Steamboat Springs Summer tourism shifts into full stride this weekend with the arrival of the traditional Rocky Mountain Ford Mustang Roundup classic car convention. And Steamboat will gain valuable exposure next week when the 86th convention of the Colorado Municipal League brings more than 750 people to town June 16 to 21.
The Municipal League convention attracts civic leaders from across the state, and many bring family members, the CML's Lisa White said. Add in 200 sponsors, and it becomes a large convention.
Lauren Mooney, public information officer for the city of Steamboat Springs, said the convention attendees would be spread across the official conference center at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel as well as at nearby condominium projects.
"I'm amazed at all of the good programs on the agenda," Mooney said. A walking tour of Steamboat's historic downtown is already sold out, as is Thursday's scheduled speech by Gov. Bill Ritter. He is expected to talk about the interaction among local and state government agencies.
"The governor's luncheon on Thursday will be a huge highlight," White said.
White added she also is looking forward to Friday's luncheon for elected officials, when school children will read their winning essays about their hometown mayors.
The lodging barometer published by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association suggests that for now, $4 gasoline is not deterring summer tourism.
The Chamber's unscientific survey expects 10,600 people will spend the night here Saturday. That's up from last year's forecast for 10,000 visitors and the actual totals of 10,200.
The Mustang Roundup is expected to bring more than 450 muscle car owners here today through Saturday. Spectators will enjoy the autocross at the Meadows parking lot from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and the Show 'n Shine display on Lincoln Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Steamboat also will play host to a Triple Crown fast-pitch softball tournament Friday through Sunday.
The heart of the CML convention takes place Wednesday through Friday with many professional seminars that should resonate in Steamboat. They include one for cities and towns contemplating redevelopment and another for those struggling with the challenges of financing transportation systems.
Steamboat will have a chance to show off the redevelopment under way at the mountain base and in downtown, Mooney said.
The city will dedicate a city bus to convention shuttle service between downtown and the mountain every half hour on the hour.
The city also will run a special bus down River Road through Brooklyn early Friday evening when a large group of convention attendees is anticipated to watch a demonstration of summer ski jumping at Howelsen Hill.
"We won't see this group again soon," Mooney said. "They are scheduled to alternate back and forth between Vail and Breckenridge for the next six years."
For details about the Municipal League convention, visit www.cml.org/.