Kara Stoller: Grateful for Steamboat community
Mother Nature was good to us this year with a beautiful and long fall, my favorite time of year. I was not left pining for more weekends of hiking and mountain biking as I so often do. The extended season had me excited and grateful to see the mountain get more and more snow over the last few weeks. It made me more anxious to step into my bindings and make some turns.
Moving from one season to the next here in our little slice of paradise is a time of anticipation. While storing our mountain bikes and golf clubs, we unpack snow gear thinking about how many powder days we will rack up over the coming season.
The excitement for a new variety of outdoor adventure every few months certainly makes me appreciate this wonderful place. I am thankful to live in a community that places high value on healthy, active lifestyles. It’s a community that values the natural beauty that surrounds us, that puts a priority on getting outside and connecting with our neighbors on trails or chairlifts.
Living in a community that has so many amazing amenities makes it easier to live a happy, healthy life. Our expansive trail network allows us to engage in many activities for just a few minutes or for days on end, right in our own backyard. We can golf or play tennis at wonderful public facilities. We can ski at Steamboat Ski Resort, Howelsen Hill or in the vast wilderness areas just a short drive away. The Yampa River provides fun year-round, albeit for the heartier individuals in the winter and early spring. And after a long day of play, we have world-renowned natural hot springs for relaxation and rejuvenation.
The arts and culture experiences in our community is growing by, what seems like, the hour. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade recently designated Steamboat Springs as a Creative District giving acknowledgement of the breadth of arts here today and providing support for future endeavors and awareness. The collaboration from so many arts and culture organizations is opening more opportunities to enhance what is already available to us here in Northwest Colorado.
In addition to all the amazing things already mentioned, we have a community of passionate, generous, caring, intelligent and fun people. There are hundreds of individuals and organizations in our community putting in thousands of volunteer hours to better all aspects of life for those who live here. Tomorrow’s United Way Community Thanksgiving Dinner gathering is another perfect example of our inclusive and giving culture.
There are endless reasons why Steamboat Springs is an incredible place to live. Many of those reasons are also why people travel far and wide to visit this special place. How lucky are we that people choose to experience our way of life for their vacation and help make possible many of the amenities that we enjoy year-round?
As we near Thanksgiving, let’s remind each other of all there is to be grateful for, living in the magical Yampa Valley.
Kara Stoller is CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.
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