The Mountain Village Partnership has created a new festival, Savor Steamboat, as a counterpart to the annual OktoberWest, pictured here in 2012.

Matt Stensland/file

The Mountain Village Partnership has created a new festival, Savor Steamboat, as a counterpart to the annual OktoberWest, pictured here in 2012.

New events add depth to summer tourism season in Steamboat Springs

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— The Steamboat Mountain Village Partnership will add depth to the early part of the summer resort calendar this year with a new event that will blend Routt County’s ranching traditions with locally grown barbecue pork dishes and blended cocktails June 15 during Savor Steamboat.

Mountain Village Partnership Executive Director Willis Wodnik said the event was planned to coincide with the 25th annual Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup, which can be counted on to bring 400 classic pony car owners to the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

“When the Mustangs show up, you know that summer is here,” Wodnik said this week. “The Mustang Show 'n' Shine is that morning, and we timed our event at 3 to 6 p.m. to allow them to continue their day into the early evening and do something different and exciting.”

He added that in addition to the Mustang Roundup, there also is a bicycle Enduro X event taking place at Mount Werner on June 15 followed by a bike swap.

Wodnik, who is the proprietor of Colorado Event Rentals, said the partnership took over management of the annual OktoberWest event at the base of the ski area from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association two years ago.

He said Mountain Village Partnership intends to gradually increase its involvement in hosting events at the ski area.

“We want to do a really good job and create benefit for the town and for the businesses up at base area,” Wodnik said.

Savor Steamboat allows the business organization to take advantage of the new gathering area near Torian Plum Plaza that was finished with pavers to match the public promenade at the ski base next to Burgess Creek. The Steamboat Ski Area is due to return spring flows to the waterfalls and pools of Burgess Creek one week prior the event, Wodnik added.

Savor Steamboat will showcase Routt County agriculture with a Ranch Rendezvous — including displays of agricultural implements, tools and saddles — while local 4-H kids display a variety of animals and help visiting youngsters try their hand at roping. But it also will be a chance for local bartenders to compete at mixing cocktails with Colorado-distilled spirits from 303 Vodka and 303 Whiskey while area chefs compete to see who can make the best barbecue from pork raised in the Elk River Valley by Yampa Valley Farms.

People may attend the Ranch Rendezvous for no charge or opt purchase to tickets to sample the prize barbecue recipes and cocktails created during the Shake and Stir event. Adult combo tickets are $40, adult tickets for barbecue only are $20 and meal tickets for children younger than 12 are $10. There is an early discounted adult combo ticket priced at $25 for online purchasers who buy them by June 1 at www.steamboatmountainvillage.com. Online sales had not begun as of May 24.

Leveraging the Pro Challenge

When the inaugural USA Pro Challenge bicycle road race rolled through Steamboat Springs in August 2011, it was acknowledged that the local lodging community might give away as many rooms to riders and support teams as the event generated.

Now, there’s a plan in place to leverage one of the preeminent cycling road races in North America to drive some room nights with a full week of cycling related events called Bike Week.

Doug Davis, of Bike Town USA, told business people attending a breakfast roundtable hosted this week by the Chamber that attractive citizen bicycle races have been scheduled on weekends that bracket the pro event, which will stage a race finish and start here Aug. 21 and 22.

The Steamboat Stinger mountain bike race Aug. 17 sold out quickly this year, Davis said, and the hope is that some of those avid cycling fans will plan to stay in town for more recreational riding and to see some of the best road cyclists in the world come flying over Rabbit Ears Pass and into downtown Steamboat Springs.

Trail runners have a choice of half-marathon or marathon trail running events Aug. 18.

And right in the midst of that pivotal summer weekend is Steamboat’s fifth annual All Arts Festival, allowing families to round out a summer vacation here with cultural events.

Live from Yampa Street

In other news about summer events, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett confirmed the second and third weeks of a new downtown Steamboat series called Yampa Live.

She previously had reported that a family street fair, Yampa Live at the Beach, will be held from noon to 3 p.m. June 23 with trucked-in sand for children to play in and reggae music.

Now, July 21 and Sept. 22 have been added to the list of events intended to entertain locals and tempt weekend visitors to linger while they wait for the traffic jam at the Twin Tunnels on Interstate 70 to clear.

The July event has been branded Yampa Live Dog Days featuring a dog agility course and splash pool meant just for pooches. The musical theme with be the '80s. The September event is Yampa Live Goes Country featuring pony rides, a petting zoo and a mechanical bull.

Details about an August event still are being worked out, Barnett said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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