Debra Hinsvark: Celebrate Howelsen Hill |

Debra Hinsvark: Celebrate Howelsen Hill

To the Editor:

I would like to “second” the voice of the editorial board’s written celebration of Howelsen Hill that appeared in last Sunday’s paper. Howelsen is indeed a community gem – one that residents, city employees and Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club members have taken great pride in for years and one with a long history.

Developed in an area once known as Elk Park, a former small game preserve, it was renamed in 1917 for Carl Howelsen, a Norwegian immigrant who established the sport of ski jumping in Steamboat Springs. Construction of the first ski jump on Howelsen Hill began in the summer of 1914. The jump was completed and the area was open for recreation in time for the 1915 Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival – thus the 100-year celebration.

The Alpine skiing area was established in 1931, but the first lift (a “boat tow”) wasn’t built until 1934. At one time Howelsen had the “world’s longest single-span ski lift” that, I’m told, ran along today’s poma track, and then extended to the top of Emerald Mountain.

Our community loves outdoor recreation, and Howelsen is truly the cornerstone of the city’s park system and a unique recreational amenity within the state of Colorado. Howelsen provides not only ski jumping, which was the first formally developed recreational amenity within the park, but also Alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating and fat biking in the winter.

The city has records dating back to 1884 showing ownership of Howelsen Hill passing from a Mr. Maxwell and Mr. Macky to the Steamboat Springs Company, which in 1900 became the incorporated city of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The Steamboat Springs community has been an incredible steward for Howelsen Hill. City staff are excited to join the community in celebrating the first 100 years of Howelsen Hill and are pleased to be caretakers of the park as it begins its second century as a public park that is at the heart of our community.

Debra Hinsvark

City Manager

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