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Scott Franz

Stories by Scott

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Tight rental market, limited labor force are challenging employers in Steamboat Springs

As thousands of visitors prepare to take their winter vacations here, some employers are scrambling to find the employees that will keep the city's restaurants, hotels and small businesses humming.

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Jensen steps down as Intrawest CEO

Intrawest CEO Bill Jensen replaced by Thomas Marano.

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Parking time limit extended in lot at Eighth and Oak streets

The change could be useful for some long term-downtown parkers especially when the city rolls out new license plate reading technology to improve parking enforcement or if parking meters are installed downtown.

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Steamboat Springs Transit releases new winter schedule, prepares to launch GPS tracking system

The launch of the new daytime winter schedule on Dec. 7 will coincide with the launch of a new GPS tracking service that will allow riders to use their smartphones to track buses in real time and see exactly when a bus is due to arrive at any of the bus stops in the city.

City of Steamboat's ice arena and recreation managers resign

Susan Petersen, the city's longtime recreation manager, recently resigned to take another career opportunity here in Steamboat. Mike Albrecht, who has supervised the Howlesen Ice Arena for the last six years, also is leaving his post.

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Steamboat Springs City Council debates how involved police chief should be in police station planning

Some members felt public safety director Joel Rae's leadership role in the project is appropriate given his many years of experience with the police department. But other members felt it wouldn't be appropriate for Rae to continue being a point person on the station planning because they felt the proposal is controversial and Rae's involvement could end up damaging his reputation.

Steamboat City Council asked to consider changing pot rules to allow hash oil production company

Magill told his fellow council members that a prospective operator of such a business approached him and said he or she would look to possibly start the company in Oak Creek if the rules here weren't changed.

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Lodging tax revenue used to install enhanced pedestrian crossings, make Lower Spring Creek Trail safer

A trio of enhanced pedestrian crossings and a safer Lower Spring Creek Trail in Steamboat Springs are the first signs that hundreds of thousands of lodging tax dollars are starting to be being spent to improve local trail systems.

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Steamboat Springs seeing lowest November gas prices since 2010

It will cost local farmer Mike Arroyo significantly less this holiday season to gas up his Ford F250 Super Duty pickup and make the regular 192-mile drive to Grand Junction to visit his daughter.

Local finding it hard to park Greek food wagon at base of Steamboat Ski Area

Cynthia Pougiales' quest to park her new Greek food wagon at the base of Mount Werner has been so difficult in recent weeks, she and her friends have pondered the idea of instead having two donkeys pull the wagon around to make mobile sales.

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New business helps visitors get a healthier high in Steamboat Springs

Local entrepreneur Drew Koehler is hoping to tap into the state's lucrative recreational marijuana industry with his new vaporizer rental business. Koehler's sales pitch is that vaporizers are healthier to use than smoking marijuana. They also are more discreet.

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Steamboat Parks and Recreation Commission tables Howelsen Hill master plan until January

Commissioners liked a lot of what they saw in the draft plan for Howelsen Hill, including the recommendation for a new indoor recreation center and a renovation of Howelsen Hill Lodge. But several commissioners kept wondering aloud how such a big price tag would ever be funded.

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Steamboat City Council moves forward with bus service cuts despite some objections from locals

The council heard from some community members who said the longer wait times in the west end of town and the elimination of the on call yellow line from the daytime winter service would make travel a lot more difficult for them.

Intrawest reports boost in sales of season ski passes

The parent company of Steamboat Ski Area announced Monday that its sales of season passes and frequency products for the upcoming ski season were up about 14 percent in volume and 20 percent in sales dollars through Nov. 2 compared to last year.

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Steamboat Springs City Council thinks its partnership with city manager needs improvement

City Manager Deb Hinsvark said she was up to the challenge of improving her partnership with the council that recently gave her a mixed performance review.

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Howelsen Hill master plan draft recommends new indoor rec center, 2nd sheet of ice

If adopted, the draft plan could end up serving as a guiding document for the city's most historic and diverse park for several years.

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Letters from home meant the world to U.S. Air Force airman from Steamboat Springs during rigorous basic training in Texas

In an age dominated by text messages, Facebook and email, a local mother found creative ways to handwrite letters and notes to her son almost every day he was in basic training. Heald then was inspired to start making inspirational cards for other military families. They are available at some local retailers including Lyon Drug.

Steamboat City Council to continue city manager review, consider adopting budget on Tuesday

The Steamboat Springs City Council Tuesday night will consider the second and final reading of the budget that would make significant changes to the city's free winter bus service, add more manpower to the city's personnel ranks and grant city employees $200,000 worth of pay raises.

Man tells police he believes someone shot at his vehicle while he was driving on Hilltop Parkway

The Steamboat Springs Police Department is investigating whether a BB or pellet gun was used to shatter a rear window of a vehicle that was being driven Sunday afternoon on Hilltop Parkway.

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Chamber still working to grow number of summer visitors recommending Steamboat to their friends

Events were busier. Sales tax collections reached historic levels. But there's still one big summer data point that still isn't going the direction city officials and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association want it to.

Campaign spending was lopsided in most Routt County races heading into Election Day

The latest campaign finance reports filed by Routt County candidates reveal the biggest spenders heading into Election Day claimed victory in every race. But in the case of the Routt County Commissioner's race, the vote gap was a lot closer than the spending gap.

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Enhanced pedestrian crossing signals going up in Steamboat Springs

The new crossing signals soon will be installed at U.S. Highway 40 and Dream Island Plaza, Amethyst Drive and East Maple Street, East Maple and McKinley streets, Mount Werner Drive and the Yampa River Core Trail, Mount Werner Circle and Burgess Creek Road and at the crossing from the Knoll Parking Lot to the Gondola Transit Center.

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Failure of tax poised to impact future of downtown Steamboat infrastructure improvements

Without that maintenance money secured, some Steamboat Springs City Council members are suggesting they won't go forward with the improvements under a URA without some other maintenance agreement in place.

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Downtown Steamboat Springs stakeholders narrowly reject proposal to fund BID with property tax

The defeat of the tax measure sends downtown business leaders back to the drawing board to try and figure out how to secure more revenue for upkeep and improvements in a downtown area that just two years ago was scrambling to find money to save flower baskets on Lincoln Avenue. It also casts doubt on whether the Steamboat Springs City Council will continue to consider a proposal from the city to use tax increment financing under an urban renewal authority to fund things like sidewalks and pedestrian lighting downtown.

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Steamboat Springs Transit prepares to roll out big changes to winter bus service

Lots of riders are poised to love some of the changes. Others, not so much.

Proponents of downtown tax are optimistic heading into Election Day

Sometime after 7 p.m. Tuesday, everyone will learn whether commercial property owners in the downtown BID will pay an extra property tax worth four mills that could be spent on things like wayfinding signage, trash and recycling collection and parking management.

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Making it their way: Casey Earp: Local government guru

Casey Earp has been influencing city policy since he was 8 years old. As a child and an avid hockey player, he was one of many people to approach the Steamboat Springs City Council to ask the council to put a roof on the Howelsen Ice Arena.

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Making it their way: Kate Elkins: Mentor to future professionals

When Kate Elkins first started volunteering at LIFT-UP of Routt County, she realized she couldn’t continue to work at the front desk of a local hotel.

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Making it their way: Steph and Glen Traylor: Inspiring other young professionals

When Steph and Glen Traylor started Ski Butlers in Steamboat Springs four winters ago, they ran their ski valet business with one van out of their single-car garage.

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Making it their way: Lindsay Dillenbeck: Fifth-generation local business owner

Even as she was working in the White House, doing business consulting in Boston and living for a while in Los Angeles, Lindsay Dillenbeck always knew she would be coming back to Steamboat Springs.

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Making it their way: Matt Eidt: Globe-trotter turned Realtor

The Yampa Valley Curse had to be strong to grab hold of Matt Eidt and get him to come back to Steamboat Springs.

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Making it their way

Young professionals are bullish on Steamboat Springs. They’re confident that more young professionals will want to come here despite the challenges of starting a business or living permanently in a remote mountain resort community. Read on to find the stories of six young professionals who quickly are becoming leaders in their community.

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Iconic Ski Time Square property sells for $2.9 million

Blue Sage Ventures recently closed on its $2.9 million purchase of Clock Tower Square and some adjacent property. Over the next few years, the developers have plans to spruce up the building and add new residences and commercial spaces around it.

Steamboat Living: Things Steamboaters should know

No matter how long you’ve been here, there are certain things you ought to know how to do living in Steamboat. We’re not talking the obvious how to ski or bike, but the more intrinsic things to have in your seasonal arsenal here in Ski Town USA. No masters ourselves, we combed the valley floor for tips from experts to help ease the learning curve.

Steamboat Springs City Council continues to tweak city manager review process

"We're still just working on the process," Council President Bart Kounovsky said Wednesday following an awkward conclusion to what was supposed to be City Manager Deb Hinsvark's regularly scheduled performance review Tuesday night.

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Wendy's closing after long run in Steamboat Springs

Steamboat residents looking for Baconators, spicy chicken sandwiches and Frosty treats soon won't be able to find them at the Wendy's at the corner of U.S. Highway 40 and Anglers Drive.

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Steamboat City Council is 1 vote shy of adding parking meters downtown

An upcoming community debate could ultimately decide whether parking meters return downtown more than 60 years after they were ripped out of Lincoln Avenue and smashed at a party.

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Downtown park and parking headline Steamboat Springs City Council agenda

In the same evening, the council could start to direct some changes to downtown parking and also take the final step to purchase an old house on Yampa Street with the intention of converting the property into a public park. The council earlier this month voted 6-1 to pass the first reading of the purchase of the Workman property at 603 Yampa St. for $617,000.

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Ciao Gelato saying 'arrivederci' Wednesday

Lynne Romeo is hopeful when her business Ciao Gelato closes its doors Wednesday amid a search for a new location, it won't be gone forever.

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Steamboat City Council to consider downtown parking meter proposal Tuesday

A parking consultant with Desman Associates on Tuesday night will tell the council it should consider installing parking meters on Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street where they run from Fifth to 10th streets.

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Best of the Boat: Discovery Learning Center named best child care center

Walk into the Discovery Learning Center and you immediately notice there's something about this place that children really love.

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Best of the Boat: Blue Sage Pizza serves up the best slices

​Blue Sage Pizza has been on a roll lately. ​In the past year, the long-established local company has outgrown its small space in Central Park Plaza and now has two bigger locations on both ends of town. Oh, and the pizza still is really good — so good, in fact, that it earned top honors in this year’s best pie category.

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Best of the Boat: Fiesta Jalisco wins best Mexican in crowded competition

​In a ski town where there are as many Mexican restaurants as there are ski shops, Fiesta Jalisco continues to be the restaurant to beat.

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Best of the Boat: Butcherknife's Amputator beer popular with locals

​With 7.2 percent alcohol by volume and a gruesome name, Butcherknife's new Amputator sounds a little intimidating.

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Downtown Steamboat stakeholders still deciding whether tax proposal is worth the price

The fate of a proposed property tax increase in downtown Steamboat Springs rests in the hands of downtown business owners like Wendy Lyon.

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Businesses in Steamboat Springs recognized for sustainability efforts

The use of a worm farm to turn organic waste into valuable compost helped Steamboat's Pet Kare Clinic on Wednesday clinch the 2014 Sustainable Business of the Year at an awards ceremony hosted by the Steamboat Sustainable Business Consortium.

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City of Steamboat, Sheraton finalize Iron Horse rental agreement

The city and the hotel have finalized and signed a four-month rental agreement that will rent the city's vacant hotel to the Sheraton for $18,000 per month.

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City of Steamboat is updating its sidewalk master plan

City Manager Deb Hinsvark also recently updated the council on the city's desire to start using local improvement districts to fill in some sidewalk gaps around the city.

Steamboat City Council uses new method to set city funding total for nonprofits

The current council chose to make the allocation to non-profits based on a certain percentage of the city's general fund budget, excluding transfers, capital and debt service payments.

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Steamboat City Council wants city to keep negotiating with Routt County Humane Society over control of animal shelter

The city reached out to the Humane Society last year to see if it would be interested in taking over the shelter and to propose a business plan. However, the city passed on the plan because it concluded it would have cost the city more money than it currently is paying to run the shelter.

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