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Tom Ross

Stories by Tom

Routt County commissioners suing local couple over 'illegal' A-frame

The Routt County commissioners are asking the court to either compel Mark and Lori Elliott to take down their 'illegal' A-frame or authorize the county to remove it and bill the owners.

After losing a landmark, town of Yampa invited to look to the future

When the Royal Hotel burned in January, the town of Yampa also lost a watering hole that offered much more than cold beer.

Yampa Valley Housing Authority close to applying for permit to build 48 affordable apartments

The tentative business arrangement with Overland Property Group to build the affordable apartments in Steamboat calls for the developers to absorb the entirety of the nearly $2 million debt on the land incurred by the authority in the real estate run-up of the last decade.

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Downtown improvement plan returns to Steamboat Springs City Council

City Council asked city staffers during its Jan. 20 meeting to return this week with additional research as they wrestled with the question of whether or not to fund public improvements in the downtown through a tax incremental financing program.

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Colorado Nordic skiing legend Sven Wiik turns 94

Steamboat's Sven Wiik, 94, who was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame way back in 1979, was born to glide on a pair of skinny skis on Feb. 27, 1921, in Solloftea, Sweden.

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Steamboat Planning Commission favors extending worker housing at downtown motel through April 2016

“In the broader context of things, I don’t think there are too many people in the community who aren’t applauding a free market solution to a rough rental market,” – Planning Commissioner Charlie MacArthur.

Steamboat could accumulate a foot of snow in four days while Southern Rockies get buried

The mega-storm that is threatening the Southern Rockies this weekend is unlikely to bury Steamboat, according to snow forecasters, but the ski area could accumulate about a foot by the end of the day on Monday.

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City of Steamboat Springs set to review use of downtown motel as workforce housing

The Alpiner motel owners came to the city formally in October 2014 seeking to operate a portion of the property as a lodge. Approval of that use was conditioned on the rooms not being rented long term and required that fewer than 20 rooms be rented.

Lodging chairman says Steamboat resort will bustle into first week in April

January delivered mixed results among different property management companies and part of the fall-off was attributable to hesitant Front Range skiers who are very discerning about ski conditions.

County adds new full-time building inspector

The number of requests for building inspections has increased annually since 2011 when the total was 3,875 to 4,996 in 2014.

Steamboat Movement Fest promises to bring yoga tourism to Steamboat

The Steamboat Movement Fest will offer outdoor yoga classes along with vendor villages in Gondola Square and live music on the performance stage.

Proposed Ridge at Deer Mountain subdivision straddles urban growth boundary

A majority of the Planning Commission agreed that the five-acre lots called for in the Deer Mountain plan are preferable to the existing platted subdivision of 35-acre parcels.

Steamboat airline program officials making progress on switch from unreliable turbo-prop service to and from Denver

A search of United Airlines flights confirms that flights between YVRA and Denver June 18 will be on a 50-passenger Embraer RJ145 jet flown by Trans States. A search in mid-July still reflects service by Republic Airlines on the Q400.

Forest Service finalizing plans to tackle wildfire fuels reduction along Steamboat's wildland interface

In addition to wildfire fuels reduction, a major component of the U.S. Forest Service Steamboat Front plan involves cutting back mature mountain shrubs in a patchwork fashion to improve forage for deer and elk.

City of Steamboat, housing authority collaborate on water sewer project

Combining the city of Steamboat’s sewer interceptor project with water and sewer line replacement for the homes in the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park provides an economy of scale.

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A vital landmark in American skiing

“Howelsen Hill had sustainability, local energy, great athletes coming’s awesome that it has been sustained for 100 years. It’s just magical the way that thing all came together.” –Walt Evans, first executive director of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

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Butterfly Barn relocation alternatives enter city planning process

Author Queeda Mantle Walker confirms in her local history book, “Last Ranch in Hell’s Canyon,” that her late brother, the legendary horse wrangler Pat Mantle, used the barn beginning in 1968 as the base of operations for Sombrero Stables.

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Howelsen Hill's 100th: A conversation with Crosby Perry-Smith

it is with pleasure that we present this video interview with Crosby Perry-Smith and invite you to read more about Howelsen Hill’s role in ski history in the Feb. 15 Steamboat Pilot and Today.

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Steamboat's Nancy Kramer becomes 27th woman chosen for Hazie Werner Award of Excellence

The Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Program will be awarded the 2015 Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s $20,000 Snowball Community Grant Feb. 23 to continue the organization's work of providing a coordinated marketing arm for cultural and historic venues in 17 communities in the region.

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Steamboat Ski Area's 4.5 inches of fresh snow puts springlike conditions on hold for a day

Steamboat Springs meteorologist Mike Weissbluth sees reason to hope the persistent ridge of high pressure could break down during the work week of Feb. 16-20

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Rabbit Ears Pass snowpack moisture, near average, is an outlier

Reservoirs in the Yampa/White River drainages are among the strongest in the state, averaging 112 percent after heavy rainfall in July, August and September.

Former Steamboat Springs City Council President Joe Brennan dies at 68 in Florida

Former Steamboat Springs City Council President Joe Brennan loved to entertain friends and strangers, and although he could be gruff at times, Brennan also told jokes for hours on end.

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Winter Carnival 2015: Howelsen Hill turns 100

In February 1914, Howelsen organized townsfolk to build a modest ski jump on Woodchuck Hill, where Colorado Mountain College stands today, and the first Winter Carnival was held with jumping competitions and cross country ski races.

County approves $2,000 to boost cultural, heritage tourism

The Northwest Colorado Cultural and Heritage Tourism Project serves as a marketing/promotional entity for historical museums, natural history events and organizations, historic buildings and in archaeological sites in 17 towns and five counties.

Yampa Valley Regional Airport needs new automated parking system to replace 'old unreliable'

Yampa Valley Regional Airport has staffed a payment booth during periods of high traffic to collect parking fees and also maintains a backup payment machine in the baggage claim area for times when the unreliable automated system is feeling cranky.

State Rep. Mitsch Bush talks to constituents in Steamboat Springs about health insurance costs

State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, voted among the majority on the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee on Thursday in a 7-6 vote to kill a bill that would have repealed Connect for Health.

Yampa Valley Housing Authority board in line for new members

Housing Authority candidate John St. Pierred experienced Summit County’s efforts to create affordable housing as a member of both the Frisco Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council, and the Summit County Planning and Zoning Commission.

County calls ‘cease fire’ at fair exhibit hall in Hayden

CSU 4-H Extension Agent Tami Thurston said Tuesday that 85 of the 300 current Routt County 4-H members are in shooting clubs, but the decision by the Fair Board won’t inconvenience them as 4-H shooting clubs are currently practicing in Steamboat anyway.

Routt County agrees in principle with Humane Society on new cost share for animal shelter

On average Routt County excluding the towns of Hayden and Oak Creek, is the source of 38 percent or 190 of the animals that come into the Steamboat S;rings Animal Shelter annually.

Bed and breakfast planned for historic ranch on the Yampa River just north of Hayden town limits

Ryan and Rachel Wattles would host as many as eight people at a time in the guest house and as many as 10 special events — like wedding and family reunions — per year. No amplified music will be allowed.

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Former Oak Creek Mayor Vi Shaffer persists in recovering medal awarded to her brother who went down with his ship

As much as the story of Oak Creek's Vi Shaffer is one of a young sailor who gave his life for his country, it’s a story of a plucky elderly woman who was unrelenting in her efforts to recover tangible evidence that her brother was honored as a hero.

Routt County Building Department studying possible cut in permit fees

With construction picking up, Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan may ask the Commissioners’ approval to offer full-time status to a building inspector who has previously been on seasonal employment status.

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41st Cowboy Downhill attracts a big crowd to base of Steamboat Ski Area

Miss Rodeo Virginia Kaitlyn Gill was in the field as 97 cowboys and cowgirls took on the dual slalom at Steamboat, which requires them to rope a tall cowgirl in a duster and sling a saddle on a nervous horse before they sprint across the finish line to glory.

Airline board recommends boosting Houston summer flight to daily schedule

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. official said that 20 of 48 scheduled flight segments on United Express to and from Denver during the six-day period between Christmas and New Year's were canceled, and 10 more were more than two hours late.

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Google Street View rows viewers down virtual Yampa Canyon whitewater adventure

The new virtual whitewater float comes at a time when the future of the Yampa and the canyon it flows through in Dinosaur National Monument are growing topics of discussion.

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Flat Tops Ranch Supply is catering to the agricultural community in a Steamboat alley

Flat Tops Ranch Supply in Steamboat is behind Circle 7 Gallery at 1009 LIncoln Avenue, and just a few steps away from Steamboat Meat and Seafood.

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Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland has retired to St. George, Utah, after 20 years in the courthouse

Kay Weinland, who was first sworn in as Routt County clerk in January 1995, and outgoing County Commissioner Steve Ivancie were honored at a reception that filled the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in the courthouse Monday evening.

Routt County is in the midst of revisiting the 1999 Stagecoach Community Plan

Denver resident John Troka, who is president of the Stagecoach Property Owners Association, told the Routt County commissioners his members are eager for better water and sewer service.

Avalanche info center is a state agency but relies on donations for 25% of annual budget

Northwest Colorado residents will have an opportunity to learn what makes the Avalanche Information Center run while kicking up their heels to the music of Missed the Boat Jan. 10 at the Ghost Ranch Saloon.

Routt County Road and Bridge cleared to spend $440,000 on grader, remodel

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said the new motor grader will consume significantly less fuel, which can add up over the 10,000 hours the county puts on its graders before trading them in.

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The Royal Hotel in Yampa was both a piece of history and important community gathering place

The Royal Hotel in Yampa was like something out of an old Zane Grey Western novel. And in fact, Grey stayed at the Royal while writing his book, “The Mysterious Rider.”

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2014 Year in Review: Top news stories

From problem bears poaching food from trash cans and sneaking into condominium hot tubs to Steamboat’s first foray into recreational pot sales, 2014 was a year to remember.

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Nordic skiing helps Steamboat doctor with Parkinson's disease

Steamboat Springs has an increasingly active Parkinson’s support group including people who are among the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease and their families and professionals including exercise therapists, yoga instructors and yes, ski instructors.

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Routt County's $540.2 million in real estate volume through November easily surpasses all of 2013

There is a three-month supply of single-family homes in downtown Steamboat Springs where 12 listings are active and the median price last year for homes was $538,750 at an average price per square foot of $339 for typically smaller homes

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Last morning of 2014 officially the coldest of the year in Steamboat at 26 below

New Year’s Eve morning in Routt County was the coldest of the entire year. Senior forecaster Chris Cuoco confirmed that the 26 degrees below zero reported at the Steamboat Springs Airport on Wednesday was the coldest of 2014. It was even colder in Craig — 29 degrees below zero.

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Experiences of ski vacationers flying to Steamboat on Monday were all over the trail map

Passengers from Houston to Steamboat diverted to Grand Junction, then Denver, but other travelers called their flights "perfect."

Tap water cleared for drinking in South Routt town of Phippsburg

The news that it was safe to drink tap water in Phippsburg again was relayed by a reverse 911 call.

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Miscommunication over Steamboat Community Center's kitchen policies didn't thwart holiday dinner

Local nonprofits improvised the preparation of free community Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners after walk-in coolers at the Steamboat Springs Community Center were declared off limits.

Tom Ross: Christmas Eve menus are lasting family traditions

My father lit a roaring fire in the fireplace and burned our Christmas wish lists, telling us that Santa’s elves could read the smoke signals from the North Pole. Of course, we believed every word.

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Fresh snow in forecast for Christmas Day in Steamboat Springs

The snow depth on the west summit of Rabbit Ears Pass is 39 inches after 9 inches of new snow fell there on Dec. 19. The 9.7 inches of water contained in the snowpack is 123 percent of the median for Dec. 23.