Avalanche buries patroller, food hall opens soon: Top stories at this week

An artist rendering of The Commons Food Hall was done by Doro Architecture. Once complete, the renovated space will house a variety of eateries and a bar under the same roof.
The Commons/Courtesy image

1. Avalanche at Steamboat Resort buried ski patroller, highlights avalanche risk in Colorado

A member of Steamboat Ski Resort’s avalanche mitigation team was caught and buried in a slide in a closed section of terrain on Tuesday, Dec. 6, highlighting how dangerous avalanche conditions are in Colorado’s northern mountains right now.

2. New concept nearing completion as The Commons food hall eyes 2023 opening in downtown Steamboat Springs

The sounds of hammers and saws fill the air inside The Commons food hall these days, but the owners are optimistic that noise will soon be replaced by the smell of wood-fired pizza, Jamaican cuisine, grain bowls, churros and other great food items.

“We’re hoping to kick off the new year with an opening,” said Sarah Boerger, business development and marketing manager for The Commons, Steamboat Springs’ first downtown food hall, at 56 Seventh St.

3. Friday gas outage in Steamboat puts mountain area homes at risk

On Friday morning, Dec. 2, an Atmos Energy natural gas outage affected many residences near Mount Werner in Steamboat Springs.

The outage caused pilot lights to turn off in many of the affected homes, and without notice from Atmos Energy, some residents have had to figure the situation out for themselves. 

4. Updated: Colorado Highway 131 back open between Steamboat and Oak Creek

Colorado Highway 131 northbound is open at mile marker 55 after the road was closed earlier Monday, Dec. 5, when a vehicle slid off the slushy, snow-packed road.

5. Driver keeps her cool as Steamboat school bus hit head-on while carrying JV hockey players

On the return trip from a weekend in Denver, a Steamboat Springs school bus carrying 17 junior varsity hockey players, two coaches and a driver got into a head-on collision with an oncoming car in Grand County. 

At approximately 11:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, an 18-year-old woman headed east in a 2007 Lexus on U.S. Highway 40 lost control of her car and crossed over the center line into the oncoming lane. 

6. There is one less taxi service in Steamboat as local company halts operations

Formerly known as Go Alpine, Steamboat Express has announced it will suspend its local taxi service while the company evaluates the program over the next 12 months. However, Steamboat Express’ service to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Denver will remain unchanged.

“With the technology we had in place for the taxi service, it requires 24/7 coverage from dispatch and the driver perspective, and with ridership falling off by 95%, it’s just not economically viable,” said owner and CEO Landon Ogilvie, who with his wife purchased Go Alpine in 2019.

Stillwater Reservoir was drained in August 2021 for inspections to determine upgrades needed to the aging infrastructure.
Colorado Division of Water Resources/Courtesy photo

7. Stillwater Reservoir west of Yampa in need of expensive repairs

When the 75-foot dam for Stillwater Reservoir was built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps for the former Yampa Reservoirs Public Irrigation District, it was well constructed to meet engineering standards at the time.

But by today’s standards, the dam’s abutments would be addressed differently, said Dana Miller, dam safety engineer with the Colorado Division of Water Resources in Steamboat Springs. As a result, the aging dam infrastructure needs expensive upgrades to bring the structure up to current safety standards, Miller said.

Since it was constructed, the dam at approximately 10,300 feet elevation has experienced consistent seepage issues where the sides of the dam abut the hillsides. If not addressed, the seepage could eventually lead to a failure of the dam, Miller explained.

8. Early estimate puts cost of expanding the Yampa Valley Regional Airport at $30 million

When built in 1966, the Yampa Valley Regional Airport terminal was just 6,000 square feet. Numerous additions since, the last completed in 2020, now have the building’s footprint at 72,000 square feet.

Airport Director Kevin Booth says it’s already starting to feel small.

Ben Ryder helps Odin, 5, get his skis ready and on at opening day 2022 at Steamboat Resort on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

9. Steamboat Resort now more than 50% open

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Steamboat Resort opened five lifts and 46 trails, bringing the grand total of open terrain to about 1,500 acres, according to the resort.

Steamboat Resort is 2,965 acres, so more than 50% of its terrain is open just 10 days after its opening day.

10. Four lots in Hayden’s planned industrial park are already under contract

Even though it will likely be two years until the sites are actually built, Hayden’s yet-to-be-constructed industrial park already has four of its first 11 building sites under contract.

Just these four tenants — one expanding from out of state — could add as many as 55 jobs in Hayden.

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