Mad Rabbit and road closures: Top stories of the week at

Several trailheads on Rabbit Ears Pass, including this one at Fox Curve, are slated for improvements to better accommodate summer recreation in the updated Mad Rabbit trails proposal from the U.S. Forest Service. Fox Curve, seen here on Oct. 24, 2022, is generally used during the winter, but would see increased trails, and some rehabilitation of unsanctioned trails as part of the Mad Rabbit project.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

1. Resort owner’s donations to Lauren Boebert’s campaign irks ski industry climate advocates

Jay Kemmerer, the owner of Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, has long supported candidates who oppose progressive climate policy, even while his ski area promotes climate action.

Colorado’s U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Western Slope Republican who considers policies to curb climate change part of an “anti-energy agenda,” has raised $6.3 million for her 2022 reelection campaign. A list of the employers of her top donors published by includes “Jackson Hole Mountain Resort” in Wyoming, at No. 15. 

2. Mad Rabbit: 52 miles of new trails, rehabilitation of 36 miles, return of trails near Mad Creek

The long-awaited Mad Rabbit trail system proposal includes 52 miles of new trail construction and the removal and rehabilitation of 36 miles of unauthorized, user-created trails.

According to the draft environmental assessment released Monday, Oct. 24, most of the work on the project would happen along U.S. Highway 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass, but the updated plan includes two new trails that would be accessed from the Mad Creek Trailhead north of Steamboat Springs.

3. Group opposing Steamboat’s proposed STR tax raises $82K with help from vacation rental companies

Buoyed by donations from local short-term rental operators, the campaign to defeat Steamboat Spring’s ballot measure proposing a 9% tax on short-term rentals has raised more than $82,000, according to reports from the city clerk’s office.

The largest single contributor to Citizens for Responsible Housing Policies is the Steamboat Springs Community Preservation Alliance, a group that has ties to online short-term rental giant VRBO.

4. UPDATED: Police leave nothing to chance in motor home investigation

Officers were engaged in a high-tension situation as they searched for a suspected car thief in an industrial lot at the end of Curve Court, behind the Routt County Justice Center, on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney and Yampa Valley resident finds his name on the Stanley Cup at Howelsen Ice Arena on Thursday, Oct. 27. The cup was available for public viewing for a couple hours.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

5. Former NHL goalie set to bring Stanley Cup to Steamboat on Oct. 27

The Stanley Cup, North America’s oldest professional sports trophy, is coming to Steamboat on Oct. 27. 

Steamboat resident and former NHL goalie Curtis McElhinney will be bringing the cup around town in honor of his Stanley Cup championship runs with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021. 

This week’s weather had the slopes of the Steamboat Ski Resort looking like winter on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Of course, it’s going to take a few more wintery days before skiers and riders can start making turns.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

6. Steamboat’s first snowfall starts off week of powder chances

For the first time this season the Champagne Powder Cam at the top of Steamboat Ski Resort measured accumulating snow on Sunday, Oct. 23, and there is more where that came from.

Snow started falling overnight and by 4 p.m. on Sunday about five inches of snow had built up at measuring station near the top of the mountain. The camera at mid-mountain near Thunderhead Lodge showed even more snow, with close to eight inches at 4 p.m.

7. UPDATED: Colorado Highway 131 open in both directions

Colorado Highway 131 was closed in both directions at mile marker 53 around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, due to multiple accidents, slide-offs and hazardous conditions, according to a Routt County Alert.

Owner Dominic Franciosi, and Chef Sean Yeats stand inside the new Franciosi Brothers Tap and Table in Hayden on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. Franciosi, and his brother Anthony, opened the first Franciosi Brothers location in Oak Creek in 2020 and have now expanded to the new Hayden location, which opened Oct. 8.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

8. Franciosi Brothers hoping second pizzeria finds recipe for success

Anthony and Dominic Franciosi have expanded their operations and are optimistic that their recipe of success at the business’ Oak Creek location will deliver at Franciosi Brothers Tap and Table a new pizzeria at 105 W Jefferson Ave. in Hayden.

9. Rabbit Ears Pass to close Friday morning for vehicle recovery

Colorado State Patrol plans to close U.S. Highway 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass on Friday, Oct. 28, while crews remove a crashed commercial vehicle.

Cars line the street of the Whitehaven Mobile Home Park Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. The more than 70 residents of the park could soon lose their homes after a developer has made an offer on the west Steamboat Springs property. The Yampa Valley Housing Authority will consider making an offer on the property during a special meeting on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

10. Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s offer to buy Whitehaven Mobile Home Park accepted

After almost three months of uncertainty, the roughly 70 residents at Whitehaven Mobile Home Park can put their fears to rest.

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