The blur of shoppers can be seen as they pass in front of Steamboat Shoe Market in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Photo by John F. Russell

The blur of shoppers can be seen as they pass in front of Steamboat Shoe Market in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Downtown Steamboat businesses seize holiday opportunity


If you go

Most mountain-area businesses are open on Christmas Day. This is a list of downtown stores and restaurants that plan to be open today, according to Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett.


Steamboat Shoe Market: 1 to 7 p.m.

Moose Mountain Trading Co.: 1 to about 6 p.m.

Quiksilver: 2 to 8 p.m.

Space Station always is open

One Stop Ski Shop: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Steamboat Hat Shop: Noon to 6 p.m.

White Pepper: Noon to 5 p.m.

Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

River Blue: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Steamboat Ski and Sport: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Steamboat Smokehouse: 4 to 9 p.m.

Old Town Pub: Bar at 4 p.m., dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.

Cottonwood Grill: 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Tequila’s Family Mexican Restaurant: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

bistro c.v.: 5 to 10 p.m., reservations still available

Beau Jo’s Mountain Bistro: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Harwigs/L’Apogee: 5 to 11 p.m., reservations still available

Canton Chinese Restaurant: 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Cantina Mexican Restaurant: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sambi: 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Riggio’s Ristorante: 5 to 9:30 p.m.

8th Street Steakhouse: 5 to 10 p.m.

Spostas World Sushi: 5 to 9 p.m.

— Rick Petet will wake up and eat a Christmas breakfast Sunday morning, and then he’ll head into the office. Living and working in a ski town sometimes means altering traditions and improvising as the holiday crowds descend on Steamboat Springs.

Petet owns the Lincoln Avenue store Steamboat Shoe Market, one of several downtown businesses making a vow to open Sunday afternoon for Christmas Day.

Many businesses near Steamboat Ski Area and some downtown restaurants historically have been open on Christmas Day, but Petet said there could be an opportunity for more shops and restaurants to capitalize on the tourist season and improve the guest experience for the more than 8,000 visitors the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association expected to spend Saturday night in Steamboat.

“We’ve never been open on Christmas before,” said Petet, who will open his store from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. “But I know that when I go to the mountain on Christmas to ski, things seem like business as normal. I had an idea that we wanted to try. I just have a feeling there’s an opportunity there that we’re missing.”

When he went around to neighboring businesses and pitched the idea to them, some were hesitant to give up the day of rest — especially because Christmas falls on a Sunday, a day many businesses are closed anyway.

Others were eager to give it a try, and about 25 retail stores, ski shops and restaurants in the downtown shopping district plan to be open Sunday.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said that five years ago, when she worked as a concierge, there was nowhere to send guests on Christmas Day.

“It’s frustrating for them,” she said. “They’re on vacation, they’ve come a long way, they assume it’s a resort town and everything should be open.”

She said that for everyone from bus drivers and gas-station attendants to bartenders and valets, it’s a local tradition to work through the holidays.

“We work when other people play,” she said.

Jenny Wall, who owns Moose Mountain Trading Co., plans to go on a run with her husband Sunday morning before opening the retail store at 1 p.m. In the 10 years she’s operated the Lincoln Avenue store, she’s never opened on Christmas.

She might have to put off the holiday dinner until late, but she calls it “making hay while the sun shines.”

“We’ve got lots of people here,” she said. “But this isn’t our holiday time. We embrace the spirit of the season as a time to be with your friends and family and to be giving, and that’s the business we’re in.”

She and Petet said they didn’t ask any of their employees to work; they’ll be manning their stores themselves.

Petet said he didn’t feel like he was missing out on a holiday.

“I’ll get a few days off in April, and I can wait until then,” he said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 907-871-4204 or email


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