Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. employee Eric Kobart clears snow with colleagues Tuesday morning at the Christie Peak Express loading area.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. employee Eric Kobart clears snow with colleagues Tuesday morning at the Christie Peak Express loading area.

Steamboat Ski Area lays off workers

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Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. employees clear snow Tuesday morning at the Christie Peak Express loading area.

The Steamboat Ski Area has laid off employees, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Loryn Kasten, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokeswoman, said she could not provide details on the layoffs.

"We won't release numbers; that's not something we do as a company," Kasten said. "I believe Intrawest will be coming out with a statement" today.

Ski Corp. is owned by Intrawest, which also operates other Colorado resorts, including Copper Mountain and Winter Park. Fortress Investment Group owns Intrawest, which brokered a deal last month on a $1.7 billion loan that was coming due. The company made no cuts at the time, a spokesman said.

Vancouver, B.C.-based Intrawest also runs Whistler Blackcomb and other North American resorts.

Andy Wirth, Intrawest's chief marketing officer, declined to comment on the layoffs. Wirth spoke in October about the upcoming ski season, expressing concern and "pragmatic optimism."

"Obviously, with the economy this year : we're looking at our business very closely," Intrawest spokesman Ian Galbraith said in October after the refinancing.

In September, Vail CEO Rob Katz said bookings for Vail Resorts' owned and managed hotels were down 17.7 percent for the season compared with last year.

That number "is indicative of what all of Colorado is seeing as far as booking trends," Wirth said in October.

Sandy Evans Hall, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association executive vice president, expressed optimism Monday, saying calls were coming in at Steamboat Central Reservations.

- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

The move toward conservation has finally paid off in environmental protection costs which have crushed the economy. A 17% decrease in tourist bookings will translate into less CO2 emissions and a reduction in consumption of other precious resources.

So, hey all you laid off greenies! Did you think it wouldn't catch up with you?

Oops.

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Oscar 5 years, 5 months ago

This sounds like that restaurant that is seeing less business, so they cut back on service, as well as the quality and quantity of food in order to cut costs. We all know what happens to that restaurant next.

What will our visitors think about Steamboat if Ski Corp does not have enough people to man the lifts and serve the visitors who are spending big money on a ski vacation? Duh. They go elsewhere next year, our reputation suffers and the situation spirals downward. Sure was a good thing that Ski Corp was bought out by a hedge fund that had a lot of money behind them.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Lighten up guys, the employees from other departments are going to take up the slack when and where needed. This economy requires a tightening of the belt so we all get through these leaner times. Maybe the new POTUS will send us our very own stimulus package so we can have extra laborers standing around twiddling there thumbs waiting for the 20-40% less vacationers to show up with their very own as promissed gifts from the new POTUS. And Oscar, you should realize that this is an industry wide problem not just your own personal world is affected. We are competing for the vacationers that will be looking for bargains and are up against the likes of Vail,Aspen and the resorts in UTAH. Ski corp is doing pretty well considering they recently purchased the ski area and spent 10's of millions in upgrades and then the Worldwide economic failures. I would suggest considering what we would be experiencing under the ASC management. See ya on the 26th.

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Kristopher Hammond 5 years, 5 months ago

aich: Thanks for your brave expose'. The environmentalists, who have had a death grip on our country for so long, have finally succeeded in their goal of crushing the economy. Isn't it wierd that "conservation" is so close to "conservative" and yet the two concepts are so opposite? Palin 2012! LOL! Goofy Liberals!

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freerider 5 years, 5 months ago

WELL OVERPRICED SKI PASSES AND $91 A DAY ....WOW !! Vail $550.00 unrestricted pass...summit pass $350.00 .....marketing strategy at it's best here...maybe they hired George Bush in the marketing department

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

freerider, You should be happy that your'e guy won the election and maybe show some humility and get off the 8 year old Bush hate band wagon. Steamboat is a destination resort and relies mainly on out of state visitors for its income. The worldwide economic crash and the strengthening of the US dollar against the EURO and other foreign currencies will adversely effect our local economy for sure. The comparison you make with Vail regarding season pass prices is a poor example as Vail generates much more Front Range skier visits and has a much higher volume of total sales and is in direct competition with its neighbor resorts for the same skiers and riders. Maybe you would better serve yourself by moving to Vail and trying to survive that cost of living,housing and job market, oh, but you will be saving about $400 on your season pass. Good luck.

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 5 months ago

seeuski, We've listened for years as the ski area sites that Steamboat is a "destination resort"as the reason for not competing with Vail on those low cost season passes. What the heck does that have to do with anything. I talk to people on the Front Range all the time who love Steamboat and say they would come here more often if the tickets weren't so expensive. I tell them we can't afford to ski here either. How ridiculous is that? Note to Ski Area: Try not biting the hand that sustains you. "It's the locals stupid"

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

We disagree. Are you telling me that you would rather stand in 30 minute lines like some front range resorts have so you can save a few bucks on the pass? I don't beleive we would attract enough sales away from the Summit resorts to make up for the losses in price reduction. If your logic held true then why aren't you, and the others who feel like you do, buying those other passes and going to the Summit every day? The same reason Denver people wouldn't come here all season. It makes no sense and is not cost effective nor can we offer the steeps to be had in the Summit areas. What makes our ski resort unique from the rest is that we are a destination and not a wild Denver weekend scene. Thats all we need is gaper day every weekend. Dude!!!

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Oh, And I think it is the other way around. The ski area sustains our existence here and we would not be here if not for the ski area.

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inmyopinion 5 years, 5 months ago

I bought an Epic Pass this season, and I am pretty psyched about it. Yes, I know the lines will be a bit longer, but the amount of terrain available for $579 makes up for the lines. I don't claim to be a marketing genius, but I think that Intrawest could learn a little from Vail Resorts this season. I hate to say it, because I love Steamboat, but I think we are going to see vacationers flock to other more glamorous resorts for the same price. From what i can tell, neon has made a comeback this year, which makes me think that Gaper Day will now be every weekend and school holiday's.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

seeuski - The hate Bush bandwagon should and will go on.

So, you admit that you don't have the 'steeps' and are much further from the largest population draw in the state. Yet, you justify the pricing.

I have to agree with freerider, that is one heck of a marketing strategy. I wonder if the head of that dept. is included in the layoffs.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Thal,

I appreciate your passion, but if you look back at the reasons why our business has fled overseas, it is very directly related to the increased cost of doing business imposed by environmental costs.

California has driven hundreds of businesses out of state, to places like Nevada (look at the growth in Las Vegas), with its anti-business and environmental policies.

Folks like Babs Streisand and Al Gore and Bill and Hilly have plenty of money to spend on their own comfort and convenience. It's the rest of us who are suffering.

Our economy is hurting for lots of politically related reasons, but to say the last 8 years is responsible for the loss of American industry -- that means good jobs -- is just plain wrong. The same kind of people who didn't understand why they needed to take algebra in the 8th grade, and get to be 30 years old and have a hard time making a living, are the ones who can't understand that it took decades of anti-business government policies to create today's crisis.

Oh, yeah, greedy capitalists are responsible for a bunch of it too, but if the libs are so freakin' smart, why didn't they make a big deal out of it before now, eh?

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

The Chamber of Commerce represents the businesses in the community. It is not a government entity.

We should have a Chamber of Bummers. It could report economic problems on a scale where 1 is the capillary action in a soda straw that draws liquid in the straw above the level of the surrounding liquid, to 10 where it's an F-5 tornado that can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.

I'd say we're somewhere between "Dustbuster" and "Siphon" at the moment.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Social security has created a system whereby ordinary people work all their lives and then retire in poverty because they rely upon the government to take care of them. For savvy folks, SS is no more than 1/3 of their retirement income.

The war in Vietnam was started by JFK and sustained by Lyndon B. Johnson. Nixon ended up stuck with it. I'm purty shure democrats sent more po'folks off to Viyet Nayum than the Republicans did.

Equal rights? Dicey topic. I think affirmative action was more the issue. I'll tell ya this, however, there are still plenty of Democrats who are against the way things were done.

Civil liberties? Gay Rights? Etc.? Why not just fling open the doors of all the prisons and let the liberals deal with the criminals instead?

Do "civil liberties" give you the right to be obscene, and disgusting, and force other people to live with public displays of perverse behavior? I'm talking about men having sex in public in Golden Gate Park. People would complain less if the behavior was taken indoors and made private as the majority of committed spouses choose to do.

Reproductive freedom. Uh, no Republican ever tried to force the public to ####. If you mean the right to #### without contraception and without consequence and then murder the child conceived as a result using government funding, then yeah, they did. Good for them.

Campaign finance reform? Holy $#!+! Who just shunned public campaign funding? I think his name was "Barack Obama." John McCain took the public funding. Better go back and rethink this one.

I think the problem is that here we have the example of why liberals and conservatives are in conflict. Both sides want different things, and some of them are in direct opposition. For you to call the Republican point of view "wrong" is a personal judgment based on your own prejudices; lots of other people agree with them. (I do on some of it, but not all by any means).

Some of us who've lived from the 50s to now realize that equal opportunity, rights for women, civil liberties and religious freedom are good things. But on the other side, immorality, perversion, substance addiction, infanticide, etc., have come along in the wake. Why should I have to go out and work hard all my life (40 years paying into Social Security so far) to pay health care costs for somebody else who contracted AIDS through drug abuse or promiscuous sex, wants an abortion because they didn't have 75 cents for the rubber machine at the truck stop, abused alcohol and drugs until they are disabled, or need a liver transplant?

Republicans would object less if liberals didn't want the government to fund and protect the irresponsible behavior behind so many of society's current ills. Maybe the GOP has over reacted; well DUH! Look what they're reacted TO. Where does it stop? When the last 100 Republicans are paying 110% of their income to take care of the last 1000 Democrats living on the tax dole?

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Thal, my step son is a product of the public education funded by the Clinton and Bush administrations. He has grown up in the relative comfort of a home where Mom and Dad and Step-Dad all had college degrees in subjects that required them to study higher mathematics, and as as result, money has never been short. Good jobs have always been available. Even a couple of mediocre jobs I had along the way were not bad, and provided stepping stones to better jobs when my ability to contribute in complex matters was proven. Even when Dad was laid off for a while, Mom's job brought in plenty of cash and nobody ever suffered. The investments that we made in our education back in high school and college and the work we put in to master the tough subjects paid off. It wasn't easy for any of us. We all had to work hard to earn the degrees, but the lesson is that we earned the tough degrees instead of changing our majors to philosophy or English to forestall the day when graduation would put us out into the working world with poor prospects for careers.

Well, Step Son wants to be a sportscaster and work for ESPN. He went out for football, but was afraid of getting knocked down, so despite an arm that puts a lot of grown men to shame, he will never complete a pass on a college or pro gridiron. He had the chance, but it was too hard, and he pi$$ed it away and now watches Sponge Bob during football practice. Quite the legacy, eh?

Step Son was told to slow down, and to avoid a particular unpaved road that gets very wash-boardy. His response was always, "I never exceed the speed limit." He didn't listen. So, a couple of weeks ago, he called on the cell phone about five minutes after leaving for school and said he needed help. He was in the ditch. Uh huh. He was in the ditch, on his side, roof crushed, one wheel busted off, car totaled. Thanks to his fine education, he was wearing his belt, was not carrying a passenger (he has a few more months before he can do that lawfully, except for us fambly members over 18), and nobody else was hurt, no other property was damaged, and everybody was very lucky.

Now, the only thing that Step Son needs is for someone to rush out and replace the car. Why should we? He had one that he didn't care for. It was free. He didn't pay a dime for any of the costs. He can ride a big yellow bus to school, and home again, and next year when he goes off to college, he can live on campus and walk or take the bus. All of us (Mom, Dad, Step Dad) went away without a car, and none of us died as a result. As a matter of fact, we may have LIVED because we didn't have a car at college.

Your rant is similar to Step Son's point of view. Why shouldn't he have all the benefits without doing the work? Why should we care how he drives? Why haven't we already bought him another car? We've got the money to buy another car, right? The only real difference is that Step Son is currently hiding the fact he hates us.

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thalgard 5 years, 5 months ago

nice anectdote, empty head....I have worked hard all my life, am raising a daughter, and own a house...I pay all my bills on time, my credit is stellar...my problem with your Grand Old Party of baby diddlers and hypocrites is you don't seem to understand why the American people rejected you! WE REJECTED YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE WRONG! Your stepson hates you because your party of homophobes gave use Larry Craig and Mark Foley; he hates you because he sees how hypocritical you really are! He hates you because while you want to practice your religion in freedom, you force feed it to those who believe differently....he hates you because your intractable belief in all the wrong things has probably made you impossible to live with! I feel that I have an inherent right to clean air and clean water...I feel that my child has a right to learn science in school, not some made up fairy tail about some dude in the sky, I feel that every person has the right to self determination and equal protection under the law, regardless of whom they sleep with!

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

duke, The mountain is not mine, so it is not my lack of steeps. Your post seems to indicate that you are not familiar with the Steamboat ski area nor are you familiar with the fact that season passes here have been priced this way for many seasons. I guess something is working being that this mountain has proven very profitable over the years. Since you have the whole thing figured out why not present your resume and business plan to Intrawest and show them how much money they are losing by not reducing the cost of the season passes? Or better yet, maybe Vail would be interested in how to increase profits by not leaving so much money on the table with their bargain prices.

Yea, I guess it is too much to fathom that a Corporation that runs many ski areas doesn't have economic experts advising on things like ticket prices and budgeting. I guess that would not be necessary when refinancing with major Banks as Intrawest just successfully did.

P.S. I just checked out Alta Ski resorts season pass pricing and it is very similar to Steamboat. Maybe they would be receptive of your resume also.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Thal and LTFO,

You can believe whatever you want. Uh, for one thing, I'm not a Republican. I don't drink all of the Kool-Aid on either side.

Don't forget how all the "true Americans" felt one way when they went to bed on December 6, 1941, and another way when they woke up and figured out that life isn't fair.

Clean air? Clean water? How about axing my next door neighbor not to heat with wood, because every time they fire it up, the smoke smell comes in my house.

My step son hates me because I make him do a few simple chores, make him take a shower, and several other things he doesn't have sense to do on his own. His room stinks from dirty clothes and dirty boy. Oh, he goes to church. I do not.

Science is great. What was going on 1 second before the Big Bang?

Evidence of creation is all around us. Man was created to create. What other creature paints a Velvet Elvis? Maybe man created God, but if so, why haven't all the other creatures started wearing clothes, building monuments and playing the air guitar?

Are you really homophobic if they hit on you even after you tell them to stop? Where does mutual respect come in? And family rights? I think that people with more kids should pay more taxes because they consume more services. Straighten out the marriage and reproduction tax bonus and gay rights won't be an issue. And, according to some, marriage is for white people. Let everyone have equal rights and the gay rights thing all goes away.

I am really glad the Republicans got hammered, because they deserve it. Two years from now, Democrats will be getting hammered again too. It's time for CHANGE, not for flipping from one extreme to the other.

If you want a 17 year old boy to rescue, I'll send mine over. What was your address again?

Blame the Democrats for everything the Republicans have gotten away with. It was the Democratic party that alienated enough independets to get Bush elected twice. They can't simply do what's right; they have to do what's weird until people can't stand it, and then here we go again.

If you cared about clean air and water, you wouldn't be using stuff made in China, either. Pay more and buy American; it's clean and environmentally friendly. See you at Boggs . . . oh, no, wait . . . so much for people following words with actions. That's the Democratic creed. Say what you want others to do, and then do the selfish thing for yourself.

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billinboat 5 years, 5 months ago

wow, this conversation has wondered way off the SkiCorp layoffs. can't we all just get along?

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David Stone 5 years, 4 months ago

It is always interesting to read what The Chamber of Commerce has to report about what is going on real estate/bookings,etc.It always sounds like "things have never been better.Who do they think they are kidding?

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Duke_bets 5 years, 4 months ago

seeuski - You stated 'we' and 'our', which makes my statement of 'you' valid.

And, I believe I'm now up 4-0 with you.

How's that mortgage portfolio treating you by the way? Still got a job?

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