Colorado veteran families get free Steamboat weekend getaway

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— The Inn at Steamboat owner Todd Moore has no military affiliation. He never has served a day in his life, nor does he have any close or direct connections to former or active military leaders.

Veterans Day events

• Veterans Day family breakfast — VFW Post 4264, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.

FREE home-cooked breakfast. 924 Lincoln Ave.

• Veteran's Day program — South Routt Elementary School, 9:30 a.m.

South Routt Elementary students will perform and local Veterans from American Legion Post 189 will post the colors. 448 E. Main St.

• Veteran's Day program — Hayden High School, 11 a.m.

This year's presentation will focus on Sept. 11 with a PowerPoint presentation with local vets, currently serving and newly enlisted members of the military. FREE. 495 W. Jefferson Ave.

• Veterans visit at Doak Walker House — Casey’s Pond Senior Living, 11 to 11:45 a.m.

Visit veterans in the Doak and those living in assisted living apartments. 2855 Owl Hoot Trail.

• Routt County Council on Aging program — Steamboat Springs Community Center, 12:30 p.m.

"The Contributions of Our Area Veterans,"  will be presented by Jim Stanko. FREE. To sign up for noon lunch, call 970-879-0633.

• Red, white and blue and unstoppable you — Hayden High School, 5:30 p.m.

FREE dinner followed by a 6:30 p.m. presentation from Craig Conrad's Unstoppable. All veteran's and community members are encouraged to attend. 495 W. Jefferson Ave.

The concierge business is Moore’s specialty and has been a mainstay in his family since the day he was born.

He does, however, have a deep respect for the military. So when Moore and his wife purchased the Inn at Steamboat property off Columbine Drive, an idea came to him. His family before had hosted veterans and others during Veterans Day weekend to give back to those who make the ultimate sacrifice.

So Moore reached out to local veteran and VFW leader Jim Stanko during the summer to try to bring his parents’ East Coast idea to his Rocky Mountain hotel. Stanko reached out to an R&R coordinator on the Front Range, who tossed out application materials to Colorado military bases.

“I talked to my wife about it, and she was like, ‘Well, can we do that?’” Moore said. “I was like, ‘Why wouldn’t we want to do it?’”

The hotel general manager set aside 15 rooms for military families. Before he knew it, more than 50 applications poured in.

There was another idea Moore hand in mind, though. He wanted to offer a relaxing, free weekend at his hotel for military folks. But he wanted to find “deserving” families, specifically ones who recently returned from an overseas tour.

He was looking for families like the Brookses.

Maj. Fred Brooks, a civil engineer at the 240th Air National Guard in Buckley, had done his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He comes from a long line of military family members, with two grandfathers who fought in World War II. He let out a giant sigh of relief when talking about his return home from Afghanistan in June.

“I thought, ‘Ah, man, it would be so nice to get up there and get away,’” Brooks said. “So I threw my name in a hat. I was so pleased to find out it was me.”

Brooks won the trip via a lottery system. So he headed to Steamboat for the first time in eight years with his wife and three young children. During the weekend, his family were able to enjoy free amenities like a soak in the hot springs, a concert, tour of the city and and a trip to the Tread of Pioneers Museum, all arranged by Moore and Stanko.

“We didn’t want to overload their schedule with things,” Moore said. “It’s just for relaxation and rejuvenation. If they want to stay busy, that’s what we do for a living. We’re concierge.”

Brooks said he was greeted warmly everywhere he went in Steamboat, especially at the VFW, where his money on the first round of drinks wasn’t accepted.

The Brookses were among about 13 families who took advantage of the vacation offer. With 21 years military service under his belt, a chance at some R&R was just what he his family needed.

“I’m just very grateful at how nice and how well-received we’ve been,” Brooks said. “Thank you, thank you.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

Comments

Bret Marx 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Awesome story! Thank you for your generosity Mr. and Mrs. Moore. Thank yous also go out to the other organizations who donated there services to Maj. Brooks and his family. I hope everyone thanks at least one Veteran this Veterans Day. This is the kind of publicity Steamboat Springs needs.

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Mark Ruckman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Great story and a wonderful family tradition by the Moore family.

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bret martin 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I am fortunate enough to call Steamboat home, and though I am several thousand miles away right now on foreign soil, my heart is back in Steamboat. The great residents of our small mountain town have been so generous in their support of my family in my absence, great families and businesses like the Moore family, and Old Town Hot Springs. So today, I thank all of you, for without your support while we are deployed and when we return home; we couldn't do what we do over here. Thank-you.

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