Marijuana use affecting the workforce, skier death and proposed reservoir: Most read stories of the week at

1. Marijuana use impacting performance of Routt County workforce 

The first retail marijuana store in Steamboat Springs opened nine years ago, selling legalized recreational pot for adults 21 and older. Now, experts say, a higher use rate, increased potency and perceived normalization of use could be affecting the workplace.

2. Man dies after incident at Steamboat Resort

A 65-year-old man from Kentucky died Friday, Jan. 13, at Steamboat Resort when he was skiing with his son and crashed into a tree well. The pair was on the Morningside part of the mountain.

This graphic produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows a diagram of the proposed West Fork Reservoir.
US Department of Agriculture/Courtesy graphic

3. Details, fears emerge during Northwest Colorado forum concerning proposed reservoir in southern Wyoming

As officials representing federal and Wyoming state agencies answer questions and collect public comments for a proposed reservoir in southern Wyoming, a forum in Craig revealed fears over aridification, human traffic, effects on wildlife and more. An overview of the proposed West Fork Battle Creek Reservoir project details how it could produce a 10,000 acre-feet water storage volume.

4. Afternoon rescue mission turns into 8-hour scramble to save a backcountry skier

A 23-year-old skier who exited Steamboat Resort through a backcountry gate prompted an eight-hour search involving both ski patrol and Routt County Search and Rescue. Search and Rescue began the search at 3:30 p.m. and received word at 11 p.m. that the person had self-rescued.

5. Yurt operator at a Colorado state park disappeared with guests’ money

Jill Brabec and her family were packed and ready for their unplugged, ski-in Thanksgiving trip to their favorite yurt in State Forest State Park. The little trailer at the edge of the park where they typically checked in with Never Summer Nordic Yurts was empty and dark. The sign on the door — “Be back soon!” — was not freshly hung. They poked around the campground across the way. Knocked on all the doors they could find. They went into nearby Walden, wondering if anyone knew where the operators of Never Summer Nordic might be. 

A traffic sign warns drivers making their way on U.S. Highway 40 Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 that winter weather is moving into the area, along with challenging driving conditions. The forecast predicts more snow beginning Tuesday night and into Wednesday.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

6. Just how much snow can Steamboat expect this week

A strong series of atmospheric rivers that helped propel Steamboat toward above–average snow so far this season is winding down, with the last shot of moisture from that pattern landing in the Yampa Valley this week. While Northwest Colorado is doing better than the state as a whole in terms of snowpack — the Yampa, White and Little Snake river basin is at 152% of its 30-year average right now — this storm looks to hit southern Colorado and the Front Range more than Steamboat Springs.

Strawbs Jones, a bareback rider from Qeensland, Australia, looks to regain control after landing the jump during the 2023 Bud Light Cowboy Downhill Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 at the Steamboat Resort. The annual event brings cowboys and cowgirls to Steamboat Springs who have been, or are competing at the National Western Stock Show, which is taking place in Denver Jan. 7-22.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

7. Cowboy Downhill brings plenty of thrills, spills to slopes of Steamboat Resort

Traditionally, the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill is full of cowboys and cowgirls ready to take on any challenge including big air, tight gates and high-speed spills. However, that’s not what brings these competitors to Steamboat Springs every January.

“The Cowboy Downhill is special because of the people,” said local cowboy legend Brent Romick. “That’s what it’s all about, you know. The competition is great, and everything else is great, but when you get to see all of these folks, that’s worth it every year.”

Steamboat Resort President Chris Diamond
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

8. Former Steamboat Resort president Chris Diamond died Thursday at 76-years-old

Chris Diamond, the president of Steamboat Ski Resort for 17 years before he retired in 2015, died on Thursday, Jan. 12, according to the Yampa Valley Funeral Home. He was 76 years old.

9. Snowfall a Steamboat Resort this winter has already surpassed all of last season

With the six inches of snowfall recorded the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 18, Steamboat Resort has officially seen as much snow this year as it did all of last winter.

The 2022-23 total snowfall at mid-mountain has exceeded 254 inches, according to the resort website, eclipsing the 250 inches that fell through the entirety of the 2021-22 season.

This winter has actually surpassed the previous winter as well, and has nearly met the total of 261 inches in the 2019-20 season, although that one was cut short due to the pandemic. Stipulations or not, this winter is on track to be one of the snowiest in Steamboat.

10. Property taxes 101: Owners should prepare for big increases on May notice

The more than 28,000 property taxpayers in Routt County should be prepared for somewhat shocking increases in their 2023 property tax estimates, which will be mailed out May 1 as required by new state legislation.

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