From the publisher: Pilot & Today office reopening — partially
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Pilot & Today office at 32 10th St. has been closed since mid-March because of the novel coronavirus. Our staff has worked mostly from home since, juggling work and personal lives from one spot.
That changes Monday, July 6. That’s when we will reopen our Pilot & Today office to staff while remaining closed to the public. This limited step will allow all of our employees to slowly reacclimate to our office setting in a safe and orderly fashion and abide by local protocols that restrict how many people we can have in the office at any one time. Our hope is that conditions will improve soon enough for us to safely reopen our doors to the public. Until then, I thank you for your continued patience as we interact with you from a distance.
And we thank the many businesses, organizations and readers who have supported us financially since mid-March through advertising and donations that fund our journalism. We weathered three difficult months but hope we’re through the worst of our coronavirus-driven financial challenges. Our advertising revenue, which plummeted in April and May, has been rebounding as more businesses reopen to meet consumer demand.
We’ve adjusted to meet that demand by increasing the circulation and distribution of our printed newspaper and doubling up on delivery schedules to meet a hefty appetite for our Steamboat Springs Trail Guide, Steamboat Homefinder and Best of the Boat magazines. And we’re continuing to reach sizable audiences online 24/7.
We still have a ways to go to reach pre-COVID revenue levels, but we’re heading in the right direction. And I’m proud of the work we have done and continue to do, and know that, like many other businesses in our communities, we’re more nimble and resilient than ever.
Pilot Proud: Celebrating 135 years
COVID-19 wasn’t the first major test Pilot & Today has faced over the years, and it won’t be the last. It is extremely rare for any business to survive a few generations, let alone a century, so it’s especially satisfying to know Pilot & Today will be celebrating its 135th anniversary July 31. It was on that day in 1885 that James Hoyle published the first edition of Steamboat Pilot, a newspaper that has been publishing continuously under various owners and incarnations since.
We will mark that July 31 birthday by printing a special keepsake edition called “Pilot Proud” that will capture the evolution of our company and the history of Steamboat Springs and Routt County, as seen through the eyes of our products. We’ll feature columns and interviews with previous publishers and editors, historic pages and ads, and lots of local color.
And here’s something especially exciting about all this: we will donate 20% of “Pilot Proud” ad revenue to the Steamboat Pilot Archive project at the Tread of Pioneers Museum. Pilot & Today donated thousands of historic news photographs to the museum several years ago, and Tread staff is auditing and digitizing those images to ensure they can be preserved for generations to come. It’s hard and noble work, and it requires time and money.
I encourage you to help support the “Pilot Proud” section and this terrific nonprofit project. We’ve dropped our ad rates for this keepsake edition to entice as many businesses and individuals to benefit the cause. Please contact me if you have questions or want to help.
Best of the Boat voting coming soon
It’s that time of year again, and voting for the Best of the Boat competition will begin July 13.
This is our 10th Best of the Boat competition, so we’re excited to learn which of our longtime local businesses can earn enough widespread support to earn a 10th straight win in their categories.
We’ve added more than a dozen new categories and questions this year, including some that relate to our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to celebrate the special people and entities who rose to the occasion during especially challenging times.
You can check out the current winners at BestOfTheBoat.com or by picking up a copy of Best of The Boat magazine at locations throughout Steamboat. And beginning Monday, July 13, visit BestOfTheBoat.com to nominate your favorite local businesses, individuals and accomplishments over the past 12 months.
Balloon Rodeo postponed to August
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Pilot & Today to postpone the 39th annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, presented by Vectra Bank, from this month to Aug. 29 and 30.
As you might expect, planning such a large event amid the COVID-19 crisis is a challenge. Safety is paramount, but we strongly believe we can reconfigure this iconic Steamboat event in such a way that is fun, memorable and compliant with health protocols in place in late August.
Unfortunately, because coronavirus-related health protocols are ever changing, our plans have to be especially creative and flexible. We’re in regular discussions with local officials on exactly what those plans might entail, but our current plans include twists on a much-cherished event we think the community will love. Stay tuned.
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Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When the Routt County Conservation District, with organizational roots that extend to 1942, reconstituted in spring 2019, the top priority was soil health.