More snow and Postal Service struggles: Top stories of the week at

Gabriel Gassaway blows heavy, wet snow out of his driveway in the Riverside neighborhood, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. More snow arrived in Steamboat Springs earlier this week thanks to an atmospheric river.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

1. Atmospheric river arrives in Steamboat Monday night, bringing more snow to town

The National Weather Service predicts upwards of 3 inches of snow for the beginning of the week. Another storm is expected to pass over the coming weekend, but with the current chaotic weather patterns, it is too far out to accurately predict the snowfall it will bring. 

2. Postal Service customers frustrated as Steamboat office seeks solutions

Despite her best efforts, Jennifer West struggles to hide the frustration in her voice when she talks about the inconsistent — and sometimes nonexistent — mail service in her Blacktail neighborhood south of Steamboat Springs.

“I want to get my mail, and I want to get answers,” West said. “I don’t want to get lies and be told to go in and wait an hour in line and get on some list because it’s clear that they’re sorting some things — a lot of junk mail is getting sorted — but the packages are sitting somewhere.”

3. Yampa Valley Electric Association joins Colorado providers in lawsuit against Xcel

Yampa Valley Electric Association, an Xcel Energy wholesale customer, is one of four Colorado electric co-ops that filed a complaint against the state’s largest energy provider, Wednesday, Jan. 4.

YVEA, Core Electric Cooperative, Grand Valley Power, and Holy Cross Energy asked federal regulators for an order requiring Xcel to refund $6.9 million of the $17.5 million it charged wholesale customers following a weather event in February 2021. The four co-ops provide power to 570,000 Coloradans. 

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4. Avalanche closes U.S. Highway 40 near Berthoud Pass

An avalanche closed eastbound and westbound U.S. Highway 40 between Mary Jane and Robbers Roost Campground around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Twitter. CDOT posted on that the road reopened at 4:10 p.m.

The owners of the Chief Theater building, pictured here on Jan. 9. 2023, are in the process of lining up investors for a renovation they are hoping will make the cultural and performing arts venue a centerpiece of downtown Steamboat Springs. The theater was first opened in 1927 and was owned by Harry Gordon, a decendent of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. For a decade, the historic downtown theater has been home to the Friends of the Chief, who were tenants before the theater was closed in January 2021.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

5. Developers hope to move forward with renovations at Steamboat’s Chief Theater by summer (with video)

To those walking past the Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat Springs, it may seem as if nothing has happened since the owners of the building closed the iconic downtown entertainment venue in January 2021.

However, building owners Kori McClurg and her husband, Barry Sherman, explained that is not the case as they move forward with their plans to renovate the community-centered arts and entertainment venue. That work could begin as early as this summer.

6. Mountain lions killed 15 dogs in 30 days near a Colorado town. Attacks continued and now a lion is dead.

Pam Rose texted a Colorado Parks and Wildlife official on the evening of Dec. 9 to tell him she had started to fear for her 11-year-old daughter’s safety because two mountain lions seemed to be casing her home.  

The lions had been around for weeks by that point. Rose had seen them watching the horses from a hillside on her land in the Roosevelt National Forest. Reports of lions attacking dogs in her immediate neighborhood, coupled with their sudden interest in the livestock and Bagel, had put her nervous system in “overdrive,” she says. 

An early depiction of the indoor pickleball courts at the completion of the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center’s $11 million expansion project.
Court Sports for Life/Courtesy photo

7. ‘It’s going to happen’: Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center takes first step of Phase 2

Short on funding, Court Sports for Life, the nonprofit that runs the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center, held a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5, to discuss the second phase of its expansion project. The board determined to continue moving forward with the project while maintaining the understanding that more funds need to be raised.

Priced at $11 million, the nonprofit has raised $6.5 million and can borrow up to $3.3 million meaning there is still $1.2 million required to fund the project.

8. Steamboat City Council adds narrow exemption to STR licensing regulations

In a letter to council, Resort Group President Mark Walker asserted that as drafted by city staff, the change would only exempt one entity — The Steamboat Grand — though some council members and City Planning Director Rebecca Bessey said they believe more could qualify.

“This proposed exemption language was proposed by staff to be very narrow, to not create a potential loophole that hundreds of short-term rentals may fall within,” Bessey told council members.

Cooper Gutierrez performs during a MusicFest free concert.
Matt Stensland/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

9. MusicFest brings Texas country, a Grammy winner, and more free shows to Steamboat

The Texas Red Dirt show known as MusicFest is back in Steamboat Springs for the 37th year, showcasing about 70 artists and bands at more than a dozen venues between Saturday, Jan. 7, and Thursday, Jan. 12.

Venues are scattered across the Steamboat Resort base area and even extend up the slopes. The variety of locations in which people can take in a few tunes is just one of the many things that make MusicFest such a special event. 

10. Colorado ski area snowpack far above January average

If you’re thinking the snow gods have been very generous to Colorado skiers and snowboarders so far this season, you’re right.

Nearly every ski area in Colorado is reveling in above-average snowfall, some of them well above average. And, according to OpenSnow founding meteorologist Joel Gratz, there is only one explanation for the storm cycle that has been in place for weeks: Luck.

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