A place unlike any other | SteamboatToday.com

A place unlike any other

It is hard to come to Steamboat Springs and not make a return trip. With its gorgeous scenery and warm hospitality, Steamboat is more than a desirable vacation destination.

For many couples, it’s the perfect spot for a fairytale wedding.

Not only locals take advantage of the variety of special spots for their weddings. More and more, couples who have vacationed here or whose families own second homes choose Steamboat as the place to exchange their vows.

Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said Steamboat is one of the most popular mountain resort communities for destination weddings.

“Oftentimes we see people who either come to ski here during the winter or people who get engaged here, and they can’t stay away. They end up coming back for the wedding,” she said.

Jill Waldman, event planner and owner of The Main Event, said about 60 percent of her clients do not live in Steamboat year-round. A key attraction of getting married in Steamboat is that the wedding can become a vacation for the guests.

“It’s got the Steamboat flavor, and people like that,” she said. “It’s a special place, it’s a beautiful place, and it has a lot to offer.”

“Instead of just a one-day event, it becomes a weekend, and that’s so much more memorable and special,” Waldman said. “It will set apart the wedding.”

Polumbus thinks more residents and out-of-town visitors plan Steamboat weddings each year.

Polumbus said planning a wedding for summer 2006 is almost impossible because of how many people pre-plan Steamboat as their wedding destination.

“If you’re just now thinking about a summer wedding, forget about it. You need to start planning for a wedding in this area at least a year in advance,” she said.

By January, Polumbus said the top of Steamboat Ski Area, where many couples choose to exchange vows, had only two summer weekends available for weddings.

Polumbus said she also has seen an emerging trend of people planning smaller, destination-type weddings instead of larger, traditional weddings at a church.

Steamboat offers a range of special locations for small, medium or large weddings – casual and formal – and it also has the infrastructure needed to put on a top-notch event.

From photographers to hair stylists, wedding planners to entertainers and florists to chefs, Steamboat has a wealth of businesses that can make anyone’s wedding dreams come true.

Plus, Steamboat’s sunny days and mild spring, summer and fall temperatures make outdoor weddings and photographs a relatively safe investment.

Summer seems to be the most popular season for weddings, and people look to nearby ranches and in-town locations with stunning views to get married in the great outdoors.

Although summer may be the most popular season for weddings, the scenery and environment of a winter or fall in Steamboat can’t be matched.

The blankets of snow, fields of wildflowers and groves of yellow aspen trees create gorgeous backdrops throughout the year.

“Regardless of the season, there are always weddings going on,” Polumbus said. “This is such a beautiful place, and there are so many creative ways to plan a wedding.”

Polumbus said Steamboat also is an attractive wedding destination because of other regional events and activities wedding guests can take advantage of before and after a wedding. Skiing, mountain biking and hiking are just three of the myriad recreational opportunities to be enjoyed in and around Steamboat.

Couples are not just focusing on a ceremony and reception, but a series of events that are “more about the entire group sharing in the experience,” Polumbus said. “I think more and more people are wanting to give back to the people who are sharing that special day with them by giving them a whole week’s worth of things to do.”

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association markets the area as a destination for people seeking to get married or honeymoon in Colorado.

The Chamber provides lists of everything needed for a special day and for the entertainment before and after the big event, including information about spas, lodging, restaurants and event planners.

Polumbus said the Chamber Web site is a dream come true for any bride, groom or anyone else beginning the wedding planning process. Visit it at http://www.steamboatchamber.com/events/weddings.htm.

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