A sign inside Old Town Pub urges voters in Steamboat Springs to support Referendum 2B, which would raise the city sales tax by 0.25 percent to pay for airline revenue guarantees.

Photo by John F. Russell

A sign inside Old Town Pub urges voters in Steamboat Springs to support Referendum 2B, which would raise the city sales tax by 0.25 percent to pay for airline revenue guarantees.

Campaign finance reports show Referendum 2B has highest financial backing

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Election 2011

Click here for complete coverage of this year's races and issues.

Past Event

Election forum at the Steamboat Springs Community Center

  • Thursday, October 13, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free

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— The committee promoting the tax to supplement Steamboat Springs’ winter air service program raised more than $35,000 in the campaign finance reporting period that ended Oct. 6. That total is more than the sum of what all other local election issue committees and candidates raised during the same time period.

All candidates and committees in the upcoming election were required to file campaign finance reports Tuesday, the first of three reporting deadlines. The other deadlines are Oct. 28 and Dec. 1.

The report filed by Steamboat Citizens to Regain Seats & Secure Our Economy reported raising $35,549 in monetary contributions. The committee, which is promoting the Yes 2 Air campaign for Referendum 2B, reported $5,346 in non-monetary contributions for a total of $40,895.

Its major contributors were Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., the Steamboat Springs Restaurant Association and the Steamboat Springs Lodging Association. Each donated $10,000. Ski Corp. also donated $1,825 in website development, public relations and marketing.

“I don’t think there’s anything more important to this community’s long-term success than air service to the Yampa Valley,” Ski Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Diamond said Wednesday when asked about his company’s support of the campaign.

The committee spent $29,697.95, mostly on print and radio advertising, supplies, printing and postage. Bill Stuart, who has led the group’s marketing efforts, said the group also has met with a number of local organizations to talk about the importance of the winter air service program.

“It’s been in effect for 25 years,” Stuart said. “It’s always worked. It’s just running a little bit short of money right now.”

No organized group has emerged to oppose the 0.25 percent tax that would generate about $1.3 million annually to supplement the funding to pay the revenue guarantees demanded by airlines that fly into Yampa Valley Regional Airport during ski season. Ski Corp. and a Local Marketing District lodging tax, the primary financial backers of the winter air service program, will continue to support the program in future years.

Other issues

Sensible Steamboat, the committee led by Rocky Mountain Remedies co-owner Kevin Fisher to oppose the ballot measure to ban medical marijuana businesses in Steamboat Springs, reported raising $2,800. It spent $1,875 with a Washington, D.C., company for “polling/strategy,” according to the group’s campaign finance report.

The medical marijuana opposition group formed by local residents Lisa Watts and Dr. Kelly Victory didn’t register a campaign committee with the state.

City Council

In the District 1 Steamboat Springs City Council race, challenger Richard Levy raised more than incumbent Scott Myller. The Committee to Elect Richard Levy reported raising $3,525 and spent $1,215.49 on advertising, yard signs and postcards. Scott Myller for Council reported raising $1,150 and spent $892.01 on advertising and campaign signs.

At-large incumbent Bart Kounovsky, running unopposed for District 2, reported no contributions or expenditures.

For District 3, Sonja Macys raised and spent more than her opponent, Dave Moloney. Macys reported $5,287.79 in contributions and $3,949.64 in expenditures on newspaper and radio advertising, website design, campaign posters and door hangers. Moloney reported $2,850 in contributions and $1,417.78 in expenditures on print advertising, yard signs and door hangers.

In the race for the at-large seat, John Fielding reported receiving and spending more than Daryl Levin. Candidate Kevin Kaminski reported not receiving any contributions or spending any money.

Fielding raised $283.20 and spent all of it on print advertising. Levin raised $150 but didn’t spend any money.

School board

Each Routt County school district has seats up for election on its school board, but no candidates reported any contributions or expenditures, and some didn’t file anything as of Wednesday afternoon, according the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.

“If they didn’t raise or spend money during that period, the filing is optional,” said Andrew Cole, a Secretary of State’s Office spokesman.

Only the Community Supporters of Rebecca Williams has reported spending any money — $9.76 for a name tag. Sandra Sharp is opposing Williams for the District 5 Steamboat Springs School Board seat. Sharp said she set up a committee Wednesday because some supporters said they wanted to contribute to her campaign but hadn’t yet.

School Board President Robin Crossan, running unopposed for District 4, and Wayne Lemley, running unopposed for District 2, are the other candidates.

In South Routt, the only contested race is between Byron Dean and Jules Palyo for District 4. In unopposed races, School Board President Tim Corrigan and board member Brett Mason will retain their seats.

And in Hayden, District B incumbent Vance Fulton and District D incumbent Sharon Nereson are running unopposed.

List of 2011 election contributions as of Oct. 6

Winter air service tax

■ Steamboat Citizens to Regain Seats & Secure Our Economy

Monetary contributions: Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., $10,000; Steamboat Restaurant Association, $10,000; Dawes & Associates, $100; Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, $1,999; Wells Fargo, $2,500; Go Alpine, $200; The UPS Store, $500; John Kerst, $50; Steamboat Springs Lodging Association, $10,000; Ulrich and Janet Salzgeber, $100; MDM Group Associates, $100.

Non-monetary contributions: Nordic Spirit, $2,500 (office rent); Resort Group, $450 (office equipment); Steamboat Smokehouse, $475 (meeting space); B&K Distributing, $96 (product donation); and Ski Corp., $1,825 (website development, public relations and marketing).

Medical marijuana

■ Sensible Steamboat

Monetary contributions: Rocky Mountain Remedies, $2,300; miscellaneous donations of $5 or less, $500.

District 1 candidate

■ Committee to Elect Richard Levy

Sarah Westendorf, $100; Audrey Mandell, $100; Lynn Abbott, $75; John Spezia, $50; William Moser, $100; Leslie Lovejoy, $50; Tony Seaver, $100; Tim Rowse, $100; John Whittum, $100; Michael Ehrlich, $50; Don Mathes, $50; Winchester Dermody, $50; Neil Ganz, $100; Jack White, $100; Bob Enever, $100; Steve Lewis, $100; Jay J. Kopf, $100; Ken Solomon, $100; a $2,000 loan from Rich Levy; and $10 in non-itemized contributions of $19.99 or less.

■ Scott Myller for Council

Scott Myller, $500; Nick Metzler, $150; Janet Williams, $100; Katherine Meyer, $75; Jon Wade, $100; Michael Ehrlich, $50; Gary Robinson, $50; Les Liman, $50; and Jon Peddie, $50.

District 2 candidate

■ Bart Kounovsky

None.

District 3 candidates

■ Sonja Macys

Monetary contributions: Ted Kahn, $99; Lindarose Berkley, $100; Ruth Schrock, $100; Nancy Merrill, $100; Jean Charney, $30; Dan Miller, $100; Kathleen Cline, $250; Bonnie Macys, $500; Christine McVie, $250; Cheri and Ed Trousil, $200; Joseph Karnitis, $100; Charles and Eve Karnitis, $200; Sara Chamber, $50; Tim Rowse, $200; Linda Laughlin, $250; Nancy Hamann, $99; Wilma Willard, $99; Barbara Heinemann, $50; Ken Brenner, $20; Carolyn Campbell, $100; Bruce Gungle, $100; Karen Post, $50; Lynn Abbot, $75; Clark Davidson, $250; Genie Love, $25; Dave Coviello, $40; Tim Macys, $100; Meg Bentley, $75; William Moser, $200; Jeffrey Swoyer, $25; Tom Baer, $50; Susan McIntosh, $200; Phillip and Joan Friedman, $30; Lindarose Berkley, $30; Susan Dellinger, $20; Lyman Orton, $200; Winchester and Elaine Dermody, $50; High Energy Solar, $30; David Chambers, $100; Meryl Redisch, $50; Lu Etta Loeber, $100; Albert Reiner, $25; Carole Milligan and Jack Dysart, $500; and $44.79 in non-itemized contributions of $19.99 or less.

Non-monetary contributions: Sonja Macys, $77.36 (mailing materials); Linda Laughlin, $90 (food for event); Clark Davidson, $50 (refreshments for event).

■ Dave Moloney For City Council

Christy Belton, $100; Dennis Moloney, $150; Margo McCombs, $1,000; Bruce Thompson, $50; Urban S.G., $50; John Sands, $500; Mark Elting, $50; Robert Douglas, $250; Ray Wright, $100; John Kinkaid, $25; Peggy Wolfe, $50; Geneva Taylor, $100; John Taylor, $100; Douglas Kiesau, $50; Les Liman, $50; Christopher McCombs, $100; Pam Vanatta, $100; and Heidi Flint, $25.

At-large candidates

■ John Fielding

Jean Wolfe, $60; Dave Epstein, $60; and John Fielding, $163.20.

■ Daryl Levin

Howard Levin, $100; and Matthew Newman, $50.

■ Kevin Kaminski

None.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 10 months ago

Let Ski Corps and the Lodging community pay for their own programs! Tax lift tickets or increase the lodging tax.

What percentage of tourism arrives by air anyway?

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vanguy 2 years, 10 months ago

It seems to me that the success of tourism benefits a lot more businesses and jobs than just the Ski Corp and the Lodging Companies. Yet, more than 95% of air service funding has come solely from these two groups up to this point.

Most people I know who live in Steamboat (and actually work for a living) seem to understand the direct connection between their paychecks and the dollars spent by tourists.

This culture is why Steamboat has such a great reputation for hospitality, when compared to other mountain destinations. This culture is why visitors come back for repeat visits.

As a community, let us NEVER lose sight of the fact that the paying traveler has a choice whether or not to visit Steamboat. It also never hurts for locals to remind Ski Corp. of this fact every once in awhile.

Air service is our lifeline as a resort community.

If it is a pain in the A$$ to get here, there are certainly more convenient destinations for people to take a ski vacation.

Non-rental second homeowners and timeshare resorts like Wyndham don't contribute any LMD tax revenue because there isn't a lodging transaction involved. Yet, these two sub-groups alone consume hundreds of air seats every week.

And how many VRBO rentals aren't paying their lodging taxes?? The city could make a small fortune investigating this issue...but I digress.

I believe the 2B Tax is a great way for non-rental tourists to contribute to air our service, especially those that use the service and don't currently help pay for it.

Me, personally, I'm voting for 2B.

I admittedly waste at least $20 every week on stupid stuff I really don't need.

I'd gladly give this community $20 a year to help secure air service, if it means that me and my friends will continue to have jobs, maybe even experience some career growth someday.

I'd gladly give this community $20 if it means our businesses can afford to stay open year-round.

Most importantly, I'd gladly give this community $20 so that, as my parents get older, and travel becomes more difficult for them, there is still a convenient and affordable way for them to fly to Hayden and visit their grandchildren from time to time.

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