Jim Spillane and Winnie DelliQuadri are hoping that ski jumping fans across the country, and in Steamboat Springs, will log on this month and vote to support improvements at Howelsen Hill.
The Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign hopes to earn a $250,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Project. Pepsi is accepting 1,000 ideas every month, and the Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign made the list of approved ideas for December, along with 300 other projects that are seeking the largest award of $250,000. The project also grants awards of $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000.
“I think this is a great opportunity for a whole bunch of people in the community to contribute to these improvements without spending any money,” said Spillane, co-chairman of the campaign. “Many people may not be in a position to make a financial contribution but can still contribute to making these improvements a reality simply by voting.”
From now until the end of the month, anyone can vote for an idea by visiting www.refresheverything.com. Those who want to vote for the Howelsen project can type Steamboat into the search bar, which will take them to a place to vote on the Make Olympic Dreams a Reality page, said DelliQuadri, the city’s government programs manager.
The site asks voters to register in an effort to limit each person to one vote per day on a computer. People also can vote using a cell phone by texting 104707 to 73774. Regular text messaging charges will apply.
People are allowed to vote once a day using their computer and once a day with their cell phone in December.
At the end of the month, the votes will be calculated, and the top two ideas will receive funding.
DelliQuadri said she has tried to get the Howelsen idea submitted for several months and finally got it approved for December.
“They only take the first 1,000 ideas, so you only have like a minute to get your idea submitted online,” DelliQuadri said.
Now that the idea is officially on the site, DelliQuadri is encouraging everyone in Steamboat, and everyone who wants to support the improvements at Howelsen Hill, to go online and vote for the project.
“We all know it’s a long shot,” Spillane said. “But in these economic times, you’ve got to be open to trying everything.”
The Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign is hoping to raise $2.3 million through private donations, grants and other means to make improvements to Howelsen Hill.
The improvements to Howelsen, which was established in 1914 and is the oldest continuously operated ski area in Colorado, include a new magic carpet surface, snowmaking upgrades, lighting for the terrain park and Nordic jumps, and installation of a K38 summer jump.
The project already has received $320,000 from the city. Most of the money, $250,000, is a portion of the $750,000 in unallocated general fund revenues from 2009, when the city saw less of a sales tax shortfall than projected. The rest came from funds set aside to improve Howelsen that have not been used. The campaign also has raised $161,293 in private donations and pledges to help support the project.
“We are hoping to get as many people as possible to go to the website and vote,” DelliQuadri said. “This is how many corporations are utilizing social media with their marketing dollars, and it gives us a unique opportunity to take advantage of that.”