Our View: Riding the wheels of success

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Editorial Board, May 11 through Sept. 21, 2011

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Laura Schmidt, community representative
  • Jim Miller, community representative

Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

— If we learned anything from the USA Pro Cycling Challenge’s stop here last week, it’s this: Steamboat needs to make every effort to be a long-term partner with the wildly successful event.

Friday’s Stage 4 finish on Lincoln Avenue and Saturday’s Stage 5 start with an ascent of Rabbit Ears Pass drew thousands of people to Steamboat on what otherwise would have been a nondescript late-August weekend. Many local lodging properties found themselves at or near capacity Friday and Saturday nights, and restaurants were busier than normal.

Even those business owners — particularly of retail stores — who didn’t necessarily see a correlation between the bike race and increased sales raved about the event because they recognize the big-picture significance of Steamboat’s exposure to an international audience.

The Pro Cycling Challenge was televised to 161 countries and territories on five continents. A partial analysis by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. turned up 106 mentions of Steamboat during the event coverage, equating to an estimated 3.3 million viewer impressions. And that’s just in the U.S. The analysis didn’t include the international audience exposure to Steamboat Springs.

That exposure has value far beyond local business receipts on a Friday and Saturday in late August. But it also means that other cities have taken notice.

Pro Cycling Challenge CEO Shawn Hunter told The Denver Post in a Tuesday article that competition for host cities next year will be fierce, with at least 30 towns and cities expected to make serious bids at bringing the race to their communities. Hunter estimated that half to two-thirds of the 11 host cities in this year’s inaugural Pro Cycling Challenge will “play a part” in the 2012 edition.

It’s safe to assume Steamboat won’t again be blessed as being the only city to get a stage finish and start. And despite the fantastic crowds that turned out for the race’s only stages in Northwest Colorado, it’s far from guaranteed that Steamboat will get any stage at all next year.

But what’s clear is that Steamboat Springs needs to make itself part of the discussion, and we need to be prepared to again submit a compelling bid when the time comes this fall. This is one peloton we can’t afford to break away from.

Comments

cindy constantine 3 years, 3 months ago

What about the "wildly successful event" of our Winter Olympians taking home 7 medals. How much media play did that get and in how many countries were the Games shown? Truly in keeping with our tradition. I can tell you that Breckenridge had the same experience that we did with lack of shoppers but a lot of partying in costume supporting the riders. Business on Monday was twice what it was on the weekend because our late summer guests--seniors and empty-nesters were back on the sidewalks shopping. They tend to come during the quiet times of the year for a visit. While it must have been exciting (we were camping in the Zirkels) please don't make more of the event than is warranted. I just hope this new biking initiative does not discourage other visitors because we are so much more in the summer/fall than a rabid bike community.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I too wndered who paid for the roughly 25 state troopers and their (our) state vehicles assigned to this event.

in addition to the ambulance, firetrucks and city employees.

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greenwash 3 years, 3 months ago

A ranch on 14 yea right must be a really big operation ...NOT

Got get a kick out of those dimestore cowboys ..

What a joke.I bet you take the tax ag break for that big ranch.HAAAAA

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mavis 3 years, 3 months ago

Greenwash-- do you even know ALL of RCR # 14 and you should probably do a little research... there are people with deeper routt county roots on ALL of the roads surrounding 14 and including 14 then the treasured "big name" locals.... dime store cowboys are more then likely your neighbors and yourself.
The dime store cowboys you are referring to actually pay your taxes and are the ones paying for the government to support this stuff you all keep doing while the rest of us are WORKING...

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jk 3 years, 3 months ago

In my opinion it would have made more sense to have the announcers refer to us as Ski Town Usa, vs Bike Town Usa, in an effort to promote ourselves for the winter. After all every spandex wearing gear head was already in town or watching on the tube. This stupid self proclaimed BTUSA business is just silly. You want to show the world what we got? Then show 'em the 400+ inches of snow that we have recieved the last few years. Now I'm not saying this would have induced any tourist dollars from the euro crowd but I'm tired of listening to the hype this race will supposedly do for us! Do we really think there are a bunch of eurospandex wearing knuckleheads that watched this race, that are gonna load up their bikes, to travel across the pond, so they can ride on a bunch of narrow roads to look at cattle and big round haybails?!?! We may have the best snow, but they have the greatest bicycle tours in their own back yard!!! Please excuse my poor punctuation and run on sentences.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Great the hippy enviromentalist yvboy is against cycling 'cause its carbon footprint is too big. Classic. You truely are TeaParty leadership material.

Cindy, even with our impressive medal count, I missed the hours of video coverage Steamboat got from our local's efforts. Mentions of Steamboat on the Olympic broadcast don't hold a candle to the massive exposure Steamboat received from hours of live footage sent around the world. Sorry.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 3 months ago

BTW, were all those temporary vendors on Lincoln required to collect sales tax and will the City be proactive about collecting it when the tax comes due for payment in October?

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greenwash 3 years, 3 months ago

Hate to tell ya Mavis but there are only 3 ranchers in all of Routt County that make a living actually farming and ranching and they dont live on CR14.Nice try though.

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JustSomeJoe 3 years, 3 months ago

Cindy - Temporary vendors on Lincoln, you mean the existing companies that had booths, the ones with sales tax licenses already? The ones that declare their income monthly? Nice that you are a bike hater, but that's a dry hole. Unless, of course, you just want to jump straight to tax evasion.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 3 months ago

JSJ- No where have I said I was a bike hater, just the opposite, I am a bike rider, hiker, tuber, alpine slider, fisherperson, music lover, etc. I love ALL the activities that Steamboat offers in the summer. I am just not GONZO about the biking. We need to be viewed by the world as a summer resort that offers DOZENS of activities and are not just totally BIKE crazy. Yours truly,

Cindy

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cindy constantine 3 years, 3 months ago

Since we are talking about biking, am I the only one, or have others given up some of their favorite hiking trails (Mad Creek for instance) because you have about a split second to decide whether you are going to jump down a steep hill or uphill into a bush when a group of intense mountain bikers start shouting on your left, on your right over and over. It is much easier to step over horse plop and bear scat while hiking in the Zirkels knowing you will not have bikers riding up your a$$. : )

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sledneck 3 years, 3 months ago

Doesn't matter, YVB. Does not matter if the ski lifts burn coal fired electricity. Doesn't matter if skis have more plastic than a thousand shopping bags. Doesn't matter if there are gas-burning vehicles crawling all over the bike race or hauling bikers, skiers or other green tourists to and fro. Doesn't matter if plane-loads of skiers leave tons of carbon in the Zirkels with every flight. Nope! Reality is for you poor bastards who lack imagination, insight and vision. You know... the "Tea-Party lynchers" who want to hang some black people. And it is YOUR car, house, recreation, etc that is bad, YVB. Not theirs! Everything they do is environmentally sound. In fact their carbon footprint is so small they can't even see it!

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Now two hypocrties. A "green" sledneck. Priceless. You two should take this act to the masses.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 3 months ago

roach--you obviously need to re-read sled's post. Cynicism at its finest!! Hey Sled, you know how to make a girl smile :)

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mavis 3 years, 3 months ago

greenwash... you really don't have a flippin clue do you and it is so funny to see our post.I love it and thank you for being so amusing!!! just out of curiousity how long have you and your family been here in the valley since you know all of the history???

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 3 months ago

Friends from Australia emailed me saying they were watching the sports channel and heard Phil and Paul calling the race in Steamboat. They were so excited because they have been here! This made me proud that my little town had some airplay in Australia. I should have told them how bad bike racing really is, and how much the "real" locals hate it. I've only been here 25 years. How long until I start hating anything new?

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sledneck 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't hate bike racing. I am all for it. What I dislike is disruption, interruption. I dislike that those who are not paying one thin dime for our highways are tying them up and impacting commerce with recreational activity. I am not keen on the number of government officials anyway, but it's infuriating to see them distracted from meaningful duties to deal with recreational activitiy.

Furthermore, I earnestly believe that if all the costs were weighed, the net benefit of this kind of activity to the entire community would not be all that great.

Most of all, I am mystified that many of the same people who would dictate to me whether or not I may use plastic bags, use carbon for recreation every day while insisting MY recreation, even my commerce, be molded to fit THEIR idea of "sustainable". I am mystified that the god of "sustainability" is good only for things which environmental whackos decide is important but never a whisper of that "sustainability" standard being applied to our national debt, our foolish economic behavior, our lack of energy production, our out-of-control borders, etc. Where is the outrage over the lack of "sustainability" in those areas???

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housepoor 3 years, 3 months ago

YVB, so is it safe to assume you are a beneficiary of the entitlement of agricultural status for property taxe?

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

I sure wish my great-great-grandpappy would've been one of the first over the Divide, to snag some land from the Indians to pass on to me, so I could be a gentleman rancher. That's the American Way -- inherit it. Then I would be entitled too. 'Nuf land, a real rancher. No such luck, nobody ever gave me anything, and I've got to claw out whatever I can. So I'm on the other side of the fence from yvb and sled, surprised we agree on so many things. Land is money, money is power, and by that measure I am a weak and poor man. Now I think I'll leave this squabble to the privileged, and return my attention to surviving.

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housepoor 3 years, 3 months ago

I would take advantage of it if I could but let’s call it what it is, an entitlement, subsidy or whatever. Your property tax burden is not equal to others in the county.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Just as I "sacrifice" my right to drive a big truck on our county roads for recreation in favor of a less impacting bike. Hahahahah.

Thanks yvb for your selfserving sacrifice even though it undermines the very tax base that funds things like better roads or law enforcement. If the gentlemen ranchers like you paid your fair share instead of bastardizing the system's loopholes for your own gain, may this county could build roads to accomidate the users or hire law enforcement to enforce our road laws.

Double thanks for the delightful psychoanalysis about my personality based on forum posts.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry if I sidetrack this conversation back to somewhere near where it was originally headed...

But if the gist of this is capitalizing on our various opportunities at self-promotion, I want to know who dropped the ball. Labor Day used to be quite eventful in town, with the car races, concours d'elegance, then the bikers the next weekend -- now we get a bike race not even in town, and "Fly-in"? This is not only b-o-r-i-n-g, but a-g-g-r-a-v-a-t-i-n-g. I see now why this area is "affordable," it's right in the flight path, and these are some NOISY planes. So much for a peaceful weekend. They're even worse than the mongrels. And I lost my earplugs. I guess Paradise comes at a price.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

Ah 14, the Road to Doom. That's where the cop zoomed up on me at 60 MPH, at least, at the apex of the tightest curse near Tree Haus, at 11 PM, only to slow when 10 feet off my bumper, and giving him probable cause when my truck strayed over the center line only momentarily, as I surveyed this new threat in my rearview. RCSO did that.

The only times I've driven since those affairs were relocations of my domiciles.

As I have previously orated, I think we should tear up ALL the pavement, return to horse and buggy, before there's no more dead dinosaurs to burn. Let the bikes zoom around those.

I'm not bitter; in my case it's sour grapes. And cry me a river.

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 3 months ago

So...answer my question. I've only been here 25 years. How long do I need to live here until I start hating things as much as you guys? How long have you haters been here?

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

"impacting commerce with recreational activity"

Really? The little town of Steamboat needs to regulate recreational activity because it is impacting commerce? Ummm, I think you are losing perspective on the bigger issues and trying to go at something you dislike on a personal level.

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

JK makes a good point about marketing what we already have, Ski Town USA. I would have rather heard Ski Town USA references on the TV, rather than the generic bike town usa, which really is meaningless to anyone outside of Steamboat(and here for that matter).

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

"hater" is a strong word; I prefer "cynic." "Realist" is also not a stretch. Only been here 26 years myself, but like yvb, have extended family around Colorado, where the family roots date back to shortly after the Civil War. Garfield County, for most of the last century. One thing outsiders often misconstrue is the particular Western Slope brand of dry, sardonic humor, even facetious, taking it at face value. Doesn't mean we don't think things suck, just that you should laugh about it when possible. Thick skin helps.

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 3 months ago

I take it all back. You guys got me. I haven't been here long enough to hate new things. Can't wait!

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

shawant..thats the point. biking is not new. bike races here are not new. big events are not new.

and please stop with the haters BS>

people in the USA have not only a right but an utmost OBLIGATION to speak up.

you're foolish not to.

so in light of this...you seem to be the hater for chastising people for their opinions.

if you come up with an actual opinion of the topic at hand instead of personal rebuffs....continue on.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, methinks thou protesteth a bit too much. Is there more? Much is revealed about our various participants in between the lines, in these forums. So please, go on. And forget about US, I guess the real question is: Are YOU happy?

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

There was a Steamboat Stage Race back in the late 80's/early 90's yes? And wasn't Eriksen cycles pumping out bike frames here in the 80s as well?

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

exactly zed...we have had wildly successful bike races, successful bike events, we have how many successful bike shops in town, millions of bike tourists, two home grown bike brands in the 30 years I have lived here.

something tells me we don't need BTUSA to be a successful bike destination.

it's a complete waste of taxpayer money. we do not need to market for a market we alreayt excell in. how about put that money into something to bring people for something they don't know about.

like our killer tubing

or hey maybe skicorp and the bike shops can pay for thier own advertising??? instead of trying to get the city, county and ths the taxpayer to foot the bill

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