Meet this year’s Winter Carnival grand marshals: Doug and Susie Allen |

Meet this year’s Winter Carnival grand marshals: Doug and Susie Allen

Doug and Susie Allen
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The 110th Winter Carnival grand marshals exemplify the history of Steamboat Springs, which is considered, in equal parts, a premier resort community and a rural farming town.

Doug and Susie Allen moved from Summit County to Steamboat Springs in 1986. Doug took a job as the lifts manager at the Steamboat Ski Resort, while Susie took care of a large garden of vegetables, wildflowers and herbs while also raising cattle.

“We have alfalfa fields, and so I thought it’d be a nice idea to raise cows to feed our family with grass fed beef,” Susie said.

Doug, meanwhile, took the lead installing several high-speed lifts that are mainstays on the mountain. The Sundown lift, the Storm Peak lift and the Silver Bullet Gondola were all part of Doug’s legacy.

“That really changed the way the mountain skied,” Doug said, saying that replacing the slower fixed grip lifts with high-speed lifts was one of the most rewarding projects he worked on. 

In 1990, Doug was promoted to director of mountain operations, and that same year the governor of Colorado appointed him to the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board.  

Doug was eventually promoted to vice president of mountain operations in 2003, a job he held until he retired at the end of the 2017 winter.

While Doug has seen plenty of heavy winters over the decades, he said this year might be among the snowiest he’s seen.

2023 Winter Carnival Schedule

See a full schedule of events here:

“I was thinking earlier that it was like the winter of 2010 where we had a pretty good year,” Doug said. “But this is beginning to remind me of the winter of ’96-97 as the snowiest winter I can ever remember”

Doug and Susie raised two sons in Steamboat, Curtis and Carter. Both of their boys participated in the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and Carter became an accomplished ski racer. Curtis, the oldest, lives in California, while Carter still lives in town. 

“(Steamboat) is a great place to raise a family,” Susie said “It’s changed since then. But this core group of people are still here.”

After retiring, Doug and Susie continue to flyfish together in the Yampa River. 

While Steamboat Springs has grown quite a bit since the 1980s, the hustle and bustle hasn’t fully extended to Doug and Susie’s home in the south valley, where they continue to grow vegetables and alfalfa. 

They don’t raise cattle anymore, but during the summertime they lease out a portion of their property as a pasture for horses. 

Doug and Susie will be present for the Winter Carnival’s opening ceremonies on Wednesday, Feb. 8. They will help with the All In fundraising event on Saturday, Feb. 11, and will participate in the Winter Carnival Night Extravaganza later that evening. Finally, they’ll be pulled behind a horse-drawn sleigh during the Diamond Hitch Parade on Sunday, Feb. 12.

“It’s a great honor,” Susie said. “And when I look back at the past recipients of it, it’s even more of an honor to be grouped with those people.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

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.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.