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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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Potential lies in targeting the 85 percent of air travelers who leave the Yampa Valley to catch a flight

The report by Sixel reveals there may be potential for more flights that meet the needs of visitors headed for Steamboat and the mix of leisure and business travelers who might change their current habit of driving to Denver to catch economical flights to distant cities.

Old time Cowboy Ted Cordova never runs out of stories to tell

Tony Cascio shares a story Ted Cordova used to tell about sleeping with pigs who protected him from snakes.

Snowfall total in city of Steamboat nears average for full winter

After 3.1 inches of fresh snow was recorded in town Thursday morning the snowfall total for October 2013 through February to date was 165.6 inches compared to the full season average (1981 through 2011) of 169.7 inches.

Routt commissioners: What's good for Front Range oil, gas wells is good here, too

All three Routt County commissioners signed a letter to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission indicating their support for statewide application of the new rules requiring capture of poisonous gases emitted in oil and gas fields.

Routt County prepares to contrast its employee salaries to competing counties

The purpose of the salary survey, according to county officials, is to determine if Routt is at a competitive disadvantage with other comparable markets in terms of recruiting and retaining employees.

Steamboat Arts Council removes the partition between the visual arts and other art forms

In addition to the already well received food-themed art show which opened at the Depot Feb. 7, this week’s event will offer wine, music and movement.

Routt County compensation group has a date with commissioners

The creation of the salary committee goes back to Oct. 30, when the last board of commissioners gave employees their first raise in years with a 2 percent cost-of-living increase. They previously had restored 5 percent pay cuts imposed during the recession.

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Tom Ross: Ted Cordova is one of the last of the drifting cowboys and a builder of ski trails

If ever anyone embodied Steamboat’s claim to being a cowboy ski town, with ties to the days when ranch hands drove cattle to the rail heads, it is probably Ted Cordova, for whom the Ted's Ridge trail is named.

Planning ahead for possibility that Colorado's water supply won't meet its needs in 2050

“It’s important that you participate in this process right here in the basin because this is your future and your children’s future,” Jay Gallagher, Mount Werner Water and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

Snow is good for Steamboat's business, but not when it falls in Atlanta during Presidents weekend

Occupancy rates at mountain resort condos in Steamboat were up each Saturday in January by 5 to 9 percent.

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Above-average snowpack surrounding Steamboat needed by dwindling reservoirs in Utah, Nevada

Steamboat Springs attorney Tom Sharp, who just completed his tenure on the Colorado River District board of directors in 2013, said Colorado’s snowpack is acutely important as the levels of Lake Powell and Lake Mead (below the Grand Canyon) are in steep decline.

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Routt County gives owner of remote compound in the Dunckley Flat Tops more time to get permits

Building Department official Carl Dunham told Terrill that there is a way for him to get his building permits after the fact, but that he would have to retain engineers to study his buildings and determine if they are up to county specs and then, even if they met building code, Terrill would be charged double fees.

Majority of flight delays at YVRA due to flight crew availability

Flight delays in and out of Yampa Valley Regional Airport this month are not attributable to local snowstorms. Availability of flight crews is a bigger problem.

Routt County commissioners could sue Flat Tops outfitter

Routt County Commissioners could decide Tuesday to file a lawsuit against Dunckley Peak Outfitters, also commonly referred to as Bill’s Cabin or Terrill’s Cabin, for allegedly operating a hunting guest ranch on the edge of the Flat Tops without the necessary permits.

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Tom Ross: As many as 30 girls ski jumping with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club this winter

With about 30 girls already honing their ski jumping skills in the Winter Sports Club’s Nordic combined program, it seems inevitable that one of the little girls at play Friday on Howelsen Hill someday will find a special place in Steamboat’s Olympic history.

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Bill Haight and Martin Hart moved mountains to bring commercial jets to airport that serves Steamboat

Three decades ago Yampa Valley Regional Airport had no commercial air service but the late Bill Haight and Martin Hart collaborated to widen and lengthen the runway and attract direct jet flights from four major cities.

More than 15K vacationers expected in Steamboat on Feb. 15; 14K expected this weekend

Snow forecaster Joel Gratz, of OpenSnow, wrote in a report Wednesday afternoon that the Colorado Rockies will continue to see significant snowfall Friday through Sunday.

6-time Olympic Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick earns historic distinction

Todd Lodwick, of Steamboat Springs, will carry the American flag and lead the U.S contingent into Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia, during the Parade of Nations and the Opening Ceremonies.

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Muzzleloading Biathlon regroups to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a bang

The muzzleloading biathlon's primitive class requires that contestants’ skis be wooden and predate the World War II era.

Giant oil company could drill five new wells even as it prepares to leave Northwest Colorado

Shell Oil has applied to Routt County for drilling permits for a well at Dill Gulch southwest of Hayden and another about 5 miles north of town.

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Winter Carnival: Bicyclists slide down steep, snowy slalom course

All bicyclists ages 12 and older are welcome to test their nerve in a dual slalom on the steep, snowy slopes of Howelsen Hill on the night of Friday, Feb. 7, during Winter Carnival. But anyone who is serious about winning the race might leave their brand-new balloon tire snow bike at home and armor up with studded tires on a more traditional frame.

Northwest Colorado residents asked to chime in on future of Colorado's water supply

The Statewide Water Supply Initiative forecasts that the gap between water supply and demand could exceed 500,000 acre feet by 2050. The capacity of Elkhead Reservoir between Hayden and and Craig is 25,550 acre feet.

Routt County Commissioners retain strategic budget consultant

The Routt County Commissioners agreed this week to sign a $12,500 professional services contract with Julia Novak of The Novak consulting Group in Cincinnati, Ohio, to facilitate their strategic planing retreat.

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Air travel here disrupted but not by snowstorm in the Yampa Valley

A flight information report released at 1:50 p.m. indicated an American Airlines flight from Chicago had been diverted to Denver and a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta was pre-canceled because of weather.

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Tom Ross: Caution: Dragons in the mirror are closer than they appear

Don’t blame Spike the Big Red Dragon – in spite of this fire-breathing tendencies, he is a cold-blooded reptile, and Routt County winters have become too much for him to bear.

Farm bill salvages Routt County's $1.47 million in federal property tax offsets

Passage of the farm bill would assure only that rural counties will receive their 2014 PILT funds. Next year’s funding would still be subject to appropriation by Congress.

Union Wireless wins appeal to build monopine cell tower south of Steamboat Springs

“These towers no longer look like ugly pine trees, they look much more like pine trees. We’re not trying to build Franken-pine." - Union Wireless spokesman

Union Wireless mounts second appeal seeking to build 'monopine' cell tower south of Steamboat

Union Wireless will be prepared for Tuesday's permit hearing with a petition the company says was signed by 294 people favoring the new tower, including seven people who live within a half mile of it.

High-ranking federal officials confer with Northwest Colorado leaders on fate of pivotal sage grouse

There could be very real economic consequences for Northwest Colorado if the sage grouse is added to the formal list of endangered species in 2015.

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Tom Ross: Steamboat's Chief Theater hosting series of tributes to Neil Young

The best thing about catching a live show at the Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat Springs is that the audience gives its full attention to the music - there’s nobody standing next to you cheerfully shouting about the last epic powder day as if there weren’t a concert going on.

Steamboat sends Olympians off to Sochi with fireworks

For weekend skiers and riders who aren’t making the trip, Saturday’s event may be the best chance they get to photograph themselves with an Olympic hero and share it with the world through social media.

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Wind slabs load up tender snowpack, trigger natural avalanches near Steamboat Lake, Flat Tops

“The Flat Tops avalanches were much larger than those north of Steamboat Lake. It’s a very dangerous place when the snow is as unstable as it was leading up to this cycle.”

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Larry Mahan, Billy Kidd reunite on the slopes of the Steamboat Ski Area as Cowboy Downhill turns 40

If there is a generalization I feel safe making about rodeo cowboys, it is that they are almost universally polite to strangers and seemingly impervious to pain.

Tom Ross: Newspaper reporters get the strangest phone calls

In the last six months or so I’ve received two messages, spaced a couple of weeks apart, from a fellow seeking employment at my dairy farm, not just for himself, but for his spouse as well. But I don't have any cows to milk.

Muzzleloading could be out for this year's Winter Carnival

The muzzleloading ski biathlon that has become a modern fixture on the Saturday of Winter Carnival may miss out on celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

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Energy-saving panels go on sale at community solar garden due to open in Craig this summer

The solar garden is a collaboration between Yampa Valley Electric Association, the rural electric cooperative here, and the Boulder-based for-profit solar panel business, Clean Energy Collective (CEC).

Colorado officials decry deletion of funds to offset cost of public lands from budget compromise

Congress reached a $1.1 trillion budget compromise Tuesday likely to be regarded as welcome news on many levels. But the public lands dollars many Colorado counties rely upon were a casualty.

Colorado Ski Country early ski season visitation up 22 percent

A scarcity of snow in the Sierra’s of California may be boosting Colorado’s skier numbers. Vail Resorts reports Northstar California, Heavenly and Kirkwood are down 23.4 percent collectively

Andy Wirth describes how music of Pearl Jam pulled him through near-fatal skydiving accident

The recounting of his brush with death is made more poignant by Andy Wirth’s description of how the lyrics to a song by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, “Just Breathe,” helped him while struggling to maintain his composure in the minutes after he was injured.

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After 60 inches of snow fell at the summit in 13 days, Steamboat skiers could soon see the sun

The summit of Storm Peak at the Steamboat Ski Area has seen 62 inches of snowfall over the first 13 days of January.

Connell Resources seeks to move gravel pit to larger parcel east of Hayden

The Connell gravel permit application has drawn far less opposition than most in Routt County because its location up a steep hill from the highway shields it from the view of neighbors.

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Tom Ross: Steamboat gaining traction as Dog Town USA

There is no truth to the rumor that there is a retired drug sniffing dog languishing unclaimed at the pound in Steamboat Springs.

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Friends of the Yampa seeks to partner with city on future boat takeout ramp in Steamboat Springs

Boaters can launch their craft into the Yampa River in River Creek Park in Steamboat Springs, but there is no downstream location on public property where they can back a trailer to the river to retrieve their craft.

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School chef envisions a working farm on Strawberry Park campus near Steamboat Springs

Andy Ziegler is starting the new sustainable agriculture program at The Lowell Whiteman School. He wants to promote aquaculture and permaculture at the school in Strawberry Park.

New recycling fee in Steamboat Springs puts pressure on the Green Machine

A senior communications specialist for Waste Management says the new drop-off fee in Steamboat comes as recycling companies are examining every part of the business.

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Former Steamboat chairman of the board Martin Hart dead at 77

As chairman of the Northwest Colorado Ski Corp. Martin Hart helped Steamboat Ski Area add its first snowmaking system and acquired today's high-speed eight-passenger gondola..

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Tom Ross: Our ability to cook our own food is part of what defines humanity

New Year's Day marked the first time in many years that I had baked bread that required leavening, allowing the bread to rise, kneading it and allowing it to rise again.

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Expectant mom delivers Routt County's first baby of 2014 after an evening at the lanes

Camilla Haight, of Hayden, went into labor two hours after bowling on New Year's Eve and delivered Routt County's first baby of 2014 the next morning.

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Late holiday skiers flooding into Steamboat Springs with more snow on the way

The Sheraton Steamboat is booked solid Saturday night and the Steamboat Springs Chamber expects 15,600 guest to spend the night with more snow on the way.

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New apartments for adults with developmental disabilities nearing completion in Steamboat

Horizons Specialized Services provides support for people with developmental disabilities in a five-county region including Routt and Moffat. The new residential buildings for Horizons clients were built with the help of a $1.27 million HUD grant.