Our View: New ski bill holds promise

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Editorial Board, Sept. 25, 2011, to January 2012

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter

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.

A bill that finally made its way through Congress this week has significant potential for mountain communities like Steamboat Springs. Kudos to representatives and senators on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor it.

The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, in the House of Representatives and by Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Mark Barasso, R-Wyo., in the Senate, clarifies the 25-year-old National Forest Ski Area Permit Act in terms of what kinds of recreational activities can take place on permitted ski area lands in both winter and summer. More important for Colorado mountain resorts like Steamboat Ski Area, the act removes some of the bureaucratic red tape that slows the permitting and eventual construction of summertime attractions like mountain bike trails and terrain parks.

The bill unanimously passed through the House last week, and it was approved by the Senate late Tuesday.

By specifically allowing zip lines, mountain bike trails and terrain parks, Frisbee golf courses and ropes courses, the new law eliminates the need for special permitting and review of those common mountain activities. A rules process still would be put in place for ski areas that want approval for those types of summer activities, but it would be better defined and more straightforward than what exists now. And the significance of that shouldn’t be lost on residents here.

Our summertime tourist economy is an increasingly critical component to the success of our community year-round. Efforts like the Bike Town USA Initiative and the bike trail expansion on Mount Werner speak to the importance of year-round tourism and the ability of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. to capitalize quickly on the momentum of the cycling movement. Removing barriers that would stifle that momentum is appropriate, and that’s why we’re pleased the Senate and House passed the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011.

Comments

Scott Ford 3 years, 2 months ago

Hi Steve and Win – This editorial is a “Softball”. The editorial is essentially nothing more than a rehash of the article that appeared earlier in the week. Who would argue with the position taken?

A better editorial could have been how we need as a community to argue more effectively. I witnessed after the candidates’ forum someone so angry with Brent I thought they were going to blow a blood pressure gasket. Brent handled it well – but I could see the exchange upset him. Worse yet – this guy came back for yet another exchange with Brent 5 or 10 minutes later and it was even more emotional.

Without question we are community with a lot of very passionate people. That is a good thing. However, when do folks step over the line and allow their passions to hijack their emotions so that they get carried away and make it personal?

Perhaps an editorial on what constitutes crossing the line, and suggestions of how not to get so emotionally carried away such as take a walk on Emerald Mountain and turn off Fox News for a day. Now that would be taking a position.

This week’s editorial appears to me to be the path of least resistance. Or, you guys just did not have the time and energy to tell Brent that this is a “softball”. Don’t let Scott, Tom and Brent pitch softballs – send them back to the writing desk when one is pitched telling them they can do better. Agreed?

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