Yampa, Oak Creek benefits from Ski Corp. funds
Steamboat Springs — The city of Steamboat Springs will not be the only recipient of money annually given by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
The communities of Yampa and Oak Creek will receive about 14 percent, or $10,600, of Ski Corp.’s $75,000 allocation to fund capital improvements.
Every year, Ski Corp. allocates $100,000 to the city, with $25,000 going for maintenance of the parking structure at Ski Time Square and $75,000 going for above-ground projects that meet a certain number of requirements.
The Steamboat Springs City Council Tuesday night approved recommendations made by Ski Corp.’s contribution committee to fund 13 separate entities, including $14,000 to the Colorado Olympian Committee for upgrading the jumps at Howelsen Hill and $3,000 to the Steamboat Springs Rotary for the purchase of new trees and shrubs for Rotary Park.
South Routt Elementary in Yampa received $7,000 from Ski Corp. to further the development of a playground.
People who live outside of Steamboat Springs experience many of the same effects of living close to a popular tourist destination, South Routt Elementary Principal Troy Zabel said.
In funding projects outside of Steamboat with Ski Corp. money, the committee recognizes South Routt’s ties to the ski season, he said.
“These communities are impacted very heavily by both the positives and the negatives of the ski area,” Zabel said.
Oak Creek Town Manager Ray Leibensperger took advantage of potential Ski Corp. funding to give spectators a place to sit while watching family and friends move across the ice.
A $3,600 contribution will allow the town to place bleachers and trash cans at its outdoor hockey rink.
“Currently we have no seating facilities,” Leibensperger said. “It will really fill a need.”
Many employees of the ski area and workers who fill tourist-related positions commute from South Routt to Steamboat, he said, making them an integral part of the ski industry.
He said he appreciated the help from Ski Corp., which was merited in communities other than Steamboat.
“We have a need as much as anyone else,” he said. “We do have a lot of ski resort employees and their kids use facilities like these.”
The seven-member committee that recommends which projects should be financed by Ski Corp. meets four times a year to review applications for the funding, city staff assistant Kim Symalla said.
Only in recent years has some of the money been earmarked for surrounding communities, she said.
“It’s Ski Corp. money that depends on tourism, and the greater population that works in tourist-related jobs in Steamboat does not always live in Steamboat,” she said.
Applicants’ projects must be highly visible to the public, generate interest from the greatest number of people and improve the quality of life in the community, she said.
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