Steamboat Springs City Council to begin tabling at Ski Free Sundays |

Steamboat Springs City Council to begin tabling at Ski Free Sundays

There were bluebird skies over Howelsen Hill Ski Area for early season Ski Free Sunday on Sunday, Dec. 13.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

In an effort to connect better with their voters, Steamboat Springs City Council members will begin tabling at Ski Free Sundays, which are every Sunday at Howelsen Hill.

Members will walk around, sit at a table and ski with residents.

“Maybe we take a run with somebody, or we ride a chair with somebody,” said Council President Robin Crossan. “That’s where we get to have a real conversation as opposed to sitting down with your coffee in a formal setting.“

The idea came after council members previously tried coffee and cocktails with council, both of which led to the same crowds appearing each time and discussions either feeling forced or out of hand.

After council stopped their planned events years ago, members began tabling at the Main Street Steamboat Farmer’s Market, where they heard much more candid concerns from residents and interacted with those they may never have otherwise.

“The farmer’s market was invaluable to me,” said council member Michael Buccino. “It was really our chance to get out there and talk to the public.”

Buccino said the market provided less opportunities for in-depth conversations than planned meetings did, but interacting with more community members made the option much more attractive.

As for tabling at Howelsen Hill in the winter and the farmer’s market in the summer, members felt both venues would provide opportunity for casual interactions between city residents and their elected officials. Because Ski Free Sundays see a wide array of residents, members also felt they would be able to reach populations they could not with coffee or cocktails.

“What happens at the farmer’s market is so casual and basically random, and that’s great,” said council member Joella West. “If we want to have a year-round presence on that really casual basis where you just never know who’s going to show up and what they’re going to say, I think we should be at Howelsen.”

While she agreed any form of communication between council and the public is positive for the community, council member Dakotah McGinlay was concerned the council may not reach historically underrepresented populations at the farmer’s market and while skiing.

“Whether they’re constantly working and they can’t reach the farmer’s market, or they don’t have the ski gear and they might not be at Howelsen,” McGinlay said. “Somewhere where we can reach all sectors of the community in that casual way would be really great.”

To reach a greater segment of the population, council members agreed to explore tabling outside of City Market, in addition to Howelsen.

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