Skier and snowboarder code updated, Steamboat Resort celebrates: Most-read stories at this week |

Skier and snowboarder code updated, Steamboat Resort celebrates: Most-read stories at this week

Skiers descend out of the fog on Buddy's Run on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 at Steamboat Resort.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

1. Skier and snowboarder code expands to include two important rules

The 60-year-old Your Responsibility Code for skiers and riders was expanded at the beginning of this ski season to include two new safety measures related to avoiding skiing and riding while impaired by alcohol or drugs as well as sharing contact information after a collision.

“Reckless skiing is really a challenge, and people watching their speed and being respectful of people on the mountain needs to be front and center,” said Dave Byrd, director of risk and regulatory affairs at the National Ski Areas Association based in Lakewood. “It continues to be the focus of ski patrol and mountain operations at ski area, and it’s going to be a challenge and remain with us moving forward.”

2. Higher use, increased potency of marijuana may be affecting workforce

The first retail marijuana store in Steamboat Springs opened nine years ago this month, 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.

Workers intoxicated from pot while on the job is a prevalent and dangerous nationwide problem, said Ben Cort, CEO of the Foundry Treatment Center in Steamboat and a treatment and prevention consultant. He added that workers showing up to jobs intoxicated from marijuana can lead to accidents, injuries and poor work performance.

3. Company hoping to offer skiers, boarders new option to access backcountry

Chris Whiteneck, co-founder of Private Catz, said the company is pumping the brakes on its plans to rent side-by-side vehicles that would allow backcountry skiers to access Buffalo Pass, but Private Catz will continue to offer rentals in other areas.

“The attraction of Buff Pass is the fact that you guys get more snow earlier in the season than most of Colorado, especially in relation to where we live,” said Whiteneck, who added that the option is not off the table. “That’s what I’m striving for, and as long as the permitting process goes to plan next year, I would hope to be operating there.”

John Fetcher, far left, helps load the first bullwheels for the Christie chairlift onto his ranch truck in Long Beach, California, in 1962.
Jay Fetcher/Courtesy photo

4. Getting up the mountain: Installing the first chairlift at Steamboat Resort was no easy feat

Locals like Pete Wither started skiing on Mount Werner years before there was any lift to bring them up the mountain. Instead, Wither recalls riding up to the top of what is now Christie Peak in a Jeep on a road that wasn’t plowed very well.

“It was pretty rough actually,” Wither said. “We’d take turns driving, and everybody would get a run down.”

5. Revisiting the roots: Steamboat Resort celebrates 60 years

As Steamboat Resort marks its 60th anniversary this month, changes at the ski area have become more and more remarkable each year from its initial beginnings with a single Cub Claw poma lift and $2 lift tickets.

Steamboat Springs resident Pete Wither, 80, who has skied at the resort every year since it was created, remembers being part of the summer scouting trips in the late 1950s to determine the best place to build runs.

6. Owner hopes his roofing business will rise to new heights in Steamboat Springs

Zach Harper envisions his business venture as a way to service the community he has come to love while securing his family’s future in Northwest Colorado.

“We’re just a young family trying to make it in Steamboat,” said Harper, who founded Storm Peak Roofing Company earlier this month. “We are feeling the struggle and just trying to make it work.”

Steamboat Resort’s 150-drone show featured a tribute to Ski Town USA’s Olympians on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 at Steamboat Resort.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

7. Steamboat Resort celebrates 60th anniversary with a drone show and more this weekend

On Jan. 12, Steamboat Resort turned 60, celebrating six decades since a locally owned ski hill called Storm Mountain opened with one chairlift and a poma.

To commemorate the occasion, the resort is hosting an event like none other: a drone show. 

8. 50% increases on electric bills due to higher natural gas prices Xcel Energy passes on to YVEA

Eva Vaitkus has watched her electricity bill for her Steamboat Springs home climb throughout the end of 2022.

Over the summer, it was around $150. Then it was $200 in November, followed by $230 in December. But the hike this month that brought her bill from Yampa Valley Electric Association into the $450 range caught her off guard.

9. Expert offers time-proven tips to help skiers, riders stay safe on the slopes

After 30 years working at Steamboat Resort including 20 years on ski patrol, Duncan Draper has seen his share of lost equipment, misplaced children and “barefoot,” a nickname for tired skiers who take off their skis and walk down a run.

Yet, one of the best lessons he learned for families to stay safe and ski smart comes from his experience with his own children.

Chris Diamond was a skiing icon, and made Steamboat Springs his home after falling in love with the community.
Diamond family/Courtesy photo

10. Friends, family pay tribute to ski industry icon Chris Diamond

Those who knew Chris Diamond describe the former president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Resort as devoted, caring and passionate, and say those qualities reflected in his leadership during his time in Steamboat and throughout his four decades in the ski industry.

“It started with his passion for the industry, his love of this community and his dedication to this resort in terms of staying true to our 60-year history of being western, family friendly and genuine,” said Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.

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