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PHOTOS: Steamboat Springs volleyball defeats Battle Mountain

Tori Bilbrey, a senior on the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team, tips the ball over the net during a game against Battle Mountain on Thursday night. The first set took half an hour, with the Sailors topping the Huskies, 25-23. Steamboat won the second set as well, 25-18. The final score did not come in before press time.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs volleyball team won 3-1 over Battle Mountain in four long, competitive sets Thursday night.

Set one lasted half an hour, with the Sailors topping the Huskies, 25-23. Steamboat won the second set as well, 25-18.

Battle Mountain pushed back in the third, winning 25-19. The Sailors stayed strong, though, winning the fourth 26-24.

Steamboat Springs High School volleyball junior Holland DelGuercio takes a swing during a game against Battle Mountain on Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Sophie Diehl, a senior on the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team, blocks a hit from Battle Mountain senior Karol Loera during a game Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Ashlyn Robson, a junior on the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team, serves during a game against Battle Mountain on Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
The student section cheers on the Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team during a game against Battle Mountain on Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Springs High School volleyball players Tori Bilbrey and Ashlyn Robson attempt to block a shot from Battle Mountain senior Delaney Gersbach during a game Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
The Battle Mountain volleyball team celebrates a huge point during the first set against Steamboat Springs on Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Right, Steamboat Springs High School volleyball head coach speaks with senior Sophie Diehl during a timeout in a game against Battle Mountain Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Springs High School volleyball senior Dani Weber jumps as the official signifies a Steamboat point after a brief deliberation during a game against Battle Mountain Thursday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Springs Volleyball Schedule

Aug. 24 - at Moffat County, W 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-20)

Aug. 26 - vs. Middle Park, W 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-18)

Aug. 31 - at Soroco, L 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 24-26, 23-25)

Sept. 3-4 Glenwood Springs Tournament, 3rd of 11

Sept. 14 - at Eagle Valley, L 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 25-23)

Sept. 16 - vs. Battle Mountain, W 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 26-24)

Sept. 18 - at Thornton Tournament

Sept. 21 - at Glenwood Springs, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 1 - at Summit, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 8 - at Palisade, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 9 - at Central Grand Junction, 1 p.m.

Oct. 14 - vs. Glenwood Springs, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 - vs. Eagle Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 - at Battle Mountain 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 30 - at Aspen, 2 p.m.

 

Housing Authority names 20 locals to steering committee for Brown Ranch development

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority closed on this property west of Steamboat Springs on Aug. 11. It is now being called the Brown Ranch. The Housing Authority is hoping to use the 536-acre property as the site for locals housing for the Yampa Valley.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Vanessa Avitia is just 13 years old, and she loves living in Steamboat Springs. But her parents have said if they are not able to buy a house in the next few years, they likely are not long for the Yampa Valley.

With this in mind, Vanessa, who interns at Integrated Community, applied to be on the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Steering Committee, which will be tasked with planning the new development on 536 acres west of Steamboat Springs — now being called the Brown Ranch — purchased with a donation from an anonymous donor.

“I wanted to be on the steering committee, because I would be the most affected when this project would conclude,” Vanessa said. “Now that this project has started, there is hope that we can stay in Steamboat, and I think that is really what sparked my interest.”

She is one of 20 people who were named to the steering committee Thursday during the Housing Authority board of directors meeting. The field was narrowed down from about 90 high-quality applications.

“It is a big group, and it’s quite honestly a product of the fact that we had such a deep pool of applicants,” said Jason Peasley, executive director of the Housing Authority. “Everyone who is on there has this incredible set of skills and experiences, and we didn’t really want to sacrifice that.”

The Housing Authority is stressing that this project will be one that is done by locals for locals, and 100% of the housing that is built will be for Routt County residents.

Peasley said the steering committee will come up with various project objectives that the Housing Authority can constantly refer back to through the monthslong planning process

“When we are struggling for direction, let’s go back to these objectives,” Peasley said. “We’re building housing for locals, and it is going to be affordable and all those types of things that help focus our efforts so that we can get to an end product that is actionable … that after 12 months of working on this, the Housing Authority has a game plan to go out there and execute.”

The newly appointed steering committee members come from a variety of backgrounds — some have lived in the Yampa Valley since they took their first breath, and others have only been in the community for about a year. There are health care workers, a university professor and multiple people with experience in urban planning, land use and housing development.

The youngest is 13-year-old Vanessa Avitia, and the oldest is Roger Ashton, who is 69. Three of the 20 are from the local Latino community, and committee member income varies as well, though not all applicants reported their income on their application. Four of the 11 applicants shared that they make $75,000 or less per year.

“I was born and raised here, and I firmly believe in continuing the legacy of those community makers who came before me,” said Megan Moore-Kemp, energy solutions manager at Yampa Valley Electric Association, who was named to the committee Thursday. “I’m really excited to roll up my sleeves to continue what I see as a legacy and provide that future for others who live here.

“I don’t want to be the last one who made it work,” Moore-Kemp added.

She is also on the committee as a representative for the electric co-op, because the company is invested in the community and recognizes workforce housing issues that are affecting local businesses.

Andrew Beckler, a 34-year-old who owns local ski pole and paddle maker Grass Sticks, said he thinks Routt County is at a tipping point for housing, especially when it comes to small businesses.

“We’re growing, and I am seeing these hiring issues firsthand, and I, myself, am at the point where I want to look into owning property here, owning a home, and it’s not very possible in Steamboat,” Beckler said.

Gates Gooding, 38, who grew up in Steamboat, actually wrote his master’s thesis on the impacts of the then-Steamboat 700 development proposal and has worked on large-scale development projects.

“On one hand, we know that we have a housing crisis, and this is a great thing,” Gooding said. “But I think it can also be a scary thing, and I see part of that, as well, with so much growth, so many more units and so many more people that it will support moving into town.”

There is not someone in their 20s on the committee — a demographic that makes up a lot of the seasonal workers in town.

“I feel like we are seeing our 20- and 30-year-olds having to go to the Front Range or going to larger metropolitan areas versus finding stuff to keep them here,” said Patrick Staib, an associate professor in sustainability studies at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs. “I’d be cautious to say I could be a voice for (younger people, such as CMC students) but at least a conduit to their concerns.”

For Ed MacArthur, longtime local and owner of Native Excavating, the Brown Ranch project is a gift for Steamboat and has put a lot of responsibility on the committee.

“This money was put in place to create and develop affordable housing,” MacArthur said. “I think this should be something that the community keeps in its stock for a long time.”

Members of the Steering Committee for Brown Ranch project

Andrew Beckler

Anne Warhover

Cecelia Escobar

Ed MacArthur

Erin Miller

Gates Gooding

Genevieve Kalmes

Kimball Crangle

Dr. Kristen Brown Wilson

Lina Grant

Marsha Daughenbaugh

Megan Moore-Kemp

Patrick Phillips

Patrick Staib

Roger Ashton

Sarah Jones

Tatum Heath

Tim Wohlgenant

Vanessa Avita

Webster Jones

‘Dangerous’ bear euthanized after entering another Steamboat home

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers euthanized another bear in Steamboat Springs on Thursday after officers say it lost its fear of humans and was entering homes in search of food.

At noon Tuesday, two days before the bear was put down, it entered a home on the east side of town through an unlocked sliding glass door and got into the refrigerator.

The homeowner reported the same medium-sized black bear with brown fur had ripped out the front screen of the house the previous day and had gotten into another home in the neighborhood.

The wildlife officer believed this bear was a threat to public safety and set a bear trap at the location.

“A 200-pound bear in hyperphagia that has no fear of entering a home in search of food is a dangerous bear that poses an imminent threat to humans,” said Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf in a news release. “Luckily, this bear hadn’t entered an occupied home, yet. A wild bear in a confined space with humans would be very dangerous for the homeowners. Unfortunately, we’ve had several similar situations in Steamboat Springs recently.”

At 6:45 a.m. Thursday, the bear returned, was caught in the trap and identified by the homeowner. Wildlife officers responded and euthanized the bear.

On Sept. 7, another bear on the east side of U.S. Highway 40 in Steamboat was put down after gaining entry to food through an unlocked garage.

“It’s important to be diligent this time of year and secure any attractants you might have around your home, especially in areas where there is known bear activity,” said CPW Public Information Officer Travis Duncan in a news release.

Mark Collins ends extended stint as interim county manager

Friday marks Interim Routt County County Manager Mark Collins’ final day on the job.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

When the only Routt County manager in history retired in March 2020, there were a few weeks where there wasn’t a county manager. The deputy county manager role was also vacant and has been since.

In a pinch, Commissioner Beth Melton stepped in to cover the duties of the top county job until a true interim could start.

“It felt like it was approximately 25 years,” Melton said about the role as “interim-interim” county manager. “It was the very beginning of the pandemic, and it was crazy.”

Through the vast statewide network of county and city managers, Mark Collins learned the position was open and applied, expecting it to last about six months.

Collins said the interview was right around St. Patrick’s Day last year, when the pandemic was just starting to ramp up and Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. had just ended the ski season early.

“Of course, we were aware that some things were happening out there in public health across the country, as well as in the state and in Routt County, but we didn’t know the magnitude of what was going to occur,” said Collins, who will end 18 months as interim Routt County manager Friday. “When I (started), we were in full scale pandemic mode.”

Collins joined the county during a tumultuous time, with commissioners having just issued their first local public health order, the county recorded its first COVID-related death, and county employees were working from home. Entering a tough situation, county employees say Collins was an excellent leader, helping guide the county when there was so much uncertainty.

“He was a breath of fresh air and really what the county needed,” said Robin Schepper, county public information officer who was hired just before Collins.

The first months of his job were almost all virtual. He worked out of a home office in Old Town Steamboat, only coming into the county manager’s office in the historic Routt County Courthouse when he knew there wouldn’t be many people around.

“The irony is I’m really a people person,” Collins said. “I’m very outgoing in my style, but I couldn’t make those contacts with everybody.”

Friday marks Interim Routt County County Manager Mark Collins’ final day on the job.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

One of the most important things Collins said the county did was start up the Routt County Public Health Department, which did not exist when he arrived, as then the department was shared between Routt and Moffat counties.

“I don’t think I’ve ever faced that kind of challenge before,” Collins said. “The cupboard was bare, and we literally had to build a brand new public health department.”

Collins said he shares much of the credit for creating the department with Roberta Smith, who was hired as the department’s new director.

When commissioners opted not to hire any of their finalists for county manager last year, Collins offered to stay on until they found one, extending what he thought would be a six-month job into one that lasted a year and a half.

But Kendra Alfieri, officer manager in the county commissioner’s office, didn’t understand why they needed to launch another search. She felt the county had found its new manager.

“I’m so sad. He has been so fantastic for us. He has innovative ideas, he is approachable, he is so easy to get along with,” Alfieri said. “He has been instrumental to us, especially during COVID to have someone who just has a positive attitude even when dealing with difficult situations.”

Collins was offered the full-time job as county manager unofficially, but it was never something he wanted. At 68, Collins came into the job never seeking another permanent position, instead wanting to move his family back to the Western Slope.

What will be most missed, county employees said, was Collins’ sense of humor. They say he only knows five words of every song, and he constantly sings short little jingles. He comes to the office with movie and sports trivia.

“He has a great sense of humor and is truly one of the most encouraging people I have been around in a very long time,” said Julie Kennedy, purchasing agent for the county. “He is a real professional, and I am going to miss him a lot.”

On Monday, Collins will start a new role working with an executive search firm that seeks out people like him to fill the kind of roles he has worked for years. Still, Collins has contracted what some say is the Yampa Valley Curse. He bought a house near Stagecoach and will be seen riding his bike around the valley for the foreseeable future.

Commissioners joked at meetings this week that Collins was unable to end the pandemic, and there is a lot for new County Manager Jay Harrington to do when he starts Monday. And Collins has offered to help him with the transition if needed.

“He sets you up for success, which is huge. He sets everyone up for success, and he makes it easy and fun,” said Jennifer Parent, administrative assistant in the commissioner’s office. “We will miss him. Jay has got big shoes to fill.”

Obituary: Larry Guss

In Memoriam

Larry Guss

April 30, 2021

Celebration of Life – Larry H. Guss

A life, so fulfilled, deserves a special celebration. You are invited to honor the life of Larry Guss, so shine your boots and dust off your hat. We ask that you leave your sadness at the fence, but bring your stories, laughs, and happiness over a life that was lived to the fullest and shared with so many.

The service will take place Saturday, September 25, at 11:00 am at the Elk Mountain Cemetery, located on Lower Elk River, RCR44. Following will be lunch at Sharron’s Restaurant from 12:00 – 2:00.

Obituary: Judith Harrington

Judith

Harrington

March 24, 1945 – July 21, 2021

Judith Ann Harrington passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on July 21, 2021, in Steamboat Springs, CO. A Celebration of Life will be held on September 25, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Steamboat Art Museum, 801 Lincoln Avenue. To read the full obituary please visit: yampavalleyfh.com/obituary/judith-harrington

Obituary: Eugene M. Germain

Eugene M.

Germain

January 22, 1941 – August 1, 2021

Gene Germain was born January 22, 1941 and passed away on August 1, 2021. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 24th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Oak Creek, Colorado. Arrangments handled by the Yampa Valley Funeral Home.

PHOTOS: Steamboat’s rising stars celebrated at 20 Under 40 event

The newest group of 20 Under 40 honorees were celebrated Wednesday at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs. The event is hosted by Steamboat Pilot & Today in partnership with the Young Professionals Network. Alpine Bank was the event’s presenting sponsor.

With this year’s Class of 2021, 100 young rising stars in the Routt County community have been honored since the program began in 2016. 20 Under 40 recognizes outstanding young professionals in the community for their career accomplishments and contributions to the community.

This year’s winners included Caitlyn Bambenek, Katie Carroll, Kelly Cook, Bill Crosby, Ian Frazier, Peter Hall, Emily Hines, Adrienne Idsal, Lennae Jenkins, Matt Johnson, Patrick Johnston, Kelly Latterman, Michael Marchand, Laraine Martin, Nelly Navarro, Jason Regan, Angelica Salinas, Maggie Taylor, Renzo Walton and Rebecca Williams.

The 2021 class of 20 Under 40 were celebrated Wednesday at the Yampa River Botanic Park. This year's group of winners included Caitlyn Bambenek, Katie Carroll, Kelly Cook, Bill Crosby, Ian Frazier, Peter Hall, Emily Hines, Adrienne Idsal, Lennae Jenkins, Matt Johnson, Patrick Johnston, Kelly Latterman, Michael Marchand, Laraine Martin, Nelly Navarro, Jason Regan, Angelica Salinas, Maggie Taylor, Renzo Walton and Rebecca Williams. The event is presented by Steamboat Pilot & Today with support from the Young Professionals Network. Alpine Bank was the event's sponsor.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Ian Frazier celebrates after being honored at the 20 Under 40 celebration Wednesday evening at the Yampa River Botanic Park.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today.
Steamboat Pilot & Today Publisher Logan Molan presents an award to Lennae Jenkins at the 20 Under 40 celebration at the Yampa River Botanic Park on Wednesday.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Bob and Ropbin Schellen.
John F. Russell/Steamboat PIlot & Today
Reall and Jason Reagan
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today.

 

From left, Annmarie Blodgett and McKenzie Hughes.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Tara and Bill Crosby
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Colin Kemp and Maggie Taylor.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Rosanna Lobitz, Peter Hall and Anna Hall.
John F. Russell/Steamboat PIlot & Today
Steamboat Pilot & Today Editor Lisa Schlichtman presents an award to Matt Johnson and his daughter Kate at the 20 Under 40 celebration at the Yampa River Botanic Park on Wednesday evening.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Matt Johnson and his daughter Kate "The Great.“
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Pilot & Today Publisher Logan Molen introduces Alpine Bank Senior Vice-President Andrew Zaback on Wednesday as they honored the 20 Under 40 class of 2021. Alpine Bank sponsored this year’s event, which was presented by the Steamboat Pilot & Today and the Young Professionals Network.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Cait Bambenek and Brian Huegel.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Elissa Greene and Katie Carroll.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Michael Marchand and Adrienne Stroock.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Angelica Salinas and Adam Basse.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Mary Schrader, Josh Schrader, Ian Frazier, Samantha Pal Frazier, Anna Cross and Mason Cross.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Josh Schrader, Ian Frazier and Mason Cross.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

From left, Mark Golembiewski and Chelsey Moffat.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Rebecca, Silas and Drew Williams.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Ian Frazier and Samantha Pal Frazier.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Ana Gomez and John Bristol.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Kelly Latterman and Harry Murray.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Patrick and Ginger Johnston.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Emily Hines and Glen Hammond.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
From left, Patrick Johnston, Ginger Johnston and Maddie Labor.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
The lawn at the Yampa Valley Botanic Park was full Wednesday night during the 20 Under 40 event.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Members of the Young Professionals Network of Steamboat Springs, including Zach Love, Sylvia Wappes, Maren Franciosi, Madison Keeffe, Angelica Salinas, Michael Marchand, Rachel Sinton and Alex Long.
John F. Russell?Steamboat Pilot & Today
Those who came out for Wednesday evening’s 20 Under 40 celebration toast the class of 2021.
John F. Russell/Steamboat PIlot & Today

Wildlife at a ranch: The Record for Wednesday, Sept. 15

Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021

6:01 a.m. Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an animal complaint on Routt County Road 27 in Oak Creek.

7:09 a.m. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers were called about a bear in the 1300 block of Dream Island Plaza.

10:06 a.m. Officers received a call about a person trespassing in Central Park Plaza.

12:59 p.m. Officers responded to a motor vehicle hit-and-run on Oak and Third streets.

6:38 p.m. Officers responded to reports of harassment inside a business in the 1800 block of Central Park Drive.

8:24 p.m. Deputies were called to an incident of wildlife at a ranch in the 40000 block of Routt County Road 44.

Total incidents: 55

• Steamboat officers responded to 27 cases including calls for service and officer initiated incidents such as traffic stops.

• Sheriff’s deputies responded to 20 cases including calls for service and officer initiated incidents such as traffic stops.

• Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters responded to six calls for service.

• West Routt Fire Rescue firefighters responded to one call for service.

• North Routt Fire Rescue firefighters responded to one call for service.

The Record offers a glimpse of police activity and is not a comprehensive report of all police activity. Calls such as domestic violence, sexual assaults and juvenile situations typically do not appear in The Record.

 

Experience Hayden’s history, scenery with Ride the Cog fundraiser

Ride the Cog will take place in Hayden on Saturday. The bike ride benefits the Hayden Heritage Center.
Ride the Cog/Courtesy photo

HAYDEN — The annual Ride the Cog fundraiser is way more than a scenic bike ride. It showcases historic Routt County while raising money for the Hayden Heritage Center. The seventh edition of the event is Saturday with registration beginning at 8:45 a.m. at the museum.

“I don’t know if a lot of people know the little town of Hayden’s got a museum,” said event organizer Wes Dearborn. “It’s a neat little spot that’s a train station. It’s exactly like Steamboat’s train station. They have a lot of artifacts or historical goodies they want to display. … We’re trying to bring some awareness to the museum by having an event in Hayden. That’s really the cause. The bicycle ride is a good ride to display Hayden and the surrounding areas and that it does have some great gravel riding around, but that’s sidelined to the cause.”

Dearborn started the event seven years ago as a ride to benefit ALS. The Hayden Heritage Center took over the event and is now the main beneficiary of the ride.

The Heritage Center uses the money raised by the ride to continue putting on the event, as well as fund museum projects. Over the past few years, they’ve constructed sheds on the property to house artifacts and donations they don’t have on display. Eventually, the museum plans to expand the existing building so every item can be on exhibit all the time.

The Hayden Heritage Center didn’t just take over the fundraiser to raise money but also to highlight the history of the area, which aligns with its mission.

“The routes that we send people on have been used historically for ranching, hunting practices, and you can even see … the valley where the settlement of Elkhead used to be,” said Emily Waldron, vice president of the Hayden Heritage Center board. “Even though most of those houses and homesteads you can’t see where they were anymore, that valley, at one time, had quite a lot of homesteaders in it. There’s a natural historical connection.”

Ferry Carpenter, a rancher whose homestead on Routt County Road 80 is locally protected, used to bike to and from town in the early 1900s. The Hayden Heritage Center has photos of Carpenter and his bike, as well as other old bikes.

Ferry Carpenter, a well-known figure in Hayden, sits astride his bicycle at Oak Point. Carpenter would ride the Cog regularly from his homestead to town in the early 1900s. At Saturday's Third annual Ride the Cog fundraiser, participants can take part in three different bike rides while supporting the Hayden Heritage Center.
Courtesy photo

Ride the Cog offers four distance options ranging from the 19-mile Breeze Basin Breezer to the 43-mile Combined Ride. Online registration is open now at HaydenHeritageCenter.org, and in-person registration is available on the morning of the ride.

The rides begin between 10 and 11 a.m. and conclude at the historic Hayden Granary, where an after party will be taking place. Each participant will be given two drink tickets to the event, which will be catered by Sage and Spirit. There will also be live music by 3Wire. Nonriders are welcome as well with an entry fee of $15.

Contact the Hayden Heritage Center at haydenmuseum@zirkel.us or call 970-276-4380 for more information.

Unlike its neighbor to the east, Hayden doesn’t have a packed schedule of bike races and rides. Ride the Cog could begin a trend of getting more events in western Routt County. There are miles of gravel roads that see far less traffic than the roads around Steamboat.

“The thing about Hayden, even though it’s only 25 miles west of Steamboat, it’s totally different,” Dearborn said. “It’s an arid desert kind of climate, and it’s completely different with the cogs and gulches and the landscape and the wildlife, generally, and sagebrush and rolling hills.”