KC Lynch leads the way as Jonathan Schmauder helps Angelina up to the lift at Howelsen Hill on Sunday in Steamboat Springs. Sunday was the last day for skiing at the downtown ski area.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

KC Lynch leads the way as Jonathan Schmauder helps Angelina up to the lift at Howelsen Hill on Sunday in Steamboat Springs. Sunday was the last day for skiing at the downtown ski area.

Steamboat, Winter Sports Club make final push for Howelsen funds

Widespread support sought to boost grant applications for Howelsen

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The Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign is seeking community donations for improvement projects that include new lighting, snowmaking equipment, a mini magic carpet and a new summer ski jump. Donors can specify which project they want their money to go to.

Donations can be made in the following ways:

■ Send checks made out to the city of Steamboat Springs, or to YVCF — Howelsen Ski Hill at Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign, P.O. Box 775088, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

■ Donate by credit card at www.yvcf.org/donate. Select “Howelsen Capital Improvements — Ski Area.”

For more information, contact Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s government programs manager, at 970-879-2060 or wdelliquadri@steamboat

springs.net.

— Local Nordic combined athletes already have bragging rights for recent Olympic medals won in their winter sport.

They now might have bragging rights around the halls of Howelsen Lodge for fundraising, too.

The city of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club are making a final push for public contributions to the Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign, which since July has raised more than $268,000 in donations and pledges and more than $937,000 in grants. Funds raised will go toward new lighting, snowmaking equipment, a mini magic carpet and a new summer ski jump at Howelsen Hill, which ended its winter ski season Sunday.

Winter Sports Club Executive Director Rick DeVos said more than 1,000 young athletes, or about 775 local families, are involved in club activities. He’s hoping to get all those families involved in fundraising for the community ski hill during the next two months.

The effort that has led to posters around Howelsen Lodge that chart fundraising by various Winter Sports Club disciplines.

DeVos acknowledged that the friendly competition is somewhat skewed because Alpine skiing, for example, has hundreds of members compared to 60 or so for Telemark skiing.

But he said Sunday that one discipline, in particular, appears to be going strong so far.

“I know the Nordic combined group looks high right now in this process,” DeVos said about the fundraising efforts. “They’ve really made a strong push to get that group motivated.”

The success of Nordic combined athletes in the 2010 Winter Olympics intensified the city’s focus on fundraising for Howelsen Hill improvements. Efforts during the past year have included a $900,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant awarded in December.

Significant costs remain, tho­­ugh. The new plastic-covered K38 jump, for example, has a total cost of $1.5 million. The new jump would be open year-round and allow younger athletes to continue ski jumping in the summer. Lighting improvements to expand Howelsen’s night-skiing access cost $350,000. DeVos said snowmaking improvements can help keep families in Steamboat early in winter season, rather than traveling to Summit County for training.

City contributions to the Centennial Campaign have included $250,000 allocated through surplus 2009 funds and $80,000 from the city’s Howelsen Hill capital improvement fund.

Winnie DelliQuadri, Steamboat’s government programs manager, said the city will submit grant applications in the coming weeks to several private foundations. Applications will include a $170,000 request to the Gates Family Foundation, which helped fund ski jump and snowmaking improvements at Howelsen Hill in 2003.

DelliQuadri said private foundations look for widespread public support.

“One of the things they really want to see is that the community is really invested in the facility,” DelliQuadri said. “We want to show, through the number of people who have given, and the number of people with the Winter Sports Club who have given, that the community is definitely behind Howelsen Hill.”

DeVos acknowledged that asking for money is difficult anytime, but especially when impacts of the national economic recession still are felt in Routt County.

“We certainly recognize that it is tough economic times, and we’re certainly happy with any donation from anybody,” DeVos said. “Our goal is to really get 100 percent club participation on this thing, and for some people, that might mean $5.”

DelliQuadri said she’s hoping the next two months will be the campaign’s final effort.

“We hope that everything will come together brilliantly … and we’ll have a massive groundbreaking ceremony in July,” DelliQuadri said. “Which would be great, because that would mean it’s a one-year capital campaign.

“For that to happen, we need participation.”

Comments

beentheredonethat 3 years, 7 months ago

Is it just me, or does it seem like this ski organization is constantly holding its hand out for more money?

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insbsdeep 3 years, 7 months ago

^ It may seem like that, but Howelson is a very special place. The hill, the SSWSC, and community support is what makes Steamboat world class. I wish I was lucky enough to grow up in such a wonderful place, and am very grateful my kids will.

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mtroach 3 years, 7 months ago

Totally right beenthere. They are as bad as NPR, busy providing public enrichment with private donations. Who really cares if the SSWSC produces more Olympicans than many small countries, or offers world class coaching and guideance to Steamboat's youth. Those kids would be better off playing football or simply sitting around with a X-Box.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 7 months ago

What I do not understood is if practice time is so precious then why do they close down when there is still snow?

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SPARKYINSTMBT 3 years, 7 months ago

I think first of all it needs to be understood that this is not just for the SSWSC. The request to meet the ongoing requirements to maintain Howelsen hill. The SSWSC leases this great facility from the city of Steamboat Springs. It is not just Olympic athletes or SSWSC athletes that use this great hill, it is the general public as well as local residents. It is a reasonable place to take your children to ski, snowboard, cross country, snowshoe. More than that is is an opportunity to continue family traditions. Having more lighting on the face allows for additional night skiing and safer skiing conditions. , the snow making allows for earlier opening dates and safer skiing conditions. It is up to the city, citizens, private grants, public grants, visitors to help get this done. I don't know if most people realize it but Howelsen Hill is part of Steamboats history and is used for so many public events. I hope that everyone can think about our future of our generations and step up and pledge to promote this wonderful campaign....see you at the magic carpet with my future grandchild.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 7 months ago

Sparky, The by far most expensive item on the list of projects is the $1.5M plastic covering of the K38 jump. The K38 jump is not for use by the general public, but for SSWSC athletes.

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greenwash 3 years, 7 months ago

Mamas dont let your babies grow up to be Olympians...Let em be Doctors , Lawyers and such ....

Im just saying....

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beentheredonethat 3 years, 7 months ago

The SSWSC leases this great facility from the city of Steamboat Springs.

that is a bulls... statement.

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jerry carlton 3 years, 7 months ago

Why bad mouth the SSWSC or Howelsen Hill? Just do not donate.

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Scott Berry 3 years, 7 months ago

Scott has a great point! Why is the K68 closed so much during the winter? Because the athletes and coaches are burned out from training all summer on the plastic. So we are to build another plastic hill to promote burnout. The lights are an asset, but the little plastic hill is a total waist of money.

And, the for those who don't know, the city subsidizes Howelsen Hill every year to the tune of a Million Dollars with tax money.

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beentheredonethat 3 years, 7 months ago

the city subsidizes Howelsen Hill every year to the tune of a Million Dollars with tax money.

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mavis 3 years, 7 months ago

Please consider the money I paid for my children to have ski lessons that were cancelled a few times with NO make ups to be my donation. While they are wonderful lessons for the kids they are the ONLY activities they participate in with NO make ups for cancellations. They cost more then double of all other activities for young children. Even if only one of the sessions would have been made up I would have been satisified.
So take that money as your donation to reach the 100% goal.

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