Steamboat briefs: Around 8.8K visitors are expected in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat briefs: Around 8.8K visitors are expected in Steamboat

About 8,856 visitors are expected to be in town Saturday, according to the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's lodging barometer released Wednesday.

The figure represents 56 percent capacity at area lodging properties, with downtown occupancy at 71 percent. On the mountain, hotels are forecast at 68 percent capacity, and condos are expected to be 46 percent full.

Lodging is expected to dip to 7,173 visitors by Wednesday.

The Chamber's lodging barometer is based on survey data from local lodging properties. Its primary function is to help businesses determine staffing levels during the winter and summer tourism seasons. Actual lodging occupancy levels tend to increase from the forecast levels as a result of last-minute bookings.

A Steamboat community blood drive set for Jan. 29

The first Steamboat Springs community blood drive for 2015 is scheduled to be held from 12:30 to 6 p.m. Jan. 29 at Yampa Valley Medical Center. Walk-ins are welcome from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. as space permits. To schedule an appointment, call Bonfils Appointment Center at 1-800-365-0006, Option 2 or sign up online at http://www.bonfils.org, site code 0234. Before donating blood, eat a full meal and drink plenty of water. One hour should be allowed for the entire process.

Divorce support for middle school students provided

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will host a support group for middle school-age students coping with divorce. A counselor will help participants understand and process their emotions through creative expression. A separate, concurrent meeting will provide a counselor and support for parents. The meetings will be at the Rollingstone Respite House, 1500 Pine Grove Road, with dates and times to be determined based on participants' availability and interest. Anyone interested should contact Katy Thiel at 970-871-7628.

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Yoga workshop will focus on feet and knees Saturday

A therapeutic yoga workshop with an emphasis on feet and knees will be offered from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 at Yoga Center of Steamboat, 701 Yampa St. The cost is $20 for pre-pay or $25 on the day of. The class will offer a full feet/knee practice, which stretches and improves strength and control of the foot and lower leg muscles along with all the connective tissue. The studio will offer yoga for the lower back on Feb. 21 and yoga for the shoulders and neck on March 21.

Ash tree and ash borer questions to be answered

With the highly destructive emerald ash borer now confirmed in Colorado, many homeowners on the Western Slope have questions about their ash trees and the risks presented by the invasive tree insect.

In response, the Colorado State Forest Service is releasing a new Quick Guide about EAB in Colorado. Although EAB has not been detected in western Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains form a barrier to the natural spread of the insect from the Boulder area, ash trees in the region remain at risk due to the potential spread through human actions — such as the movement of firewood.

Primary recommendations relevant to the Western Slope include:

■ Determine now if you have any ash trees. The first step to dealing with the possible future arrival of EAB is identifying susceptible host trees on the landscape, which include virtually any species and varieties of ash (genus Fraxinus). Ash trees have diamond-shaped bark ridges and compound leaves with five to 11 leaflets, and their leaflets, buds and branches grow directly opposite from one another.

■ Avoid planting ash trees anywhere in Colorado. Ash trees have been widely planted here, but due to the risk of EAB, future plantings are not recommended.

■ Recognize signs of EAB infestation, which include: thinning of upper branches and twigs, loss of leaves, D-shaped 1/8-inch holes on the bark, vertical bark splitting or increased woodpecker activity. Any suspect trees should be reported to the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 888-248-5535 or caps.program@state.co.us.

■ Be aware of EAB imposters. Other insects such as lilac/ash borer, ash bark beetle and flat-headed appletree borer may look like EAB or cause similar tree symptoms. For more information, see the new EAB guide at http://www.csfs.colostate.edu.

■ Prevent further spread of EAB. Don't ever transport ash firewood, or any other untreated ash wood products, to other locations.

For more information about EAB infestation and ash tree identification, view the guide online at http://www.csfs.colostate.edu or pick up a free copy at the nearest CSFS district. For current information about the status of EAB in Colorado, visit http://www.eabcolorado.com.   

VNA offers multiple options to help you quit smoking

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association would like to remind readers that secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke (tobacco residue in carpet, clothes, cars, etc.) can cause serious health problems in children, nonsmoking adults and pets, including cancer, heart disease and asthma. There are multiple support options to help smokers protect themselves and their loved ones from potentially fatal illnesses:

■ The Colorado QuitLine offers free personalized cessation phone support for smokers. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

■ The SmokefreeTXT program provides free personalized text message support. Text the word "quit" to 47848.

■ The VNA offers counseling with a tobacco cessation specialist in Steamboat Springs or Craig. There is no cost for the service. To speak with a counselor, call 970-871-7634.