courses), fish, bike, watch the rodeo, etc.?

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dave reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

so much entitlement bloged here..how many of you are generation locals..or are you transplants that call yourselfs locals..me lived here 25 years still transplanted are you..TC brings in tax revenue and creates jobs during the summer..if you want them out then pony up the dough that this city will lose by them leaving..yes I agree they should put up some dough for field improvements..but dont boot them....true locals didnt boot you when you moved here..thank ASC for losing the ballon rodeo..or at least shrinking it..vintager car races developement..cannt have it both ways..be carefull what you wish for you just might get it

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another_local 5 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps a digression... but Paddle, how did ASC loose the balloon rodeo?

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dave reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

yeah that was wrong what I meant was they sold the land that was used...I didn't attend the rodeo last year but heard it wasn't even close to the same..sorry

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bocal 5 years, 11 months ago

Rob, Great article!!!

Colwodsman, I don't even know where to start. How 'bout, you're an idiot?

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steamboatyahoo 5 years, 11 months ago

big dog, achoo, oops........ toBoyle, what about these stats, "The median home cost in Steamboat Springs is $925,000. Home appreciation the last year has been 5.88 percent. Compared to the rest of the country, Steamboat Springs's cost of living is 70.14% Higher than the U.S. average. Steamboat Springs public schools spend $5,882 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. The unemployment rate in Steamboat Springs is 3.60 percent(U.S. avg. is 4.60%)." Conway's stats, "The median home cost in Conway is $229,900. Home appreciation the last year has been 0.00 percent. Compared to the rest of the country, Conway's cost of living is 3.71% Lower than the U.S. average. Conway public schools spend $6,565 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. The unemployment rate in Conway is 4.20 percent(U.S. avg. is 4.60%)."........

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btheball 5 years, 11 months ago

A little late in the conversation but here goes....

Perhaps Rob Douglas should be reminded that the Federalist Papers were published in 1787 & 1788 (the Anti-Federalist papers were published as well at the same time) in an era when newspapers were scantily published in rural areas outside of New York State, and people traveled largely by horse and carriage and when the pioneers traveled by wagon train. In that context, a representative democracy was desirable for many that didn't have the means or education to keep abreast of many civic and national governmental issues because it took every moment of the day just to sew the crop, tend to the animals and get food on the table while it was still daylight. Therefore, find and send a representative of your area to DC yearly or bi-yearly to weigh in on and vote FOR their constituency. The idea has much more principal and pragmatism than being a mechanism for "not succumbing to those who merely gripe the loudest" as Mr. Douglas puts it.

Fast forward 220 years later in a nation of 90-100% literacy where pretty much every citizen has access to a public library the internet. Now that we all have the same access to all the same information, why not put to a referendums the significant issues facing the council yes even every one from Steamboat 700 to the Iron Horse Inn, from Steamboat Springs Airport to Triple Crown.

Quite the contrary Rob, that wouldn't be a "result of cowardly legislators in fear of disfavor with the most belligerent and myopic" (sounds like you are speaking from personal experience) it would show a true allegiance by government officials to The People in favor special interests that represent big money and contribute $$$ to the campaigns for those elected. Not ironically, the main criticism of politicians in our era today they do NOT REPRESENT.

HENCE, maybe the we have outgrown the republic and our society is ready to move to a true democracy. We have the technology for everyone to speak for themselves and it isn't a bad thing to bring voters to the polls. Power to the People!! That is what we were founded on.

gotta go roll a phat spleef after that much thinking.... yea, right?

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424now 5 years, 11 months ago

Jiminy Crickets! Ball,

You may have something there, a true democracy... Mind boggling man.

But...

We could not account for the votes in a society populated by a number of anonymous hackers capable of disrupting if not actually changing the outcome of any election done using that technology you just touted.

Put the slpif down and back away slowly...

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btheball 5 years, 11 months ago

Your right!! Better stop voting all together and go back to the monarchy and dynasties! If they say yes, let's just put the Bush's and Clinton's in charge forever.

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424now 5 years, 11 months ago

Ball,

Now, now, lets not go all arnarchist over here.

What I mean to convey is We are not quite ready for a fully accountable democracy yet. It may come to pass though. Can you immagine as your driving down Lincoln a little voice in your ear pops off with,

"Monday 28 April 8:58AM, A vote is required on whether to turn on the lights a city hall, please indicate afirmative or negative"

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btheball 5 years, 11 months ago

Maybe you need something stronger than home grown - and, OK, maybe you are right. Not a total democracy, yet. Funny about "step away from the slpif", and loved the 9" nails utube, too. Had to listen twice and crank it up, even. Thanks!

700 and Ironhorse should go to referendum, if anything just so these projects aren't accused of dirty politics for the rest of our lives. It's not micro-managing Council. There are allot of different viewpoints and I don't think Council has a clear idea of what is wanted and needed by our citizens. That way, they'd know. And Triple Crown, too, if the city allocates any $$ to fields for them. Nothing to fear if we are really sure TC is a desirable guest to most.

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colowoodsman 5 years, 11 months ago

bocal- you must be one of Rob's friends with the 'pillow' problem.

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424now 5 years, 11 months ago

To my eternal shame and the financial ruin of my potential pot dealers I quit smoking weed on July 3rd 1983 the day before I joined the Army.

Can't say I honestly miss it at all.

There is something that occasionally happens in election years and when the constituency gets itself all wound up over local issues. They call them Town Hall meetings. Where the leadership gets together with the voting public in a venue big enough to hold a sizable chunk of the governed to have a meeting of the minds.

All of you vocal locals who want a say can always take the time to wait through the City Council meetings to voice your opinions. Remember to bring every body you can muster as a group of concerned citizens always looks more impressive. Its always recommended in politics to bring your own cheerleaders. Oh well most of these bloggers never go to city council meetings anyway. They like to voice all there opinions in hear where their sure to have a reason to complain when decisions get made.

If you took offense at the last comment then head to city Hall for a meeting. I sit with the voting public.

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meethinks 5 years, 11 months ago

oh my.... so many wonderful points! But really, isn't this an issue that could be resolved by this little thing called mutual respect? Yes, we need the dollars, but we dont need the extra traffic and crap that is narrowed to such a small time frame, how about encouragement of public trasportation? As local patrons when we see little ones throwing food at us or on the floors of our fine eating establishments lets be a village and ask the parents to control their offspring, When the parents are a tad bit happy at happy hour, lets ask them to stop screaming teammates names so that we can enjoy our dinners as well. Oh there are so many possibilities! and once again, Rob, please stop insulting the locals if you could. There really is intelligent life here in the valley........ stop assumming that we are all pot smoking hippies or whatever..... although I may occationally drool on my pillow. I have several brain cells left and it would be nice for you to see anothers point of view with an open mind.

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