Eric Dorris

Photo by Matt Stensland

Eric Dorris

Locals 2012: Eric Dorris

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Are You a Local? Quiz

Take Steamboat Living’s simple quiz to help determine whether you’re a cheechako or a sourdough when it comes to your tenure in Steamboat.

1. White out is used to:
A. turn legs into jelly
B. correct mistakes on a term paper
C. warm up your legs on the first run
D. A and C

2. Three current postal clerks’ names are:
A. Don, Tom and Ron
B. Fred, Hank and Harriet
C. Julie, John and Norbert

3. Locals used to gather atop Thunderhead in the early morning for:
A. advice from Billy Kidd
B. free coffee/mimosas
C. rope drop

4. I try this ski parking sequence, in order:
A. tiny lot below Knoll Lot, Ski Time Square, Knoll Lot, Meadows Lot
B. Meadows Lot, Knoll Lot, Ski Time Square
C. rodeo grounds, City Market, Wildhorse Meadows

5. Drink out of the Lithium Spring and you may get:
A. the trots
B. a euphoric feeling
C. a ticket
D. algae in your teeth

6. The original name of the Yampa River was:
A. Bear River
B. Steamboat River
C. Anything Town USA River
D. Billy Kidd Brook

7. The original hospital in town now is:
A. a medical marijuana dispensary
B. Old Town Pub
C. Old Town Hot Springs
D. a tattoo parlor

8. The following people attended Perry-Mansfield:
A. Dustin Hoffman, Julie Harris and Lee Remick
B. Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake
C. Marilyn Monroe

9. Touch the Buddy Werner statue atop Mount Werner and you’ll get:
A. arrested
B. good luck
C. cold fingers

10. The following Broadway musical resulted from Agnes de Mille square dancing in a schoolhouse in Hayden:
A. “Grease”
B. “Oklahoma”
C. “West Side Story”

11. The word “Yampa” comes from:
A. a flowering, edible root that grows along the river
B. the founder of town, Herbert B. Yampa
C. an Indian greeting

12. The real name of today’s Lighted Man is:
A. Tom Hanks
B. Jon Banks
C. Claudius Banks

13. The name of our local mountain range is:
A. Park B. Elk
C. Zirkels
D. Never Summer

14. These bands played at the Inferno:
A. Dave Matthews, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Sonia Dada
B. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Taj Mahal and the Suburbs
C. Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull and Charlie Daniels

15. The original name of Steamboat Ski Area was:
A. Billy Kiddville
B. Storm Mountain
C. Grouse Creek
D. Wally World

16. The old Routt County license plates started with:
A. ZY
B. YK
C. WZ

17. Lincoln Avenue is so wide because:
A. it was designed to fit Hummers and Lincoln Navigators
B. it was used to drive cattle to stockyards
C. high school tuba players needed more room at Winter Carnival

18. The train depot once was one of the largest:
A. cattle shipping centers in the West
B. facilities to host Cabaret
C. coal-transfer stations in Colorado

How did you score?
5 points for each correct answer (90 total)
80 to 90: veritable John Crawford
70 to 79: Billy Kidd
60 to 69: five-year ski bum
50 to 59: came for the winter, stayed for the summer
Below 50: just visiting

When artist and local businessman Eric Dorris first rolled into Steamboat Springs in July 1992, the college grad planned to stay through winter. That was 20 years ago.

After a summer playing rugby and a winter on the mountain, all intentions to study law melted with the snow. He opted for a career in retail, powder mornings and Cow Pie Classic-filled rugby seasons.

During the next 12 years, he ran more than 30 resort-based retail stores across the country and met his Steamboat-raised wife, Jodi. After the birth of their first son, Tate, in 2002, followed by Quinn the next year, the entrepreneurial duo started cleaning firm Yampa Valley Services and, a year later, bought Central Park Laundromat.

Constantly seeking commercial opportunities, Eric was approached about reopening Space Station in 2009. Both were excited about turning the corner of Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue into an inviting downtown hub. Today, the busy convenience store employs eight people and houses Jeff and Danielle Hubler’s 7th Street Liquor and Tacos del Barco. Eric prides himself on providing friendly service and selling local products. He also is proud of the framed Cow Pie on display. “It’s a real talking point for visitors,” he says. So are the “I’ve Got Gas” Space Station T-shirts worn by locals and visitors.

This summer, Eric will pump gas south of the valley, too. He will reopen the Oak Creek gas station, after buying it in April. Once again, he is anxious to create a welcome pit stop for those needing more than gas or a gallon of milk.

While busy running four businesses, his real passion is art. The son of a Taos, N.M.-based artist, Eric inherited his mother’s creative spirit, now focusing on sculpture. When he was 4, his mom salvaged 10 rounds from a black walnut tree in their Tennessee yard. Nine moves and three states later, that wood still sits in Eric’s workshop.

Coy about his talent, he succumbed to two exhibits several years ago and sold his first sculptures. His work is an abstract interpretation of the human body. When asked about inspiration, he says, “I guess it began when Jodi was pregnant with Tate.” His first stone carving just left town for New Mexico.

The busy father also can be found at the rink assisting his sons’ youth hockey teams, riding the Yampa River Core Trail with his family or working out at Manic Training. That is, if he’s not watching rugby.

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