Steamboat’s Winter Expo is a ‘Grand’ place to schmooze
December 7, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The ballroom of The Steamboat Grand was packed with local schmoozers Wednesday night as Steamboat Springs retailers, service providers, restauranteurs and manufacturers gathered to promote their businesses during the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's annual Winter Expo.
The business people were generous with their schwag and their free samples as they worked the crowd, but the Winter Expo does double duty as a last chance for locals to catch up with a hundred acquaintances or more before everyone gets pulled back into the vortex of another ski season.
Where else, besides the Winter Expo can you feast on Asian duck legs cooked by the chefs at The Cabin in support of another Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. restaurant, Hazies?
The legendary Tom Barr, who first started on Steamboat Ski Patrol in 1980 and changed over to ski school in 1985 was there, swapping tales about the old days. How has he lasted so long on the mountain?
"I don't over work," Barr said. "I try to teach on the mountain no more than five hours a day. I still love putting on the uniform and the name tag. I'm proud to wear the uniform."
Local ski makers Scott Eckburg and Eric Baker staked out some prime turf at the entrance to the ballroom to promote their Harvest Skis. They have an offer for skiers that was creating some buzz. Once the snowpack builds up, they will be offering free demos outside T Bar on the edge of the slopes at the bottom of the Christie lift this winter.
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Steamboat Today published an in-depth article about Harvest Skis, which started out building skis in a garage on Third Street in Old Town.
Eckburg was most excited about a new fat, backcountry ski with scales on its bases, which eliminates the need for climbing skins and wax.
"Fat, scaled backcountry skis are taking Steamboat by storm," Eckburg exclaimed.
The reason ski town condos have kitchens is so that skiers who are too exhausted to move at the end of the day can dine in. But not everyone wants to struggle through the crowded aisles at the grocery store.
That's where a number of local entrepreneurs prosper in a niche grocery shopping business. Heather Andrew, who is married to Steamboat native Tyler Andrew, wanted to spend more time with her 2-year-old daughter Hailey and gave up her three-year career as a front desk manager at a local resort last winter to launch Steamboat Grocery Mom.
"My business doubled every month last winter," she said.
One of her popular services is delivering a take'n-bake pizza in advance to the refrigerators of weary travelers who have a late check-in.
Speaking of hungry people, Tasha Compos at Steamboat Baker, an offshoot of MountainBrew coffee shop that specializes in "treat delivery," said her business is increasing dramatically along with Steamboat's destination wedding business. Between serving mini-cupcakes to guests at the Expo, she said, "We did 90 (that's 90) weddings last summer," providing desserts as well as formal wedding cakes.
Carroll Zamzow at Hahn's Peak Roadhouse in North Routt put forth an enticing invitation. During their Dec. 23 Christmas party, Carroll and her husband, Darren, will offer free sleigh rides from 3 to 4 p.m. Santa will be hanging out from 3 to 5 p.m. helping to decorate cookies.