UCHealth brings Checkout initiative to Steamboat to encourage connection

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A long, long time ago, before mile-long stampedes of humans fought each other for Black Friday deals while others spent the day couchbound, digesting yesterday’s meal with a heaping serving of today’s social media, the Friday after Thanksgiving was a time to connect with friends and family. UCHealth is working to re-designate the day as a time of connection with its Checkout initiative, which offers a smorgasbord of fun, free, family-friendly events for all.

The campaign launched last year in Denver; this year, it’s expanding, with UCHealth locations hosting events all over the state, according to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center communications specialist Lindsey Reznicek. Steamboat Springs’ events include:

Friday, Nov. 29

  • A special surprise at Rakta Hot Yoga during the 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. classes
  • 10 a.m.: A free movie screening of “Frozen 2” at Metropolitan Wildhorse Cinema (registration required at
  • 2 to 3:45 p.m.: Free skate rental and ice time at Howelsen Ice Arena
  • 100 free water slide passes at Old Town Hot Springs

Across the state, other chapters of the initiative will also be offering park and museum passes, a range of fitness workouts and other activities, including an outdoor, family-friendly bootcamp in Loveland, free tickets to the CSU Rams vs. Boise State Broncos game in Fort Collins and a free performance of “Goodnight Moon” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. 

“We started hosting these events to encourage families to make the most of their time off doing fun activities with one another as we kick off the holiday season,” said UCHealth chief marketing, experience and customer officer Manny Rodriguez. He noted that ditching electronic devices for a day to focus on connecting with family and friends has both physical and mental health benefits, a point elaborated on by UCHealth Integrative Medicine Center psychologist Carrie Landid.

“We know that being face-to-face with people and having positive interactions will improve your mood. It improves your self-esteem, it makes you feel cared about and connected, and it has wonderful effects on your brain,” Landid said. 

In addition to the organized activities, the Checkout initiative also offers tips for checking out anytime, any day, including turning off electronics in restaurants, starting a sing-a-long in the car, going for a walk, starting an art project, calling a relative you haven’t spoken with in a while and more ideas at

“I think, especially in Steamboat, people do choose to check out on their own, even if it’s not through an initiative,” Reznicek said. “This just gives more encouragement to do so.” 

Find more details about UCHealth’s Checkout initiative at

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.