Ford production company to film along Lincoln Avenue on Thursday | SteamboatToday.com

Ford production company to film along Lincoln Avenue on Thursday

— Steamboat was selected by a Ford production company for its unique small-town ambiance to be the location of a commercial shoot for three days this week. During one of those days, Lincoln Avenue will be closed for a period of time.

The production company, Ranch Exit Media, specializing in winter and extreme sports media, will be filming footage of Ford automobiles — such as the F150 and the Escape — to be cut differently into various regional spots across the country.

On Thursday, Lincoln Avenue will be closed between Fifth and 11th streets. No parking will be allowed on Lincoln Avenue during that time. Meanwhile, traffic will be rerouted onto Oak and Yampa streets. Pedestrians will be allowed on Lincoln Avenue sidewalks during the closure with brief holds while the cameras are rolling.

The permit the production crew applied for through the city clerk allows them to shoot on location from 6:30 a.m. to noon, at the very latest.

Although a few downtown businesses are worried the closure will hinder their business, the production company said it does not anticipate being on Lincoln Avenue after 10 a.m. to minimize the impact.

"If it brings us national publicity, bring it on," said Bronwyn Ritter, manager at All That. "It's not really happening during a busy time anyways, and some businesses won't even be open."

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The featured driver for the shoot will be Johnny Unser, one of two of the production company's precision drivers. Ranch Exit Media's production supervisor Annie Banks Raser said Unser is a member of the Unser Racing Family and has been working with Executive Producer Chris Raser, of Ranch Exit Media, on and off the race track for 20 years.

"Steamboat is the perfect place to shoot various car models," Banks Raser said in an email Tuesday afternoon. "Mainstreet Steamboat showcases the quintessential 'Rocky Mountain small town' feeling that is easily relatable across the state."

Each year, Banks Raser said the production company showcases a different small town. In doing so, the company is in town with 25 people from out of state and employing an additional 25 from the Colorado region for more than a week.

In addition to contributing to the local economy with the production crew's visit to town, City Manager Deb Hinsvark said the cost of the permit to close down the street for filming was $100. Because of the road closure, she said, police officers are needed to manage the traffic. There will be four off-duty cops, one on-duty officer and seven community service officers managing the closure Thursday. The production company must pay about $2,000 for that, as well.

This is not the first time Steamboat has been a featured location for a commercial or catalog. In 2010, Lincoln Avenue, among other places in Steamboat, was shut down for an Eddie Bauer catalog and commercial shoot, Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae said. Steamboat also was featured in a Jeep commercial featuring the Wrangler and Cherokee models.

"We are excited to be able to promote downtown Steamboat as a vibrant, extremely scenic and unique place,” Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Public Relations Manager Nikki Inglis said. "They wanted to shoot in Colorado and tell a story from this location. Our Main Street will tell that story with its own beauty and uniqueness."

Inglis works with the Steamboat Springs Film Committee, a nonprofit organization whose primary goal is to attract and facilitate media production in Northwest Colorado. It also acts as a resource and liaison between media producers and community.

"With this national company filming here, our hope is that people from all over will see our beautiful town and community and say they need to come to Steamboat and visit," Hinsvark said.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1