Eddie Briones: Keepin’ It Steamboat
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
When I talk to the folks that have been living here since the beginning of the ski resort, I use that as a reference because it put Steamboat Springs, a ranching and agriculture community, on the map. They say that housing has always been an issue — affordable that is. This is an issue that has always been here.
Why it’s so prevalent now is because of population growth of our town and county. With that growth comes a whole new demographic of people that moved here because of the job first, then outdoor lifestyle second or vice versa. For me, it was outdoors first, job second, and I’m sure that most of you can say the same or vice versa.
We were all living here happy because we had jobs, sometimes three at once, we were playing, working and had a roof over our heads, which seemed like it was affordable, and we were sharing a refrigerator with four other friends. To some, that wouldn’t be ideal, but to us, it was everything we needed. We lived, played and worked in that order.
We were happy, interacting and even hanging out with the out-of-town visitors. In turn, they were happy because they were interacting and socializing with the locals and getting the inside scoop of the place they wished they lived in. “Your vacation is my life” is what I would always say to them. The true character of Steamboat Springs is a welcoming and friendly attitude.
Fast forward to present day. These days, I can feel an energy that’s a bit off in town, and I’m sure that a lot of you do, too. People are on edge because they work, sometimes three jobs at once, and still can’t afford to live here, so they leave. Visitors are stressed because service and services are not what they used to be due to lack of staff and help. So the people that do stay and work are surely not interacting or socializing with visitors because that’s the last thing they want to do when they’re done working. Now, visitors are interacting and socializing with only other visitors and are not experiencing the true Steamboat Springs we all know and love.
We, as a community, are out of balance. We need to get back to that friendly, hometown attitude that we all love about Steamboat Springs, which didn’t happen by accident. It happened because we had a great network of happy, healthy residents. And when the community is happy and balanced, we welcome visitors and friends alike, give back to our community and work together to solve challenging issues.
This new City Council is poised to influence the future of Steamboat Springs for many years to come and bring balance back. I believe that together we can get that balance, and I also believe that I can be one of the City Council members that gets us there.
I’ve been a part of this community for 25 years. I’ve probably met you once or twice, skied and biked with many of you over those years. If you don’t know me, ask around, ask your friends. We all know each other somehow and are connected by someone, and if I haven’t met you, it’s a matter of when, not if. It’s the way of the small town.
My character, integrity, openness, humility, a listening ear and the ability to bring people together are what I bring to the table. So if you haven’t already voted, please consider me. Eddie B for City C.
Eddie Briones is a candidate for the at-large seat on Steamboat Springs City Council.
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