Flu cases doubled, Steamboat Resort on pace for 400-inch season: Top stories at this week

The powder was piled up on Steamboat Ski Resort's Gravy trail on Dec. 31, 2022. Steamboat recorded 8 inches of new snow at mid-mountain on New Year's Eve, rounding out a December that saw 108 inches of snow.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

1. Steamboat Resort on pace to have first 400-inch season since 2010

Steamboat Ski Resort is on pace for its first 400-inch season in more than a decade after the snowiest December since 2007 has the slopes at the middle of Mt. Werner blanketed by 190 inches of snow.

That 190 inches is the most snowfall Ski Town, USA, has received in a season before Jan. 1 since 1996, according to a Steamboat Pilot & Today analysis of historical snowfall data from Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.

2. Flu cases doubled, strep throat tripled as Steamboat clinics treat high levels of respiratory illnesses

Urgent care clinic managers say the Steamboat Springs community is experiencing a high level of respiratory illnesses.

Across UCHealth facilities in Steamboat from August through Wednesday, Dec. 28, flu cases were double and strep throat cases were triple what they were during the same timeframe last year, said Lauren Bryan, infection preventionist at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.

3. Steamboat restaurant hopes to keep same ‘iconic’ feel as latest owners unveil new name

A temporary sign hangs above the Mountainside Grill and Bar on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. The restaurant, which is taking the former home of Rex’s American Grill and Bar, is being rebranded after Mission Hill Hospitality purchased the Holiday Inn, and the restaurant, at the end of last year.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

A temporary sign hangs above the entrance of the Mountainside Grill and Bar, as Mission Hill Hospitality took over operations of the Holiday Inn Hotel and its attached restaurant.

“The restaurant is kind of iconic, right?” Marcus Marshall, vice president of restaurants and bars, said of Rex’s American Grill and Bar, which previously occupied the space. “We want to maintain a lot of things just the way it is. … We have to change the name because Rex (Brice) is no longer the proprietor, but I don’t think guests will see much difference in the menu, or the dining room or the ambiance.”

4. Steamboat photographer retires, leaving a legacy in images

Since arriving in Steamboat Springs in 1975, nature and wildlife photographer Jim Steinberg has been creating amazing images using his vision to tell stories that are important to him.

“I told my photography students that every picture you take tells a story,” Steinberg said. “And if you can’t tell that story, then why did you push the button?”

Steinberg first came to Steamboat Springs as part of a University of Wisconsin ski trip. He moved to town a few years later and has enjoyed a long career that started with commercial, portrait and industrial photography before migrating to nature and wildlife.

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5. How to celebrate New Years Eve in Steamboat Springs

There’s no better place to ring in the new year than Steamboat Springs, and there are multiple places to party or casually mark the closing of 2022 and the kickoff of 2023. 

Steamboat Resort is once again center stage for celebration. 

Starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, snow cats donned in bright lights will accompany Steamboat Snow Sports Instructors performing synchronized skiing. When the lights go out, fireworks will light up the sky, as a massive crowd watches from the newly renovated Steamboat Square.

6. Former Marine gets 30 days in jail for wreck that killed father, son

Sentencing a 25-year-old man on Wednesday, Dec. 28, Routt County District Judge Erin Wilson told the family of a father and son killed in a careless driving wreck on U.S. Highway 40 west of Hayden that her decision would bring them no comfort.

Rejecting calls from the deceased’s family and friends to impose the maximum amount of jail time, Wilson sentenced Derrek A. Cheek to 30 days in the Routt County Jail and Detention Center, along with two years supervised probation and 192 hours of community service.

7. Pump prices to rise in Colorado after Suncor begins months-long shutdown of its Commerce City oil refinery

Motorists in Colorado should get ready to pay more at the pump after Suncor Energy announced this week it would shut down its Commerce City oil refinery for as long as three months due to equipment being damaged at the sprawling facility by last week’s “extreme and record-setting weather.”

Grier Bailey, executive director of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association and the Colorado Convenience Store Association, said “prices will be abnormally high in the next six to eight weeks” in Colorado as the 35% to 40% of the state’s gas and diesel market that is supplied by Suncor goes suddenly dry.

8. Man dies skiing with father in backcountry outside of Breckenridge Resort Saturday afternoon

A man died in an avalanche Saturday, Dec. 31, in a backcountry area called The Numbers, located outside the Breckenridge Ski Resort boundary on Peak 10, according to the Summit County Rescue Group.

A father and his adult son were caught in the avalanche around 1 p.m., with the father partially buried and the son fully buried, the rescue group said in a social media post. The older man was able to dig himself out and had to ski out of the area to get cell phone reception for a 911 call, which he made at 1:40 p.m., the post said.

9. Park City Mountain employee killed in lift accident

A Park City Mountain employee died Monday morning following a fall from a chairlift that occurred after a tree fell on the lift line.

Around 10:45 a.m, a tree fell on the resort’s Short Cut chairlift line. An on-duty employee who was riding at the time became unseated. They fell from at least 25 feet up, according to Sara Huey, senior manager of communications.

10. Routt County real estate sales eclipse $12.9M from Dec. 23-29

Real estate transactions in Routt County totaled $12.9 million across 13 sales for the week of Dec. 23-29.

23955 Fawn Creek Road
Seller: Dillard Farms Inc.
Buyer: Tanner L. Foust
Date: December 23
Price: $3,200,000
Property Description: 5,178-square-foot, five-bedroom, 4 ½-bath residence on 35.08 acres of land, Filing No. 2, Lot 1 at Farnsworth Minor Development Subdivision Exemption. Last sold for $735,000 in 2009.

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