Cedar Beauregard: Howelsen’s value key
I think it would be a huge mistake to undervalue how important Howelsen Hill is to this community. I think it is the very fabric that holds the “Ski Town USA” logo together. It might not be the “destination” resort for locals to ski, but it is the place past and future Olympians “learn” to ski.
If the fact that thousands of school-aged children are developing meaningful life skills on the challenging terrain every year isn’t enough, look at the simple economics of creating a network of champions that represent Steamboat globally for the past century, currently, and for the next century.
Hig Roberts, a self-proclaimed “Howelsen Hill ripper” from Steamboat, was just named to the Alpine World Cup team this past week. This is essentially like being in the NFL and coming from Steamboat High.
Let’s say, once again, like the other 88 Olympians before him, he makes the Olympic team, and once again Steamboat is on the world stage. How much is that “worth?” It’s invaluable to our community pride, value structure and image.
But what is the dollar value in pure advertising exposure? That question needs to be considered when talking about the cost of maintaining Howelsen Hill and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Without Howelsen Hill, I’m confident the “Ski Town USA” logo becomes a hollow statement.
On a side note, I hate talking about Olympians. As a Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club participant and now coach, I assure you it’s not the end goal but rather a product of something much more meaningful than the title “Olympian.” I have witnessed the creation of great humans through the challenge of winter sport, and I feel the club is the best in the nation at capturing that potential.
I bring up the title “Olympian” here, because that is a valid economic driving force in our community, and it really needs to be considered when hard numbers are before us.
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