Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Sven Wiik picks up his mail at the downtown post office Monday morning. The U.S. Postal Service gave a presentation to the Steamboat Springs City Council on Monday night laying out a proposed move to a new location. Traffic and other concerns at the current location prompted Postal Service officials to start looking at alternative locations for the Steamboat Springs offices.

Photo by John F. Russell

Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Sven Wiik picks up his mail at the downtown post office Monday morning. The U.S. Postal Service gave a presentation to the Steamboat Springs City Council on Monday night laying out a proposed move to a new location. Traffic and other concerns at the current location prompted Postal Service officials to start looking at alternative locations for the Steamboat Springs offices.

Change of address

Post office considers new, consolidated facility

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Call: 879-2060 for more information

Meeting tonight

The Steamboat Springs City Council meets tonight to discuss redevelopment at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, the proposed annexation of Steamboat 700 and the results of an economic planning assessment.

City Council will first convene as the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority to discuss the construction of public improvements at the ski base. The majority of the meeting will be spent discussing draft agreements between the city and private property owners for the operations and maintenance of improvements such as a proposed promenade around the immediate ski base.

City Council also will consider extending the contract of Redevelopment Coordinator Joe Kracum of Kracum Resources. Kracum is proposing a $409,335 contract beginning March 16 and ending Dec. 15, 2010.

The focus of council's discussion regarding Steamboat 700, the planned development west of Steamboat that proposes about 2,000 new homes, will be the Community Development Code's requirement of a pre-annexation agreement and concerns raised by officials and the public about when the agreement should be negotiated.

Finally, Economic & Planning Systems will present the results of its recent economic development assessment of Steamboat Springs. The study is intended to guide the city's future fiscal policy decisions. Forty-four percent of the city's revenue comes from sales tax.

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Steamboat resident Brad Piske prepares to mail packages from the downtown post office in Steamboat Springs on Monday morning.The post office gave a presentation to Steamboat Springs City Council on Monday night laying out a proposed move to a new location. Traffic and other concerns at the current location prompted the post office officials to start looking at alternative locations.

The U.S. Postal Service could be shipping its Steamboat Springs' offices to a new location in as little as 20 weeks.

"We're in the process of looking for opportunities within the community," Leigh Hettick told the Steamboat Springs City Council on Monday. "We'd definitely like to do something better for the community than currently exists."

Hettick, district facility activation coordinator for Colorado and Wyoming, said the Postal Service hopes to stay within the city limits near Lincoln Avenue and also would prefer to consolidate its downtown and Sundance Plaza offices into one operation. Hettick said the city approached the Postal Service in June 2006 with its desire to purchase the main Post Office at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue.

"We've had informal conversations since that time," Hettick said. "The time may now be opportune for us to do something different."

Before Monday night's special meeting of the City Council, City Manager Alan Lanning said the city isn't necessarily interested in purchasing the downtown building.

"What we are interested in doing is helping with a process that moves the post office to a new location," said Lanning, who noted concerns with traffic and congestion at the busy intersection. "At this point in time, that's just a tough place for it to be."

Hettick said it would be difficult for the Postal Service to stay put by remodeling, taking over the space it currently rents to Coldwell Banker Silver Oak, or both, partially because the building originally was designed as a bank.

"The location we would like would be designed from scratch as a post office," Hettick said. "It's a very difficult building to modify into something that works efficiently."

Demolishing the building and constructing a new one also poses challenges such as how to continue service in the interim. And neither option solves the traffic and congestion concerns at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue.

Hettick said the Postal Service prefers to operate in property that it can own itself, but he said he would entertain rental options "if someone can make the numbers work." Brian Olson is one developer who would love to strike a deal with the Postal Service. Olson said the Post Office would be a good fit for his Steamboat Crossings development at the northwest corner of South Lincoln Avenue and Pine Grove Road.

"We have had several conversations with them about moving in to our property," Olson said Monday. "They're attractive in that we're trying to create a town center. It's a community gathering place, and we would look forward to having a user like that on our site."

Olson said the traffic the Post Office would generate also would be beneficial to all other potential tenants in his development.

Some at Monday's meeting expressed concern that the Post Office would relocate away from downtown. Hettick said no downtown sites have been identified "in a formal way."

"People who have sites are going to be encouraged to bring them forward as a result of this process," Hettick said.

The next step in the process is for the Postal Service to take at least 15 days to gather and evaluate community comments. For more information, contact Hettick at (303) 227-5318 or leigh.a.hettick@usps.gov.

Comments

MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

I think that there are few places to place a new facility inside the city limits. Most places are congested with traffic. Moffat Ave. (20 mile) by Western Petrolium has room. Just a thought.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

Spukomy- I'll take that bet! SSHRA (Old Town Hot Springs) will get the land and tear the building down.

New one should go out by East HWY 40, just past Motel Row. Spread some traffic out that way instead of West Steamboat, in my opinion. Or, move it to Ski Time Square's new digs! Used to get my family's mail in the Clock Tower building when back when.

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dave mcirvin 6 years, 9 months ago

Across from Staples isn't a horrible choice but 1) What about down Elk River Road across from Elk River Farm and Feed, where Native Ecosystems currently resides or in Copper Ridge? That might split the difference in travel time and congestion for the town, mountain folks and the soon to be booming west development though the light at the curve would need to be revised. 2) Some cynics might suggest Iron Horse though that would provide a needed centralized location. 3) southwest corner of Elk River Road and Lincoln but again the light issue...

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dawg 6 years, 9 months ago

Clock Tower? Or do you mean the building where Mattie Silk's used to be?

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mtroach 6 years, 9 months ago

20 mile? Elk river road? East Hwy40? Ski Time Square? What about a CENTRALIZED location with easy access?

I thought the comments about it going into Sundance Plaza, or across from Ski Hous where Walgreens was to go made the most sense. Less conjestion at third and lincoln would be welcome, but relocating the post office to one end of town or another does not. I don't want to ride up Elk River Road, or out 20 mile, to pick up my mail unless the city makes that road safer for all users. Both 20 mile, and Elk river Road have seen growth all up and down, but the city has done nothing to widen and put a shoulder on the road so that the extra traffic has room to move and turn safely.

What about putting the Post office next to the Hampton Inn on the west side of US40, and "allow" the federal govt to put in a railroad crossing to access parking for the ball fields as a bonus for us locals? I love federal pork, especally with gravy.

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housebound 6 years, 9 months ago

Great idea on the railroad crossing combined with the post office! It needs to stay easy access on the bus routes for those trying not to drive - gas reasons and traffic!

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

Dawg- Nope. When we moved here in 1978, we had a Post Office in the Clock Tower building, middle floor. That was the 80499 area code for mailing back then. I think that went away in 1983-ish.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 9 months ago

blog thinks there are some good ideas here. a small office in ski time square(actually not sure what to call it anymore) would be logical with the main office centraly located. spukomy, blog just put money down on the new "butcherknife creek place". luxury condo's ,downtown ,reasonably priced starting in the mid 900's.

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jeannie berger 6 years, 9 months ago

I thought I remember the P O at the mountain being inside the little drug store just to the left of the underground parking for STS condos, next to a liquor store (the wine rack?). At least I remember going there for my mail at one time.

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addlip2U 6 years, 9 months ago

How clever of Old Town Hot Springs aka Steamboat Health and Rec to push their agenda again. Waited until the $34 million Rec Center issue quieted down a bit and now they go at it again, but from a different angle. Watch out, they will get their way eventually.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

dreamriver23- I believe there was a PO at that location, but not until a few years after the Clock Tower location stopped. By then, my father moved his PO box to the downtown location.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe they could build a unified city/county police & fire station between the court house and jail. Then, tear down the old police station and fire house and build a new post office there! It's central and off the beaten trail on Yampa! As far as the rec center goes' I still will not return there as a patron because, of the way they displaced patrons of affordable housing for tennis courts!

addlip2u, I wouldn't be surprised if you are correct in your speculative statement!

All, I believe the old mountain post office was below where Lupos is current. Maybe more like that area of the chocolate factory, exactly. Another idea, would be to build satellite offices at the west end at Elk Crossing, the property next to the Ford dealership and at the new development at the ski base, for the east end of town may work. Split the difference of the town office that way. I don't know what kind of inconvenience that would create for the post office. It could be that a central hub is the best approach. Good day!

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ventrygirl 6 years, 9 months ago

How bout the USPS deliver mail to everyone like they do everywhere else in the good ol' US of A.? That would certainly diminish the need for a large Post Office.

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spukomy 6 years, 9 months ago

Keilbasa, Would that be a tear down followed by an expansion?

Bloggy, Nice get, I hear they have low HOAs.

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formerwindnsolarpwrd 6 years, 9 months ago

Mt. PO (aka Steamboat Village) was in the Clock Tower building and then at the opposite end of the row, past Dos Amigos at the end, roughly across from Thunderhead. That one closed after the new shopping area went up next to Safeway and they opened Steamboat Plaza PO.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

Formerwind- That would have been the old Beckett's Drug Store (3rd store; 2nd was where Gondola General is now), down by Mother's Deli. I used to work at the Downtown Beckett's location, which is now The Shirt Stop and The Shirt Stop is what used to be below Lupo's (which used to be more Skit Time Apartments) next to the old Mountain Motherlode/Anderson & Friends Restaurant...where I also used to work and live above. I used to work in the Clock Tower at Que Pasta, dishwashing for a short time. Wasn't here when it was Club Magiks, though. That was Army time.

Spukomy- I would imagine so. They've been after more space for some time now, I believe, which is why they couldn't expand to fit the whole Rec Center needs. Further expansion may have to wait, though, depending on how much money they now can spend after the current expansion.

Ventrygirl- Every city (including multiple Zips within a city) that delivers to homes still usually has a centralized facility to sort mail, and usually still has PO Boxes there.

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2007 6 years, 9 months ago

A post office in ski time square may be convenient for some but what about parking?? It needs to be situated where someone can easily pull in, get mail and drive away. There aren't many pedestrian non-skiers in Ski Time Square. Why put more congestion in Ski Time Square? Put it where there is much parking and little congestion.
My mailbox in in Sundance and it is perfect. I hate going to the downtown Post Office.
Putting it in an area with other places to run errands would be a great idea.

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spukomy 6 years, 9 months ago

2007, Your right about Sundance being a perfect site. I got out of the downtown PO and the Bank across from it many years ago. Even then the traffic hassle was too much.

I heard Jim Cook is buying up as many Sundance PO Boxes as possible, and plans to sub-lease them this summer.

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handyman 6 years, 9 months ago

Sure, Sundance might be a good location, but the parking leaves a lot to be desired. It's tight and shares with a restaurant, DMV, the employment office and other offices. It's a zoo. Also, the lot is not well maintained in the winter and is very dangerous with all of the ice build up.

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panky 6 years, 9 months ago

Is there no possibility of adding delivery routes outside city limits?

A new Post Office could then be smaller with far less traffic impact. It would undoubtedly be the "green" solution with less wasted gasoline running to the P.O. every day!

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momofthree 6 years, 9 months ago

delivery routes outside city limits? i'm with Ventrygirl, this PO needs to first start delivering mail to all homes inside city limits! sure, some people would still opt for PO boxes, but I bet the majority wouldn't, and that would have a HUGE impact on traffic.

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retiredinss 6 years, 9 months ago

The comment about OTHS is completely off the mark. The proponents of the rec center were not in favor of using any of the OTHS facilities, and discussions with the PO never went very far--the arguments were that the City would have to pay for moving the PO--and now we find that isn't true!

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skibro 6 years, 9 months ago

RetiredinSS/GHr: Rec Center proponents asked, mediated, suggested everything possible (for several years) to work with the Board of the OTHS, to no avail. Bud wouldn't budge on anything. You know that all too well.

Maybe the city will buy the PO property and give it to OTHS to do the proper expansions that are needed to provide the unmet needs of our community. But the OTHS is up to their eyeballs in debt. They want the PO property, but want it handed to them on a silver platter. Let's hope our new council has the foresight to work it all out the right way, unlike the last one.

BTW, how's the backyard? Enjoy it now.

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notmybus 6 years, 9 months ago

I wouldn't care for having to drive to the east end of town to get my mail especially around the ski area base. Maybe the post office could start up home delivery of mail (not clusterboxes) that would actually put the mail at your front door step such as most major cities and then people would use the service and the need for a new bigger postal facility would not be needed.

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madmoores 6 years, 9 months ago

Again, not my argument but I am ever so curious. Some bring up a valid point, why not have home/business delivery. The mail trucks would burn 1/4 of the fuel burnt by all of the community coming to one place to pick up their mail and it would definitely ease downtown traffic congestion. I have never heard of this in any other town, are their any other towns that force the residents to come get their mail? It just seems strange I guess and if anyone can provide the history of this it would be interesting. Has Steamboat always had to go get the mail? Craig would revolt if the PO tried to pull something like that and the town would surround the place with torches, chanting senseless rants(not really but you get the picture). A new location would help the downtown but would also take away all of those folks driving in to get the mail that need to stop for something else. Aw heck, guess that's what tourists are for;) Once again, good luck.

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handyman 6 years, 9 months ago

madmoores - A lot of mountain towns don't have street delivery. A lot of rural towns don't have street delivery. The postal laws used to force the post office to provide free po boxes if they didn't have street delivery. Hmm . . . What happened to that? I used to live in a small town and had general delivery and they held my mail for me.

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wishiwerethere 6 years, 9 months ago

hmmmm...400 inches of snow, plowed in mailboxes, un-shoveled sidewalks. yea, i can see getting my mail delivered to my door in a timely manner every day. rather make the trip over to the PO when i'm in the area. (do you really check your mail EVERYDAY??) why put yourself through the hassle? go "off peak" once a week.

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summerbird 6 years, 9 months ago

Because of the growth to the west, and if you want to have a central location, population wise, for the post office, west of downtown such as US 40 and Elk River Road is a good option. Think about all the things we dislike about the present location: inadequate parking and traffic congestion. There will always be a need for a substation on the east side.

Still on my wish list: Downtown bypass for US 40 and a supermarket on the west side. I can dream, can't I?

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wishiwerethere 6 years, 9 months ago

Clock Tower building, across from Thunderhead, Mattie Silk's building, inside the little drug store, downtown, below Lupos current, Steamboat Plaza, Mother's Deli, Sundance

OMG! Look at all this change! OMG! We lived through it!

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jaunty 6 years, 9 months ago

Let's all go back to the early 70s and praise "dawg's" memory. There was a small but adequate post office in the building that later became Mattie Silks.

Sureva Towler ran the place, which was also a restaurant. Was it called The Lunch Box? Really reaching into the deep recesses of my brain, but I think that was it.

Sureva also wrote a column for the Steamboat Pilot, relaying people-related news that she heard from all of her customers. Going to the P.O., regardless of whether it was the mountain location or downtown, was the social highlight of everyone's day.

The Clock Tower building and any other postal locations came later.

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wishiwerethere 6 years, 9 months ago

O.K. if we're going back in time... there was an icecream shop call Luscious Licks before Matties bar was upstairs. Best dern homemade chocolate-bananna icecream you ever et!

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

Aaah! The archives of Steamboat. Maybe we should start a blog on "back in the day" remembering the places that were! I think that would be interesting! I miss them. I remember the old donut shop next to the old Becketts drug store on the mountain. There was a KFC where Winona's is now. There was a vacant lot between the Cameo (Old Town Pub) and Steamboat Paint. And below Steamboat paint was a launder mat and sub shop in the alley. Also remember Straightline as the Short Branch Saloon! Does anyone remember the Lost Dog Saloon?

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corduroy 6 years, 9 months ago

Traffic is probably always going to be the main problem The fact that we actually have a parking lot at the current post office is a feat in and of itself. The congestion there is bad, but its not terrible, I can remember the Poughkeepsie downtown Post Office in NY. No parking, just some street parking IF you were lucky. You parked and walked.. gasp legs? they can make me mobile? shocking. I'm not sure moving it far form downtown is a good idea. I know many older people who walk all over town, including the post office. Kind of a pain in the ass if you have no transportation to go across town just to check something that SHOULD be on your own property. I've been hounding the Post office here for more town home mail delivery since I've moved here. .. Still nothing

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

Don't remember the Lost Dog, but I remember the Short Branch. Also remember the KFC and the Dairy King where Canton is now. Canton's building was also a donut shop for a year or 2 in the early 80's. I don't remember the donut shop on the mountain next to Beckett's though.

The vacant next to the Cameo led back to the alley where The Games Room was. I also loved The Gold Mine restaurant where the Chamber building is now. Great pizza rolls! Also remember Beer, Bait & Beans downtown.

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wishiwerethere 6 years, 9 months ago

The Cove Chinese Resteraunt next door to the (downstairs) Hatch Bar!

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AmebaTost 6 years, 9 months ago

The Lost Dog was great. I wish we still had a country bar in town!

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elphaba 6 years, 9 months ago

Ice Cream shop above the Old Mattie's was the Banana Boat.

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nxoby36 6 years, 9 months ago

donut shop next to Dos ,owners name was Mike

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panky 6 years, 9 months ago

The Motherlode, now Rio.

CJ's (remember the "Pope's Nose?) where the Shoe Market is now.

Altamont.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 9 months ago

blog used to love blues night at the cove. chicken fried steak at the sideache. and somebody please bring back Arby's.(not really).

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jeep 6 years, 9 months ago

before the banana boat it was the wet whisker my sister in law owned it . i got my mail downstairs i think the soup's on was there.in 73. the green bagel,????, Beardsley's-faces-inferno.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

The alley behind the old west had a chicken place and a breakfast place called "The Barn". There was and oyster bar where Tap House (BW3s) is and on the bar side of the tap house was a ice cream shop. We had a Ben Franklin Store and a Gambles on Lincoln. I really miss Scotty's Bar-B-Q that was in the old good news building that blew up! Crape shop and 5th Street Cafe was there too! I believe Daylight Donuts was where Mambos and before that Dr Vern Price had his practice there! then It turned to Planned Parenthood! Clock tower had a place called Hershey's and Que Pasta! Mother Load Mt store was where Lupos is now. Diamond DJ dance Hall was where the Stone Co by the S.O.! There was a teen 3.2 bar in Riverside Center where the new Golf place is now. Does anyone remember the name of that club?

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Steamboatsense 6 years, 9 months ago

Local delivery what a concept. I can remember a lot of the past even before a lot of the "so called locals" came to town. Things change deal with it. The Post Office needs to change. Maybe somepeople need to cut their hair and move on. I'm glad the Post Office is looking for other options. What a novel thought from the government.

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nmypinon 6 years, 9 months ago

I think the name of the bar out at riverside was " River Side Suds" MAD: As far as po boxes Oak Creek, P-burg & Yampa still have to go to the post office.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

nmypinon, Thanks! Suds is it! Good call! I forgot it.

Steamboatsense, I think a lot of people have cut their hair! It's now that they drive Audi's, BMW's, Porche's, instead of VW's and Dotsons or the old pick up truck! Cluster boxes are the best efforts of the PO to get mail to our door. They're almost to the front door! LOL! By your comment, it sounds like you must have grew up here in Steamboat!

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wishiwerethere 6 years, 9 months ago

The BrandyWine Resturant used to be where the STMBT Art Co is now

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 9 months ago

Anyone remember when Slopeside was Innerlinks? That was pretty fun! First place I ever ate in town was Anderson & Friends, great food!!

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 9 months ago

With all the identity theft PO Boxes will be the in thing of the future. Even the clusterboxes are locked. The open ones at the end of the driveway/street leave alot to be desired. As well as being an invitiation to those who would like to steal some of the information available in those mailboxes.

Maybe the PO should have several satellite locations in small strip malls to accomodate everyone from each side of town.

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jack legrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Gus , do you rember the name of theThe 3.2 bar down the street from the Hatch same side of street. Also when the ice cream shop moved down town, from what I rember they dug out the basment and made it the ice cream shop. Is that correct. The owners daughter was a knock-out.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

Does anyone remember; was LaPogee was upstairs from Design of the times? I remember it being somewhere in there. I also remember that there was a gas station across from Gofer's before Steamboat Square was built.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 9 months ago

blog remembers a rock store across lincoln from gofer's.

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inmate2007 6 years, 9 months ago

MtnWarlock the ice cream shop downstairs was an extension of the Luscious Licks on the Mountain, I don't remember the name of the Oyster Bar next store but it was run by Gordon's' son Robby. Sadly I lost touch with the Jone's a long time ago, Gordon made some fantastic Ice Cream and Robby was just a trip - he introduced me to boating at Steamboat Lake ($25 a month for dock space).

LaPogee was above, to the south of the Cantina, if you remember the combined Halloween parties you really were never there. Does anyone remember when we dined anywhere in town but had to have desert at La'poo because it was the only decent homemade sweet (Thanks Sarg) in town?

I don't remember the brand of gas sold across from GoFers but do remember the uproar when they replaced it with a mall that was recreated from one in Breck and Vail. Same design (I checked) just a different Ski Town location.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

inmate2007, Hey thanks a bunch! I worked at Cantina back in the 80s. Crazy! It's still amazes me how much has change in Steamboat since I moved here in 82. Steamboat Square looks a lot like Breckenridge. I liked this blog because it sure stirs good old time memories that I "so" miss! The Lapogee' deserts were the best! At the same time, just as pricey as today. I think they were the first to serve French Roast coffee.

bloggy, I don't remember the rock store too well. I sure have enjoyed shaking the cob webs off with this blog. It's been fun, even though we steered off the topic for a bit. Thanks everyone!

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 9 months ago

The piilot should have a blog whre everyone could put their thoughts down and maybe even publish it..................

Steamboat may never be the same but there are some great memories out there!

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