Steamboat briefs: USA Pro Challenge sets up community impact meeting | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat briefs: USA Pro Challenge sets up community impact meeting

The USA Pro Challenge will return to Steamboat Springs in mid-August, and the local organizing committee has scheduled a community impact meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at Centennial Hall.

The purpose of the meeting is to share details about the event schedule, including road closures and parking information, with the public.

Steamboat Springs is the overall race start and stage two race start for the 2015 Pro Challenge on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18, respectively. Festivities begin Aug.14, and in addition to the stage one and stage two races, events include the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, Go Ride Steamboat community bike ride, team presentation, free summer concert, USA Pro Challenge Festival, Steamboat All Arts Festival, Steamboat Stinger and more.

The meeting is open the community.

Steamboat Springs lodging to hit 88 percent capacity

About 13,900 visitors are expected to be in town Saturday, according to the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's lodging barometer released Wednesday.

The figure represents 88 percent capacity at area lodging properties, with downtown occupancy at 100 percent. On the mountain, hotels are forecast at 93 percent capacity, and condos are expected to be 82 percent full.

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Lodging is expected to dip to 9,700 visitors by Aug. 5.

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.

YPN to host summer small business series Thursday

The Steamboat Springs Young Professionals Network will host its inaugural small business series from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the game room of Carl's Tavern. The series is for anyone looking to start or grow a small business, those who are curious about being a young entrepreneur in the Yampa Valley and others who would like to meet small business owners in the area.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from various speakers on topics affecting small businesses. The series will run for three consecutive months with sessions planned for Thursday, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24. 

The topic for Thursday will be "Getting started." Speakers will include Nicole Stone and Lore Marvin from Yampa Valley Bank; Trent Jones from Mountain Pine Manufacturing and winner of the 2012 Routt County Business Plan Competition; and David Allard and John Cruikshank from Steamboat Auto Repair.

The event is free for YPN members and $10 for non-members. Email Geoff Petis at gpetis@petislaw.com for more information.

WWFM 91.1 to present live classical music Friday

The classical music show Live From Steamboat, featuring music from Strings Music Festival, will be featured at

10 a.m. Friday on WWFM 91.1 as part of the radio station's "Celebrating Our Musical Community" program hosted by Diane Guvenis.

This Live from Steamboat concert presents the second half of a two-part concert with the Turtle Island Quartet recorded in July 2014. The Strings Festival Orchestra performing Gioachino Rossini's overture to "An Italian Girl in Algiers" from the Strings Music Festival's 2010 opening night concert will also be featured.

Strings Music Festival concerts are brought to Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley through the cooperation of the WWFM team in Trenton, New Jersey, and Strings Music Festival. The concerts are featured only on the last Friday of each month.

Applications accepted for local board of realtors

The Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors is now taking applications for renewable scholarships from previous scholarship recipients. Email ssbr@ssbr.org or call 970-879-4663 for an application. Deadline for submitting applications is Aug 8.

VNA advises precautions with bats; rabies a danger

Rabies is a potentially deadly virus transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. Some bats have tested positive for rabies in Northwest Colorado. Follow these precautions to avoid exposure to potentially infected bats or other wild animals:

■ Never touch a wild bat or any other wild animal.

■ Teach children who find a bat to leave it alone and tell an adult.

■ Keep doors and windows covered with intact screens. Do not leave screenless doors or windows open in the evening.

■ If bats are observed inside the home, call a professional trapper with experience removing bats from homes.

■ Keep pets up to date on rabies vaccines. Call your veterinarian if you are unsure of your pet's vaccination status.

■ If exposure to a bat occurs, safely collect the animal if possible using a shovel (do not use your hands, even if you are wearing gloves) and contact the Routt County Department of Environmental Health at 970-870-5588.

■ If you are bitten by a bat or wake to find a bat in the room where you are sleeping, contact your medical provider and the Visiting Nurse Association (the public health agency for Routt County) at 970-879-1632.

For more information about rabies, visit cdc.gov/rabies.

Loans can help producers start or expand farms

Farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest loans available through the FSA direct farm ownership program, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Colorado Farm Service Agency Director Leland Swenson. Applications must be approved by Sept. 30 to take advantage of the funding available.

Eligible farmers and ranchers can borrow up to $300,000 to buy farmland, construct or repair buildings, pay closing costs or promote soil and water conservation. The interest rate can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay.

"If you are thinking about purchasing or expanding your farm or ranch, our affordable loans can help," Swenson said. "There are no backlogs or waiting for funds, so give us a call today."

New farmers and ranchers, military veterans and underserved farmers and ranchers also are encouraged to apply. Each year Congress targets 80 percent of available loan funds to beginning and targeted underserved farmers and ranchers. 

For more information about the farm loan program, visit fsa.usda.gov/farmloans or contact the local FSA office. 

Weed spraying operation scheduled for local parks

The City of Steamboat Springs has been awarded a grant from the state of Colorado for the treatment and removal of noxious weeds on Emerald Mountain and Spring Creek Park. There will be a weed spraying technician working on Emerald Mountain in early summer and on Spring Creek later in the summer. All trails on the Emerald Mountain trail system will be treated.

The affected trails and areas will be marked with yellow flagging prior to spraying, and markers will remain in place for 24 hours. The trails will be safe for use, but if you wish to avoid spraying operations, alternative trails and routes will be accessible.

The chemical used to treat the noxious weeds will be marked with blue dye for easy identification of the treated areas. Do not handle blue-stained vegetation, and keep pets at a safe distance. For more information, call Brad Setter, Howelsen Ski Hill/rodeo supervisor, at 970-871-7035 or email bsetter@steamboatsprings.net.