Joanne Palmer: Construction Town U.S.A. | SteamboatToday.com
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Joanne Palmer: Construction Town U.S.A.

Steamboat Springs officially changed its name today from Ski Town U.S.A. to Construction Town U.S.A. Residents in an uproar!

Ladies and gentlemen, clamp on your hard hats and get ready. This summer, the ground will tremble, dust will fly and the air will hum with the bing, bang, boom of diesel engines, power tools and hammers as countless construction projects begin.

When it’s over – if it’s ever over – we can have a construction bowl party downtown with street dancing and a bonfire from all the scrap wood. But first some suggestions:



– Distribute free ear plugs at Chamber of Commerce.

– Stock up on Carhartts, Coors and styrofoam coolers.



– Reprint all maps and postcards.

– Restaurants offering all-you-can-eat specials should rethink their policies. They should change their menu to offer items such as ball peen burgers, backhoe burritos and Re-bar Risotto.

– Kids: Set up lemonade stands along Lincoln Avenue at Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and 10th streets.

– Set up new summer activities such as bungee jumping from any of the several cranes newly in town.

– Just like the United Way fundraising drive, big signs on the courthouse lawn need to be erected. One sign for each project. Which site will be finished first? As each phase is completed another red line can be drawn.

– A nonprofit needs to join in the fun and take bets. Call it a trifecta – a prediction of the order in which the first three projects will finish.

Let’s have an announcer on the courthouse lawn, “With overtime for all, the Olympian is ahead. Sheetrock is done and the dry wallers are standing by – wait … oh no, a lumber truck jackknifed on Rabbit Ears Pass. More bad luck, joists are on back order, putting Howelsen Place ahead by a row of bricks. But wait! What’s this? A stampede of seniors has taken matters into their own hands and strapped on tool belts. The dark horse, the Community Center, had edged out its competitors and finished the roof. Go, granny go!

– A construction command center needs to be set up and staffed around the clock with burly men drinking bad coffee and munching on stale doughnuts.

A large conference table overflowing with blueprints, Budweisers and chew will fill the room. Walkie-talkies will crackle with construction-speak:

“Billly-Bob, can you hear me, over?”

“Roger that! Joe-Bob. I hear you, over.”

“No, it’s not Beer-30. I said, is Jimmy-Joe there, over?”

At the command center, a special Webcam will capture and transmit real-time traffic information. The site will offer a construction timeline (which we residents won’t take seriously because at this point we know better), advisories (which we won’t take seriously until we know better), and video clips of the transformation of Steamboat Springs (which we will continually forward to our friends with the exclamation, “Look how we’re changing! You won’t recognize our town when you come to ski next winter.”)

Click here for hints on how to keep the dust out of your home and office.

Click there for instructions on how to get through early weekend mornings of hammers banging. Click away to hgtv.com if all this construction is rubbing off on you and you must remodel your home today!

As 2 million square feet of real estate rises and construction workers join our community, remember to buy that boy at the end of the bar a beer, smile at the dusty fellow in line at the grocery store and share a joke with the grimy guy at the hardware store.

Whether we’re Ski Town U.S.A. or Construction Town U.S.A. our warm, welcoming Western spirit is here to stay.


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