Steamboat Springs’ Bryan Fletcher races down the in-run of Steamboat’s K68 hill during training earlier this summer in Steamboat Springs. Among the improvements proposed by the Howelsen Hill Centennial Committee is adding a new, smaller plastic-covered jump.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs’ Bryan Fletcher races down the in-run of Steamboat’s K68 hill during training earlier this summer in Steamboat Springs. Among the improvements proposed by the Howelsen Hill Centennial Committee is adding a new, smaller plastic-covered jump.

Steamboat group's efforts jump to new phase

Howelsen Hill plans include new plastic-covered jump

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How to donate

Donations and pledges can be sent to Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign, P.O. Box 775088, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

There are two options for donations with different tax benefits. \

■ Option 1 is for Colorado Residents only and takes advantage of the fact that Howelsen Hill is a Qualified Enterprise Zone, which means the contribution qualifies the donor for a 25 percent State of Colorado Income Tax Credit. The donation is also a charitable contribution, which may be eligible as a charitable deduction in the year the gift is received. To take advantage of the Enterprise Zone deduction checks must be made out to the City of Steamboat Springs. The donations can be dropped off at the city offices or mailed to the Centennial Campaign. Make sure it is clear that the donations are for improvements at Howelsen Hill.

■ The second option donors can make a charitable contribution to the Howelsen Ski Hill Fund at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The donation may be eligible as a charitable deduction in the year the gift is received. The donation is not eligible for the Qualified Enterprise Zone Contributions, however. Checks should be made payable to YVCF-Howelsen Ski Hill. The YVCF is also able to take credit card payments and donations online. For this option visit www.yvcf.org, click on DONATE NOW and select Howelsen Capital Improvements-Ski Area.

Possible improvements

Lighting ($350,000)

■ A total of 14 new light arrays to be placed at the bottom of Howelsen Hill

■ One electric transformer, which is needed to expand lighting at Howelsen. Current setup does not allow for new lights.

■ Nine new light poles and conduit

(five of the light arrays will be placed on existing buildings)

Snowmaking ($400,000)

■ An additional water pump that could double snowmaking at Howelsen

■ Additional snowmaking guns

Ski Jump ($1.5 million)

■ A new plastic-covered K38 ski jump that could be used during summer and winter months. Would allow younger jumpers to continue to jump through the summer

Linda Laughlin was surprised by what she heard Tuesday night from the members of the Howelsen Hill Centennial Committee when they updated the Steamboat Springs City Council on the group’s efforts to fund improvements at Howelsen Hill.

As a parent of a 14-year-old Alpine ski racer, she was thrilled.

“I didn’t really know what they were going to say when I showed up for the meeting, but I fully support their efforts after hearing what they want to do,” Laughlin said.

She is backing the Centennial Committee’s drive to raise $2.3 million for improvements at the downtown ski area.

The money would be used to fund four major projects — projects Laughlin said she thinks are necessary to keep Howelsen Hill relevant.

She stood up and spoke at the meeting on behalf of her son, who has been a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club since 2003.

“We have a gem here (in Howelsen Hill) that other towns would die to have,” Laughlin said. “It takes a tremendous amount of effort to produce an Olympian. To have a group of people who are working to maintain that tradition of excellence at Howelsen is terrific.”

Winnie DelliQuadri, government programs manager for the city, said the improvement projects have not been prioritized at this point and include improvements to lighting, improvements to snowmaking and the addition of a plastic-covered K38 jump. The group also will raise money to replace an aging magic carpet with a new one donated by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

Efforts by the Centennial Committee to raise money began in July, and the group already has secured about $100,000 in donations, pledges and in-kind services in what co-chairman Jim Spillane calls the quiet phase of the fundraising process.

That includes $60,000 in cash, $30,000 in pledges and another $10,000 in in-kind promises, DelliQuadri said.

Rick DeVos, executive director of the Winter Sports Club, also has been active in the early efforts to raise the money and said Thursday that the group is moving into a new, more public phase of the fundraising campaign.

“There are many steps in a fundraising process,” DeVos said. “We are in a pretty good place right now, and hopefully, we will be able to move forward.”

The group hopes to use the money it has raised and another $250,000 set aside by the city last spring to leverage as much as $917,000 in grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and other private foundations. The money was part of $750,000 in unallocated general fund revenues from 2009, when the city saw slightly less of a sales tax shortfall than projected.

The highest-ticket item would be a new plastic-covered K38 jump. The jump would complement the K68, which was completed in July 2006 after a similar fundraising effort. DeVos said the new jump would allow younger jumpers to train in Steamboat Springs year-round and fill a hole in the training programs at the Winter Sports Club. Many younger jumpers currently travel to places such as Park City, Utah, to train during summer.

The older jump was built with about $1.8 million in grants, including $100,000 from GOCo. Supporters also collected $470,000 in private donations. The new jump is expected to cost $1.5 million.

But this capital project will leap beyond the jump hills at Howelsen Hill.

Some of the money would be used to install a new magic carpet to serve the beginners’ hill at the base of Howelsen. The infrastructure and cost to install the carpet is $50,000.

The group also hopes to fund $350,000 in upgrades to the lighting.

The improvements would including a new transformer, which is needed to add more lighting on the ski jumps, and expand lighting to the terrain park and the bottom part of Mile Run.

Snowmaking also would get a boost from a second $250,000 pump that would provide nearly twice as much snowmaking capacity and as much as $150,000 in new guns. Many of the water lines for that increased snowmaking were added as part of the 2006 jump improvement.

DeVos said the improvements are needed for Howelsen Hill to maintain its place in producing top athletes and to continue to serve the community.

He said added lights would make the ski area more accessible in the evening and that snowmaking would allow the area to open earlier in winter and eliminate the costly and dangerous early season commutes many skiers make to places such as the Loveland, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin ski areas for training.

“One or two weeks will make a huge difference,” Laughlin said. “We can’t go anywhere in November because we will be traveling for ski training.”

Comments

beentheredonethat 3 years, 6 months ago

He said added lights would make the ski area more accessible in the evening and that snowmaking would allow the area to open earlier in winter and eliminate the costly and dangerous early season commutes many skiers make to places such as the Loveland, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin ski areas for training. WHAT? THE COMMUTES TO OTHER SKI ARES IS DANGEROUS? WHY?

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insbsdeep 3 years, 6 months ago

^^^ Because your taking van loads of kids down potentially icy roads.

Howelsen Hill is a great benefit to this community, and I support all these improvements.

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1999 3 years, 6 months ago

BTDT.......Because your taking van loads of kids down potentially icy roads.

I support all howelson improvements as long as they quit cutting trees and SSWSC starts paying a fair "rent" for howelsen

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SPARKYINSTMBT 3 years, 6 months ago

This is a project that needs to be taken care of to maintain the legacy of Howelsen Hill. Having the opportunity to take our kids to this fabulous facility to play, socialize, ski, learn social skills, and share experiences with other members of our community. The increased lighting is so important for the kids so that they can safely ski during the evening and night races. The snowmaking is necessary to allow the young athletes to stay home and not travel on those early season roads.. Olympians aside this is a Steamboat Legacy and we have all enjoyed it at some point in our lives and we should look forward to generations of continued use......

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 6 months ago

A plastic covered K38 hill? The K68 is not enough? How many kids have really traveled to Park City to train?

There are really local parents whose kids are too young for the K68 but are so committed to their kid's ski jumping career that they traveled to Park City to train? Maybe they should be told that 11 year old kids can cross train when there is no snow.

BTW, anyone else ever notice that the SSWSC Noridc program is 100% white families? Not that anyone involved is overtly racist, but it is hardly reflective of the overall community when the school has kids of colors, but not the ski jumping program. Maybe instead of spending another $250,000 for privileged kids we should invest in a scholarship and outreach program so that the kids in the nordic programs look a lot more like the kids in the public schools.

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Ben Berend 3 years, 6 months ago

No the K68 is not enough because the younger kids cannot jump it and a K38 is important for keeping the younger kids jumping in the summer. Also our main competition (Park City) have plastic on every jump so their kids already have an advantage. Because of this most of the younger kids travel to park city to train two to three times a summer.

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ybul 3 years, 6 months ago

How long will the jump last? Divide that by the cost of driving to Park City a couple times a year and then extrapolate wether or not it is worth spending that money on a jump.

Sometimes we want the moon and fail to see the whole when making a decision. Every decision to do something means that we are also making a decision not to use those funds to do something else. We all want to have our cake and eat it too. Sometimes that just will not happen.

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sledneck 3 years, 6 months ago

Howelson is a great thing and it's good that we have it. Funding should be through entities other than the city to the greatest extent possible. Sounds like we have a group of people here who are dedicated to the hill and they are to be commended for their fund-raising efforts.

Scott, Thats the funniest (in a really silly way) thing I've read in a while! "Invest in a scholarship and outreach program so the kids in the nordic program look a lot more like kids in the public schools." Please, for Gods sake tell me you are joking. Thats so funny I almost peed my pants.

"Uh-oh theres white kids on the ski jump, call the NAACP!" This is the whitest town I've ever seen and Scott is surprised Fat Albert didn't show up for the ski-jump tryouts- hee hee hee.

Scott, if you're serious I'm at a loss to understand how anybody can have their head that far up the politically correct community's arss...

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jk 3 years, 6 months ago

I've been away for a few days, but I must admit Scott that was like reading the Sunday Funnies!!!

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