Chamber revamps hospitality |

Chamber revamps hospitality

Agency will give maps, training to businesses before ski season

Blythe Terrell

— Visitors to Steamboat Springs probably won’t have trouble making their way to the ski mountain this season. But if they’re seeking a restaurant or shop that doesn’t tower thousands of feet over town, navigation could be an issue.

Construction at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area could leave visitors wondering where to go. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association is preparing a push to make the town approachable. The agency plans to deliver guides to businesses so they can pass information to tourists.

“We definitely need to explain to people where you’re going to find things and how to get around up at the mountain,” said Sandy Evans Hall, the Chamber’s executive vice president.

The demolition of Ski Time Square has eliminated some businesses at the base area, though the Tugboat Grill & Pub will remain open. The restaurants and businesses at hotels, Torian Plum Plaza and Gondola Square are not affected, noted Mike Lane, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokesman.

The guide is part of the Chamber’s revamped hospitality program, Spurs on Service. Businesses can participate and get training about how to better serve visitors, Evans Hall said.

“We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can possibly do to make sure we give the guests the best possible experience they can have,” Evans Hall said. “That’s what we’re going to be working on this winter.”

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Mainstreet Steamboat Springs plans to keep visitors informed about goings-on downtown.

“We’re not planning to work on anything really at the base area,” Mainstreet Manager Tracy Barnett said. “But we are working on a concierge and general program of orientation for anyone who’s working with a guest to direct them downtown, get them downtown, get them familiar with anything going on downtown.”

Mainstreet also is working with the free city bus service to get downtown maps placed on bus walls. Tourists sometimes are confused about the location of downtown, hopping off buses at Central Park Plaza instead, Barnett said.

Her group, as well as the Chamber, is concerned that if visitors get frustrated with Steamboat, they won’t come back.

Ski Corp. is not planning any specific changes for the season, Lane said.

“I think for anyone that’s coming, we promote all that’s going on, whether it’s the mountain village or downtown,” Lane said.

One good thing going into this season is that the work force is more stable than it usually is this time of year, Evans Hall said.

“Most everyone I’ve talked to is feeling pretty good about their new hires and where they’re at,” she said. “I think we’re going to be really well positioned. We just have to pray for Mother Nature to do her part. If we can get some snow flying :”