Photo by John F. Russell
Tim Widmer returned to Steamboat after getting his Bachelor of Science in ecotourism from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and began working as a boot fitter and salesman at SureFoot.
Steamboat Springs Tim Widmer could be the poster boy for Colorado Mountain College success stories.
The kid from Estes Park had the brains and the grades to go to any four-year school in the state. Instead, he chose CMC’s Alpine Campus, perched above downtown Steamboat Springs.
“I wanted to be a ski bum and still have the excuse of going to school,” Widmer admits.
Even his high school counselor tried to talk his parents out of letting him go to CMC. But the smaller classes of CMC and the small-town nature of Steamboat were simply too alluring.
He graduated with his associate degree and transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in ecotourism. His dream of opening an ecotourist lodge in Costa Rica was short-lived, so he returned to Steamboat and began working as a boot fitter and salesman at SureFoot. During the summer, he capitalized on his love of fly-fishing by guiding for the former Steamboat Fishing Co.
By 2004, Widmer had taken over as manager at SureFoot. He couldn’t have imagined the career move that would take place four years later when he was hired as assistant professor of the ski and snowboard business program at CMC.
“I never viewed myself as becoming a professor,” Widmer says. “I love it mostly because I love the students. I know where they’re coming from.”
Widmer works with Michael Martin, director of the ski and snowboard business program, which is the Alpine Campus’ second-largest degree program, serving 125 to 150 students.
“The students we have are great,” Widmer says. “They’re open, willing to learn and excited about going to school.”
An accomplished fly-fishing guide with Steamboat Flyfisher, Widmer’s job still allows him to hit the river often. He teaches fly-fishing courses at CMC and has sold some of his fly patterns to Solitude Fly Co. in California.
But that water time has become a little more restricted. Widmer and his wife, Megan, are in the full throes of parenthood with their 1-year-old daughter, Maria. They can’t imagine raising her in a better place than Steamboat.
“As far as we’re concerned, Steamboat is forever,” Widmer says. “We just love it here.”