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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

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Tom Ross: Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat displays the beauty of snow crystals

People visiting Steamboat Springs this winter have an opportunity to learn a little more about the science of snowflakes while admiring their beauty in a photo exhibit at the Tread of Pioneers Museum called "Snowflakes, Nature’s Dazzling Design."

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Thousands of skiers, riders arriving in Steamboat this week come without skis and snowboards

The prevailing wisdom in the ski travel industry is that ski vacationers either don’t own equipment or increasingly are leaving their own equipment behind. Instead, they favor avoiding airline baggage fees by renting freshly tuned skis and snowboards at the resorts.

Steamboat's snow message driving late holiday reservations

The days leading up to the holiday aren’t typically the busiest of the season with many travelers choosing to remain home for Christmas Day. Passenger numbers can be expected to climb above 1,000 by Saturday.

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Meteorologist says another foot of snow possible for Steamboat

Senior meteorologist Norvan Larson in Grand Junction wrote at 4:45 p.m. that he was upgrading the forecast for the mountains bracketing Steamboat to a winter storm warning through Tuesday.

West Routt property rights group aims for statewide influence in enabling energy exploration

Citizens Supporting Property Rights asserts there is a way to put in adequate protections for sage grouse while allowing for future oil and gas development.

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Dawn Patrol: Steamboat Pilot & Today press crew makes sure there's a paper 365 days a year

On nights when there aren’t so many press runs, the crew always is busy keeping its offset presses in tip-top shape. Their press room may be one of the cleanest you’ll ever visit.

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Dawn Patrol: KQZR's Kip Strean livens up morning airwaves with rocker stories

Rising before dawn and preparing for work does not come naturally to an old ’60s rocker. But Kip Strean and his Australian shepherd mix, Sox, usually are up by 5 a.m., sometimes not until 5:30 a.m., to rub the sleep out of their eyes and make the 10-minute walk to the studios of KQZR radio, The Reel 97.3.

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Dawn Patrol: From ranch to restaurant, Shealynne Yeager is no stranger to early mornings

It’s 5:45 a.m. on a frigid November morning, and Shealynne Yeager is bustling about behind the bar and in the tiny waiter’s aisle at Johnny B. Good’s diner in downtown Steamboat Springs.

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Dawn Patrol: Nursing assistant stays up all night with Doak Walker residents

Laura Steinke never had imagined herself sleeping through the daylight hours and working all night, but when the traffic in Colorado Springs began to wear on her, she returned to Steamboat Springs to take a position at the former Doak Walker Care Center just months before its recent move to Casey’s Pond Senior Living.

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Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. gets its Nordic on at Haymaker

The fairways and cart paths of Haymaker Nordic offer cross-country skiers gently rolling terrain with some surprises, including a few quick hills that are steep but easy to overcome because of their brevity.

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Let your senses take over and ski into the evening at Steamboat Ski Area

Steamboat Winter Sports Club Alpine Program Director Deb Armstrong said her youthful night skiing at Alpental, Wash., outside Seattle was a vivid experience that has stayed with her all of her life.

Alpine Aggregates cleared to haul gravel in mornings when fog doesn't obscure highway

Commissioner Steve Ivancie expressed concern that the new system places significant responsibility on the gravel pit foreman to make the safety decision.

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Steamboat library encourages artists of all types to create visual journals

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Sketchbook Project will bring a mobile library featuring 5,000 eye-opening sketchbooks to Steamboat Springs in August 2014.

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Report: 'American Pickers' Steamboat episode set to air Jan. 29

Cookie Lockhart is expected to figure prominently in the broadcast after the show’s stars, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, along with their crew, devoted an entire day of taping at her auction business.

Environmental artist Sonja Hinrichsen returns to the Yampa Valley in January

Sonja Hinrichsen and her volunteers will tackle the challenge of tramping into the snow the major tributaries of the Yampa River, representing the entire basin in a linear metaphor

Abundant early snow in Yampa Valley contributes to storage in Lake Powell

Record September 2013 rainfall in Steamboat Springs and in other mountain valleys could help boost runoff in the rivers when the snow begins to melt in the spring of 2014.

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Sundown Express lift opens Thursday at Steamboat Ski Area for 2,300 acres of skiing

Steamboat begins running the Sundown Express, Sunshine and South Peak chairlifts Thursday, providing access to the sunniest trails on the upper ski area.

Steamboat's 1st permit request for retail pot store on Thursday's city planning agenda

City Clerk Julie Franklin said Wednesday that two other existing medical marijuana dispensaries are in the process of applying for a retail permit. Should all three succeed, they would fill out the limit of three in Steamboat Springs under an ordinance approved by the Steamboat Springs City Council in September.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Steamboat has big plans for 101st year

St. Paul’s is about halfway through its funding campaign to retire the debt on its new sanctuary and to fund the new internship program.

Dry snow in the forecast for Steamboat as cold lingers in the Yampa Valley

Overnight lows on Wednesday and Thursday nights were expected to reach 15 degrees below zero with highs of just 13 degrees on Thursday and 11 on Friday, but temperatures should bounce back to daily highs of 18 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

Steamboat's hard urban growth boundary gets a fresh look

Now, both city and county government are revisiting the criteria for expanding Steamboat’s city limits and asking, “Is it too hard for landowners to win an exception to the hard urban growth boundaries?”

Steamboat's Storm Peak could see 2 feet of snow

The automated forecast for Storm Peak at the top of the ski area expects between 15 and 23 inches to fall overnight and during the day Wednesday.

Storm pattern headed Steamboat's way is 'perfect for heavy snow'

The wind direction at and above mountain top is from a westerly direction, which means all mountains can see good snow because this wind gets lifted up by the mountains and rising air creates snow.

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Steamboat Springs' Howelsen Hill opens for skiing and riding

Howelsen has been operating, first as a ski jumping facility, since January 1915. Today ski jumping takes place in both summer and winter, but most members of the public zip down the steep slalom hill in front of the lodge, while many youngsters enjoy their first day of skiing on one of the gentle Magic Carpet lifts.

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Four Points Lodge elevates fine dining at Steamboat Ski Area to 9,700 feet

Steamboat will begin an exclusive fine dining experience at Four Points Lodge later this winter for no more than 52 people in four seatings per night. Guests will reach Four Points from the top of the gondola via a luxury snow coach that seats 13 in plush bucket seats.

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Denver's cheap fares a barrier to new airline service at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

It’s the affordability of flights in and out of Denver International Airport that raises one of the biggest hurdles to expanding air service out of the Yampa Valley.

Routt County leans toward expanding hauling hours at Steamboat Sand and Gravel

The Board of Commissioners will take the request up again Dec. 17. In the meantime, planning staff is assigned to review the proposed system for alerting gravel hauling companies that the pit is shut down due to heavy fog on the highway and convert it into formal conditions of approval.

Study could make the case for more summer air service at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

Assuming Steamboat Springs can convince an airline to take on a non-ski-season route that makes business sense, it isn’t likely to come without subsidies.

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Steamboat Ski Area to open Wednesday with more than 630 acres

Steamboat Ski Area announced Monday that it will have five lifts, 52 trails and 635 acres of terrain open when the season starts with Scholarship Day on Wednesday, according to a news release.

Tom Ross: News of Intrawest’s IPO plans, and Crested Butte’s suitor closely timed

Triple Peaks LLC led by Tim and Diane Mueller entered into an agreement to purchase Steamboat Ski Area from a previous owner, American Skiing Company, in January 2002 for $91.4 million. It never came to pass.

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November marks 3rd straight month of above-average moisture in Steamboat Springs

Steamboat is poised to complete an autumn precipitation trifecta the likes of which it has not seen for more than 25 years. Not since 1985 has Steamboat recorded above-average precipitation in September, October and November.

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Tom Ross: Vivid memories from a grim November weekend 50 years ago never will fade

There are moments in human history that have such a personal impact that the details and emotions of the day stay with us even a half-century later. For me, it was the violent death of a president that triggered the loss of innocence that sets us all on the path to adulthood.

Routt County tackles repairs, paving on busy road to Stagecoach State Park in 2014 budget

The Routt County Board of Commissioners are optimistic enough about the county’s fiscal position this year to plan a two-year $1.5 million paving and repair project on a decaying stretch of Routt County Road 14 used heavily by commuters between Stagecoach and Steamboat Springs.

State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush seeks to reduce red tape for small businesses in Colorado

As a member of the house committee that oversees natural resource issues, state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush said, she’s interested in what the legislature can do to facilitate the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s task of developing a new long-term state water plan.

Avalanche forecasters watching recent wind slabs in Colorado mountains, including Buffalo Pass

The depth of the standing snow at the Tower measuring site currently stands at 34 inches, according to a remote snow measuring device operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Steamboat Sand and Gravel pit owner seeks change to hauling hours

Former Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, who stepped away from her post almost 11 months ago after 20 years as a commissioner, has rejoined the debate about gravel hauling hours at Steamboat Sand and Gravel.

Retired biology professor publishes pocket-sized guide to Steamboat wildflowers

"Blooms 'Round the Boat" is destined to become a hiking companion for many outdoor lovers who often find themselves asking, “Is that Alpine pussytoes or American Bistort?”

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Holiday Dessert Bake-Off deadline Friday, community tasting Monday

There’s encouraging news for aspiring entrants in this year’s Holiday Dessert Bake-Off hosted by the Steamboat Pilot & Today: Meghan McNamara — winner of back-to-back Community Choice Awards in 2011 and 2012 (as well as the Best Cake Award in 2010) — won’t defend her titles.

Yampatika's 1st full moon snowshoe tour of season planned Sunday on Steamboat's Skyline Trail

With a forecast of fresh snow on Saturday night, snowshoe conditions on Skyline Trail could be ideal.

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Series of moderate storm fronts heads for the Yampa Valley

Meteorologist Joel Gratz, of the snow forecasting Web page, said the evolving forecast was trending toward a more active storm system with the possibility of 6 inches of snow or more by Sunday afternoon.

Steamboat ski season flight program boosts inbound capacity by 21 percent on Saturdays

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Airline Director Janet Fischer told the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that the emphasis for the upcoming ski season flight program into Yampa Valley Regional Airport has been on building capacity Saturdays, the day of the week that most winter vacationers prefer to travel in and out of the Yampa Valley.

Routt County sends contested cellphone tower back to Planning Commission

The Routt County Board of Commissioners let the air out of 40 rural residents Tuesday afternoon when they tabled a proposal by Union Wireless to locate a new telecommunications tower in their neighborhood.

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Steamboat owner Intrawest files for $100 million IPO with eye on acquisitions

Returns from the initial public offering could provide working capital as well as potential investments in, and acquisitions of, ski and adventure travel businesses and assets, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Union Wireless appeals denial for new cell tower to Routt County Commissioners

The second time around in the Routt County Planning process, Union Wireless has proposed to build a “monopine” telecommunication tower that resembles a 50-foot evergreen tree.

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Tom Ross: South Routt's Redmond family carries agriculture values forward

Routt County lost another member of an elder generation of ranchers Oct. 20 when James T. “Jack” Redmond died at his family’s historic ranch house at the edge of the Flat Tops on Bull Creek. Redmond was emblematic of a generation that grew up in the Great Depression and weathered the tumult and shortages of World War II to deliver their farms, ranches and families to more prosperous times.

Routt County real estate volume up 14 percent in 3rd quarter

The latest analysis of real estate trends in seven Colorado mountain counties for the third quarter shows Routt County ranked in the top two with dollar volume up 14 percent compared with the same period in 2012.

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Interior design store resurfaces in Sundance at Fish Creek in Steamboat

Walk into the reincarnated Olivia’s Home Furnishings in Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center and it’s difficult to get beyond the rustic wooden spiral staircase that leads to nowhere, except perhaps interior decorator heaven.

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Runway paving at Yampa Valley Regional Airport bumped to April 2015

The runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport won’t close for 60 days in spring 2014 after all. A delay in the grant funding process would have pushed the work to August and impacted summer tourism. Now the runway project is planned for spring 2015.

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40 percent of Routt County voters turn out in final 2 days of 2013 election

After the final ballots were counted Tuesday, 7,321 people cast ballots, representing 46 percent of eligible voters. Tuesday’s voter turnout represented 500 fewer voters than cast ballots in the last odd-year election in 2011, when record turnout of 7,826 voters cast ballots.

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Passenger kept youth hockey players calm as plane skidded off runway Sunday at Yampa Valley Regional Airport

Passenger Jeff Brown said everything seemed normal as the plane made its final approach to YVRA. He said that before the plane touched down, it rose into the air, then came down sideways to the wind direction. That’s when the younger passengers reacted in fear.