Steamboat briefs: SST prepares for arrival of USA Pro Challenge race |

Steamboat briefs: SST prepares for arrival of USA Pro Challenge race

Steamboat Springs Transit is preparing for the influx of people and road closures during the USA Pro Challenge. Downtown Lincoln Avenue from Fifth to 11th streets will be closed all day Sunday and Monday.

During this time, SST buses will use the Oak Street detour, and regular downtown Lincoln Avenue stops will be moved to Oak Street at the same cross streets. Extra buses will also be added to the route.

Transit buses downtown will be frozen with traffic during a one-hour period Monday when Oak, Lincoln and Yampa streets are all closed, from approximately 11 a.m. until noon.

Monday's routes will also add a bus circulating between City Market and the Gondola Transit Center and a revised condo area bus when traffic is shut down on U.S. Highway 40.

On Monday, buses traveling eastbound — toward the mountain — on U.S. 40 will have no stops between Third Street and Pine Grove Road. Satellite buses will be on hand at Stockbridge Transit Center to dispatch when needed.

Steamboat Springs Transit Manager Jonathan Flint suggested people should definitely use Steamboat's free bus system to get around during this time, because there will be limited parking spots downtown.

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"Plan ahead, and if you want to go downtown to watch the races, make sure to get there early," Flint said in a news release.

11,800 visitors expected in Steamboat for weekend

About 11,800 visitors are expected to be in town Saturday, according to the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's lodging barometer released this week.

The figure represents 75 percent capacity at area lodging properties, with downtown occupancy at 100 percent. On the mountain, hotels are forecast at 81 percent capacity, and condos are expected to be 69 percent full.

Lodging is expected to dip to 4,200 visitors by Wednesday.

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.

Deadline for crane coloring contest set for Saturday

The deadline for the 2015 Yampa Valley Crane Coloring Contest is Saturday. The contest is open to children ages 3 through 12. There is still time to pick up and drop off the sandhill crane scene to be colored and decorated at one of the following locations: the children's section of the Bud Werner Memorial Library, the Hayden Library, the entrance booth at Stagecoach State Park, Yampa River State Park headquarters, Circle 7 Gallery, Off the Beaten Path bookstore, Creekside Restaurant, The Homesteader, Ciao Gelato, Bonfiglio Drugs in Oak Creek, Montgomery's General Store in Yampa and the Clark Store in North Routt. The drawing can also be downloaded from the Yampa Valley Crane Festival website at Winners will be announced and prizes awarded Sept. 10 during the opening film event for the 2015 Yampa Valley Crane Festival — a free screening of "Winged Migration" at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. For more information, call 970-276-1933.

Farm storage facility loans available through USDA

The USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency has Farm Storage Facility Loans available to area farmers and ranchers.

The Farm Service Agency offers low-interest loans to grain producers to build new or upgrade existing storage facilities and permanent drying and handling equipment. Loan opportunities include, but are not limited to:

■ New conventional-type cribs or bins, oxygen-limiting and other upright silo-type structures and flat-type storage structures designed for whole grain storage.

■ Perforated floors, safety equipment, quality improvement equipment, electrical equipment and concrete components considered essential for a fully functional storage facility.

Farm storage facility loans must be approved prior to site preparation, equipment purchase or construction and must be secured by a promissory note and security agreement. The new maximum principal loan amount is $500,000. Participants are required to provide a down payment of 15 percent, with CCC providing a loan for the remaining 85 percent of the net cost of the eligible storage facility and permanent drying and handling equipment.

Additional security is required for poured-cement open-bunker silos, renewable biomass facilities, cold storage facilities, hay barns and for all loans exceeding $50,000. New loan terms of seven, 10 or 12 years are available, depending on the amount of the loan. Interest rates for each term rate may be different and are based on the rate that CCC borrows from the Treasury Department.

For more information, stop by the local FSA office or visit

US Forest Service maps accessible via smartphone

Nearly 700 digital U.S. Forest Service maps now can be accessed via a smartphone by downloading the PDF Maps Mobile App, which is available free from iTunes and the Android Play Store, according to a news release.

Through the app, users can purchase and download maps stored on their devices and can use the maps based on their location when GPS is available. The maps also will allow users to measure distance and area, find coordinates, open a current view in Google Maps, plot place marks, add notes, enter data and add photos, according to a news release.

Steamboat Kiwanis Club seeking new members

Steamboat Springs' Kiwanis Club is looking for new members who would be interested in providing service to the community, as well as attending weekly meetings on Tuesdays at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Annual dues are $125. Kiwanis was chartered in 1948 and is Steamboat's oldest service club. For more information, call Bud at 970-879-0064 or Johanna at 970-879-0211.