Steamboat briefs: Skier who died at ski area identified as James Wasicka |

Steamboat briefs: Skier who died at ski area identified as James Wasicka

— Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg identified the man who died skiing on Mount Werner on Tuesday as James Wasicka, 70, of Louisville, Kentucky.

Wasicka was at Steamboat Ski Area skiing with a friend from the Denver area when he collapsed on the mountain about 2:45 p.m.

An autopsy is being performed today on Wasicka to determine the cause of death.

“It looks natural,” Ryg said. “It wasn’t a crash. It wasn’t a tree.”

Ryg said he suspected it was a heart event and the autopsy would make a final determination.

Ryg said Wasicka retired after a career with the major technology company, IBM.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

Visitor total expected to reach 9,900 this weekend

About 9,900 visitors are expected to be in town Saturday, Dec. 19, according to the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s lodging barometer released Wednesday.

The figure represents 63 percent capacity at area lodging properties, with downtown occupancy at 77 percent. On the mountain, hotels are forecast at 51 percent capacity, and condos are expected to be 67 percent full.

Lodging is expected to dip to 8,900 visitors by Wednesday, Dec. 23.

The chamber’s lodging barometer is based on survey data from local lodging properties. Its primary function is to help businesses determine staffing levels during the winter and summer tourism seasons. Actual lodging occupancy levels tend to increase from the forecast levels as a result of last-minute bookings.

Steamboat graduate receives masters degree from UNC

Lindsey Yost received her masters of science degree in sports administration from the University of Northern Colorado on Dec 11. A 2010 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, Yost received her bachelors of science degree in sport and exercise science in 2014.

Applications for Routt grant cycle due 6 p.m. Jan. 11

The Routt County United Way’s grant cycle is open, with grant applications due 6 p.m. Jan. 11. Visit for a full grant criteria and application procedures. Grants may be applied for online at

This year, applicants must complete a short report, and there are separate member agency and program agency applications. Program agencies can request up to $1,000 in grant funding. Contact Kate Nowak at 970-879-5605 or for more information.

Dads, kids hosted at Excel Gymnastics on Saturday

Fatherhood Program of Routt County is hosting dads and their kids from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at Excel Gymnastics. There will be an open gym, crafts, games, face painting and snacks. The event is an opportunity for dads to spend quality time with their kids and hang out with other dads. Space is limited. To sign up call 970-870-5289 or email

Library continues ‘Food for Fines’ during December

During the month of December, local children can pay off their library fines while helping local families in need by participating in Bud Werner Memorial Library’s annual Food for Fines program. For every can or box of food kids bring to the Kids’ Desk, the library will waive $1 of overdue fines. All food will be donated to the local LiftUp Food Bank of Steamboat Springs. This program is for youth 17 and younger, on juvenile or student library accounts, during the month of December, and is not valid for replacement fees. Visit for more information.

Colorado LEAP enrollment 2015-16 season underway

Colorado’s Low-income Energy Assistance Program is accepting applications for its 2015-16 season through April 30. With an increase in applicant income qualification this season, more Coloradans will qualify for assistance with paying their home heating costs.

LEAP is a 100 percent federally-funded program administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services which provides cash assistance to help Coloradans pay a portion of home heating costs during winter months.

The program pays the highest benefits to those with the highest heating bills and the lowest incomes by family size. This year, applicant income was raised from 150 percent to 165 percent of the federal poverty level, which equates to $3,334 per month for a family of four. 

To qualify for LEAP, applicants must be responsible for paying heating costs directly to an energy provider, fuel dealer or as part of their rent; and be permanent legal residents of the United States and Colorado or have household members that are U.S. citizens.

LEAP-eligible households may also qualify for programs that inspect a home’s primary heating source, such as a furnace or wood burning stove, and weatherization upgrades that improve a home’s energy efficiency.

The state of Colorado also offers a rebate of property tax, rent and heat expenses to low-income seniors and disabled persons. Visit the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website at for more information and the rebate application booklet. 

To review LEAP qualifications, call 866-432-8435 toll-free, or visit to view the most current program application requirements and to download an application.

4th- to 8th-graders invited to participate in orchestra

Local fourth- to eighth-grade students are invited to participate in the free Winter Gardens Children’s Orchestra, which meets weekly in the Steamboat Springs Middle School band room. Beginners will meet from 7:15 to 7:50 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and intermediate players will meet from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Visit or call 970-291-1028 to register or for more information.

Common grant applications availble from arts council
Applications for the Steamboat Springs Arts and Culture Coalition 2016 Common Grant grant program are now available. Any 501(c)3 organization that provides arts and cultural services to benefit Routt County residents is eligible to apply for funding. Call Steamboat Springs Art Council Executive Director Kim Keith at 970-879-9008 or email for more information or application assistance.

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