Vacationers enjoy ‘Boat visits |

Vacationers enjoy ‘Boat visits

Greg Thomas brought his children — Alex, 13, and Lindsay, 9 — to Steamboat Springs during the holiday break to taste some champagne powder.

Thomas, who lives in Denver, had skied the area 16 years ago, and he remembered snow so thick you couldn’t see a mitten in front of your face or hear a friend calling your name. The powder, he remembered, was so light that you could choke just trying to breathe.

Thomas and his family didn’t find that legendary powder on their stay during this holiday week, but they did have fun.

When it was raining in Steamboat in the middle of the week, some fresh snow was left at the ski mountain’s top, and Thomas said they thoroughly enjoyed that.

“It’s just fun to be up here,” Thomas said.

The week was a busy one for the Steamboat Ski Area, as thousands of visitors came for a vacation and locals hit the slopes on their days off.

“We’re pleased by our results over the holiday period, especially with the participation from the out-of-state and international guests,” said Mike Lane of the ski area’s public relations department. “I think everyone up on the hill has had a good time, and the conditions have held up, as well.”

The conditions were disappointing to some visitors, including Connie Jenkins, who came for a week from Arkansas.

There aren’t many opportunities to ski in Arkansas, so a week on the slopes is a big deal, she said. Having somewhat icy, sometimes rocky slopes, along with the holiday crowds, was not what Jenkins was expecting.

“We just thought there’d be a whole lot more snow,” she said. This was her first time coming to Steamboat, and she said if she comes back, she might choose the week before Christmas or spring break.

The conditions didn’t phase Jeff Doorn and Jeremy Dillavou, from Lansing, Mich., who said their local ski resort is like a pool of ice, which makes any snow amazing in comparison.

The friends drove 21 hours straight to roll into town Thursday night and ski Friday. They did it spur of the moment, knowing they would have to start driving back Monday to make it back for work.

The drive was worth it, they said.

“I love it — this is awesome,” Doorn said.

Ryan Hembree of Austin, Texas, said the conditions could be better, but that he had no complaints. The upper runs were good, he said, and the crowds were spread well across the mountain.

Dan and Karen Bellus of Indiana brought their children to ski for about a week and said they enjoyed their time on the slopes. The rain was unexpected, but they said they thought the snow was great.

“For Hoosiers, it’s quite a bit of snow,” Dan said.

Overall, they said, they gave their visit an “A.”

— To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail

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