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Missing bicycle: The Record for Wednesday, Nov. 24

Wednesday, Nov. 24

4:14 a.m. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers responded to a report of a woman crying inside a business in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue. Officers arrived at the business but could not locate her.

7:07 a.m. Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies received a complaint about a vehicle in the 106 block of U.S. Highway 40 in Hayden.

7:37 a.m. A homeowner asked officers to check on his house in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue because he believed someone was sleeping in it. Officers located a transient man sleeping in the house and issued him a warning for trespassing.

8:12 a.m. Deputies received a complaint about an animal in the road in the fourth block of Routt County Road 27 in Oak Creek.

10:25 a.m. Officers received a call about employees in an office in the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue not following social distancing guidelines.

2:48 p.m. Officers collected a missing bicycle in the 2000 block of Curve Plaza.

3:25 p.m. Officers received a call about a business in the 2300 block of Lincoln Avenue not requiring its employees to wear masks.

9:43 p.m. Officers received a report about minors throwing a party in the 900 block of Douglas Street. When officers arrived, no one was in the residence but they did see evidence of a party.

Total incidents: 39

• Steamboat officers responded to 19 cases that included calls for service and officer-initiated incidents such as traffic stops.

• Sheriff’s deputies responded to eight cases that included calls for service and officer-initiated incidents such as traffic stops.

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

• Oak Creek Fire Protection District firefighters responded to one call for service.

• West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters responded to three calls 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.

Howelsen Hill, SSWSC takes big air terrain park to next level

Declan Burt, 13, does a 360 during a USASA rail jam at Howelsen Hill in 2020. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Before leaving the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club after eight years as the snowboard program director, Tori Billings planted a few seeds. Now, one is starting to come to fruition as Howelsen Hill, the SSWSC and Nick Roma of The Mountain Projects Co. plan a big air terrain park that would allow snowboarders and skiers alike to improve their skills and have the best facility possible.

Currently, SSWSC staff and coaches design the park, but using technology and his experience, Roma could get the absolute most out of the area and snow to give athletes of all ages the best experience at the park.

“This is kind of the brainchild of Tori Billings, former winter sports club snowboard program director,” said SSWSC Athletic Director Dave Stewart. “She really worked hard over a long period of time to make sure the snowboard program had the features that it needs for progression.”

Roma at The Mountain Projects Co. maps the area where features could go, and makes the most of that space. Putting jumps in the right place saves construction time, snow and money, according to Roma’s social media post about the project.

Project Update: Phase 1.0SSWSC/Howelsen HillSBX/Big Air Training Area..We have spent the last couple months working…

Posted by The Mountain Projects Company on Friday, November 13, 2020

“He’s helped us with making some improvements to our existing jump line,” said Howelsen Hill Manager Brad Setter.

Roma has built Olympic venues and more than 65 international venues and actually got his start at Steamboat Resort in 2009 before heading off on his own in 2012. For the past eight years, he’s honed his craft and is now taking what he calls an “Olympic mindset” to Howelsen Hill.

“The Howelsen Hill project is a pretty special one because I think we started that conversation maybe 10 years ago when I first came to Steamboat, working with Jon Cassen and the guys at Howelsen Hill then,” Roma said. “It was pretty cool that 10 years later we’re doing it.”

When creating a new jump line at Howelsen, Roma is focusing on progression. He wants athletes who are 10 and athletes who are 16 to feel comfortable yet challenged and prepared for a competitive event.

“It’s all about doing it fast, repeatable, with the good vision of everybody involved,” he said.

Nick Roma, who got his start at Steamboat Resort, is using his world class venue-building experience to bring the Howelsen HIll terrain park to the next level.

Efficiency is high on the priority list. Whatever is built this year can be easily repeated or improved upon in years to come. Eventually, to combat the fickleness of snow, Roma hopes the Howelsen Hill crew can use dirt to build the base of the jumps and use snow to cover them.

“I’m excited to work these guys,” Roma said. “Robbie (Shine) and Brad with the city are very excited. We’re going to use some technology that’s going to save some money in the future and that’s a big goal, to help Howelsen Hill to be super efficient. … I want to build a world class training facility.”

Practicing gratitude: Science shows thankfulness can benefit body and brain

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Gratitude is deliberate, said Rachel Slick, a licensed clinical social worker and behavioral health clinician at UCHealth. “It’s not always inherently a part of us.”

It is something people have to practice; it is something that must be intentional.

“It’s paying attention to the good things around us,” Slick said.

But when people can incorporate gratitude into their daily lives, there are numerous social, emotional, physical and psychological benefits backed by science.

And it doesn’t mean living in a constant state of positivity, especially amid a pandemic.

“There’s so much pressure to think positive and look on the bright side,” Slick said. “But we can move toward simply noticing — we don’t have to be cheerleaders all the time.”

Noticing, she said, is a neutral place to start. People can notice the love they have in their lives. Or it can be more tangible — the sun shining or the car starting on a cold morning.

During what, for many, can feel like a worst-case scenario, said Dr. JoAnn Grace, finding things for which to be grateful “really is a counterbalance.”

Grace is the spiritual care and bereavement coordinator for Northwest Colorado Health Hospice and Palliative Care.

Counting one’s blessings during a worst-case scenario gives brains a break from thinking about the pandemic and its ripple effects, Grace said.

“It doesn’t have to be huge — it can be really simple,” she explained.

It’s about balance and not pretending that everything is OK, said Steamboat Springs counselor Colleen Clark Ray.

“Things are hard right now. . . but to acknowledge and give gratitude to the things that are important to you — and the people you love and who love you back — makes a difference in dealing with a difficult reality,” Clark Ray said.

Extensive research has been conducted on just how practicing gratitude can benefit the body and brain.

“Any time we are improving our mental health, we are improving our overall well-being,” Slick said.

Gratitude is linked to healthier habits — better eating, more exercise, better hygiene and regular visits to the doctor. When people are grateful for their bodies, they tend to take better care of them, Slick said.

Gratitude also can have a positive impact on self-esteem, willpower and resilience.

Grace, Slick and Clark Ray all emphasized gratitude leading to better sleep.

“It soothes the nervous system,” Slick said.

Studies show people who spend time on positive thoughts before they go to bed — and throughout the day — fall asleep more easily and sleep better.

“Gratitude can help with recovery from substance use and misuse,” Slick said.

It can mitigate stress, reduce blood pressure and ease depression.

Gratitude also can improve relationships.

“Empathy and gratitude go hand in hand,” Slick noted.

It can improve existing relationships and help people make new friends.

Grateful people tend to act with more kindness and less aggression, according to studies. Research also shows gratitude can make people more patient.

And then there’s happiness.

Gratitude has been shown to reduce toxic emotions, like frustration, regret, envy and resentment.

“Gratitude is something that leads to much more sustainable forms of happiness, because it’s not based in that immediate gratification, it’s a frame of mind,” said Emma Seppala, a happiness researcher at Stanford and Yale Universities and author of “The Happiness Track.”

Starting internally with the acknowledgment of things for which one is grateful, said Clark Lay, can guide a person’s entire day, week and even life.

“If you are spending all your time complaining, then life is going to have a negative connotation and people around you are going to be absorbed with that energy,” Clark Lay said.

Emotions, including gratitude, “drive everything that we do,” she said. “Therefore carving the space for acknowledging or acting on what we are appreciative of — like food, love, health, valuable relationships — sheds light on what we value even in challenging times.”

And while living with a grateful frame of mind is a worthy aspiration, there are smaller, deliberate things people can do every day toward that goal.

Clark Lay suggests “bookending the start and end of your day with saying something positive or giving gratitude.”

Slick advises making “time to insert gratitude when you are already winding down for the night.”

Write something down in a journal, she suggested, or think about a gratitude from the day while taking a deep breath and letting something negative go during an exhale. She also advises going over a gratitude list while stretching, meditating or sipping a cup of tea. Or express them out loud in a call with a friend or conversation with a partner.

Grace suggests some family approaches to gratitude — like filling a jar with gratitudes written on small pieces of paper at breakfast or dinner or making a holiday paper chain that grows until Christmas — each link consisting of one handwritten gratitude.

Those deliberate actions “move us to appreciation,” Grace said. “And through it all, life continues.”

A step further, said Slick, is to spread that gratitude to others, and “keep the thankfulness circulating.”

During this unprecedented holiday season, “Have grace and patience with other people. If they make a decision based on COVID that is right for them, have patience,” Slick said

The holidays can force “the concept that we always feel like we have to be joyful and celebratory, and that can actually make us feel worse,” Slick said.

This year, Slick suggests coming up with new ways to acknowledge the holidays and starting new traditions.

“There’s a lot we can’t do, and people we can’t see,” Slick said. “Gratitude allows us to be grateful for the things we do have at this time.”

There’s a quote that Slick points to: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” In it’s simplest form, it is attributed to Aesop.

A longer version is attributed to Melody Beattie: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Community leaders count their blessings during Thanksgiving holiday

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Thanksgiving is a holiday when families traditionally gather together to celebrate the blessings of the past year, and during a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever for people to find reasons to be grateful and thankful in the midst of uncertain times.

With that in mind, the Steamboat Pilot & Today asked community leaders to answer one simple question: What are you grateful for? Their answers are listed below.

The Stoller family goes hiking.

Kara Stoller, Steamboat Springs Chamber CEO

“Gratitude is what has gotten me through this year and my gratitude list is long but here are a few highlights.

• Amazing friends who lift me up and bring happiness to my life

• Dedicated coworkers and colleagues working so hard to support one another

• Easy access to our great outdoors for rejuvenation

• Incredible family who reminds me what is most important in life and bring me so much joy

I send wishes of peace and comfort this Thanksgiving to our entire community.“

The Meeks family

Brad Meeks, Steamboat Springs School District superintendent

“I am thankful to live in a wonderful community full of caring people and with amazing opportunities for adventure. The ’can do’ attitude of our community is providing hope and inspiration to all of us. I am also thankful for the incredible staff we have and all that they are doing to educate and care for our students, while supporting each other. Our entire family loves to gather here when they can. As a family, we will spend time appreciating all the good things we have in our lives.”

The Navarro family

Nelly Navarro, Integrated Community executive director

“As this year has brought a lot of challenges to all of us around the world, it has also made me think about all the things to be thankful for.

I am thankful more than ever for my family who has been there for me at all times.

My community which has shown to be resilient and caring.

For a job that I love and I can safely do from home and make a difference in people’s lives. For having an amazing team around me that have shown to be true heroes through all of this.

I am also thankful for free education, our school system has adapted and is offering free education to everybody, even those who prefer homeschool. I am grateful to have options.

I am also thankful for technology, I can’t imagine this pandemic without Netflix, internet, Zoom or Google Meets that allows us to stay connected.

I am mostly thankful for all the beauty around us, especially on those days that I am feeling all the weight over my shoulders, all I have to do is look around, put on some music and be reminded of how lucky we are to be here.”

Pete and Vicki Wood

Pete Wood, chair of the Routt County Republican Central Committee

“My family and I are thankful for the sacrifices our ancestors in this great country made to ensure we continue to enjoy our freedom and prosperity. Their courage and sacrifice for what we all enjoy must be remembered, cherished and continued in these challenging times. We’re wishing all our friends and neighbors in Routt County a very Happy Thanksgiving.”

The Harrington family celebrates Taylor Harrington’s graduation from Colorado State University.

Dr. Brian Harrington, Routt County Public Health chief medical officer

“I am thankful for the extra time with my children that I have been able to have this year, which was an unanticipated consequence of the pandemic. I have four children, with one still in high school. This spring three of my children were in college, with my oldest eventually having a virtual college graduation. When colleges closed to in-person learning they each returned home and continued on-line courses here. I never thought I would have all of my children home together again at the same time for anything longer than a week or two. Instead, our family was together three months this spring. We enjoyed activities and meals together, and played games in the evenings. Now, my wife and I look forward to having all of them home again for an extended period of time until college resumes in January.”

Tom Gangel and Catherine Carson

Catherine Carson, chair of the Routt County Democrats

“I’m thankful for my husband who is my best friend and soulmate and all of my family and friends. In addition, I’m thankful for our great, caring, positive local energy that I see every day in our community’s volunteers, public servants, essential workers and all of our neighbors. I’m thankful we live in a community where we truly care about each other and work together for a better future.”

The Fidler family

Soniya Fidler, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center president

“This Thanksgiving, and every day, I am grateful for the dedicated staff and providers at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. Every single day, they put our patients first and provide compassionate and personalized care. And in a town like Steamboat Springs, our patients are our friends and family, our children’s teachers, our local business owners, our community residents, our local workforce and our visitors from around the world. Especially in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, I’m thankful for our health care heroes. More personally, I’m grateful to hold the roles of mom and wife. My family gives me energy, immense support, unconditional love and are always up for an adventure.”

The Sinners celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico in 2019.

Christy Sinner, Hayden School District superintendent

“I am grateful for the strength of our community and ongoing support for the growth of the town of Hayden and the school district. The focus on working together to bring milestones to completion and continue to provide for the community has been at the forefront. It is an honor to wake up every day, go to work in a job I love and work with the most dedicated group of school teachers and staff. My children bring joy to my life daily and always put a smile on my face. It is a blessing to be surrounded by amazing people.”

Tim and Nikki Knoebel

Nikki Knoebel, Oak Creek mayor

“I am grateful this holiday season for the people in my life — my friends, family, co-workers and especially this year, our health care workers and first responders who continue to give of themselves for the good of the community. As I put 2020 behind me and head into 2021, I plan on continuing to focus on all the positive and good people and experiences that living in our unique and beautiful area provides.”

The Lacy family

Jason Lacy, Steamboat Springs City Council president

“If 2020 has reminded me of anything, it is that I should be thankful for all of the things that I sometimes take for granted. First, I am thankful that I have an amazing wife and three special little boys who always keep my life interesting. For any success that I have had in life it is primarily due to their unwavering support and never-ending ability to lift my spirits even on the toughest of days. While some of the days can seem long (as I am certain that parents of young children can understand), the special moments that we have together are priceless beyond what words can describe. Thank you Dervla, Declan, Ronan and Lochlan for being the constant joys in my life.

I am also thankful to live in a community that relentlessly lifts up one another through the good and bad times. During the past year, I witnessed so many people go above the call of duty to provide support to others in so many ways whether it be food, financial support or general kindness and concern for others.

If anybody wonders why this place is so wonderful, the answer is very simple — the people. From the people that work, volunteer and donate to our many nonprofit organizations to the great team of people that I work with at the city of Steamboat Springs to all of the people who work and give their time, money and talents to help others without any desire or expectation of recognition, thank you for everything you do.

Many people in this world do not have these things in their lives so I am thankful for every day that I get to live and experience all of this and so much more here in our community.”

Tim and Kristin Selby

Tim Selby, Heart of Steamboat United Methodist Church pastor

“I am thankful to live in a community where people really care about each other. I don’t know what this winter will look like, but I do know there will be people giving, serving, loving and helping to take care of their neighbors and friends. I’m so thankful to be in this beautiful valley and for my wonderful family, friends and colleagues.”

Gary Suiter

Gary Suiter, Steamboat Springs city manager

“I am thankful for my family and friends, my health and my job. I regularly think about how lucky we are to live in such a desirable place and how fortunate I am to work with a high-performing City Council and staff. We have an amazing team at the city that truly makes my job easier.”

Obituary: Betty Romaine Robson

Betty Romaine


July 25, 1921 – November 22, 2020

Betty Robson, former longtime Routt County resident, died Sunday, November 22, 2020 at The Commons at Hilltop in Grand Junction. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 28, 2020 at The Bethel Assembly of God Church in Grand Junction. Interment will take place at 10:00 a.m., Sunday, November 29, 2020 in Hayden Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Gideons International in care of Grant Mortuary.

Community spread, workplaces, gatherings fueling virus transmission in Routt County

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Increased community spread of COVID-19 and spread through known sources such as workplaces and personal gatherings are fueling the increased cases of the virus in Routt County.

It has also led to two deaths this week connected to the virus. At the Routt County Public Health board meeting Wednesday, health officials noted the new death without providing further details. Another person who lived at Casey’s Pond who had COVID-19 died Saturday.

Case counts continue to set new records each week as the spread of the virus increases stress on hospitals across the state and leads to more deaths in residential care facilities.

“We are seeing disease in all age groups,” said Nicole Harty, Routt County epidemiologist. “No one is able to avoid getting sick. We really want to emphasize the high incidence and that we’re seeing disease transmission in a variety of different settings.”

There were 128 new cases of the virus in the last week, bringing the two-week case count to 231 cases, both the highest the county has seen since the start of the pandemic. The weekly case total has set a new record each of the past four weeks.

One potentially positive sign is that new cases have increased by a lesser rate in recent weeks, a trend health officials have seen across the state.

Harty said Routt County had an exponential increase in cases a few weeks ago, and ever since, the rate of increase is less.

“(Cases are) still increasing — that is not a trend in the right direction,” she said. “These numbers are still astronomically high, and we really need to see them go down.”

Harty said the state’s red level on the dial is an appropriate level for Routt County based on current data. The county’s two-week case totals are more than double the lower limit for level red.

“Even if we had zero cases next week, we would still be in red because we had 128 new cases this week,” said county epidemiologist Fritha Morrison. “And we know that is not going to happen.”

The virus is spreading most through community spread, which has increased in recent weeks — a sign that health officials said emphasizes how integrated the virus is in the community. Officials pointed to a dinner party someone had that resulted in spread of the virus.

Hospitals across the state are filling up, and many on the Front Range have already reached capacity, said Roberta Smith, Routt County Public Health director.

Locally, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs is not at its capacity with COVID-19 cases, said Dr. Brian Harrington, county chief medical officer.

Where they are seeing stresses is when it comes to the local hospital transferring someone to the Front Range with some of those hospitals pushing back as their beds fill up, he said.

Harrington also said he is aware of two local cases of people who tested positive for the virus in the spring, texted negative during the summer and are now again showing symptoms and tested positive for the virus, a clear indication of reinfection.

Harrington also addressed PCR testing and questions about cycle threshold that was the subject of a letter published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

PCR tests have been around for a long time and are meant to detect the presence or absence of a particular virus, in this case COVID-19, Harrington said. The cycle thresholds are how many times a sample is amplified to be able to conduct the test.

Tests are required to achieve a 95% efficiency and specificity rate to get emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

“The choice of the cycle threshold is not a random pick, it is actually based on math. It is based on precedent, and it is what was dictated by the FDA,” Harrington said. “We locally don’t have anything to do with that.”

Harrington said cycle threshold information on various PCR tests is available from the FDA.

County Attorney Erick Knaus said that while the county has received a lot of requests from people for this type of information, the county has not received a formal Colorado Open Records Act request as indicated in the letter. Even if the county did receive one, Knaus said, it would not have the records to provide to the requester.

“The county does not have a record that has the information that would be requested,” Knaus said.

Restaurant community asks Routt County to pressure state to reopen restaurants

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Restaurant owners are asking the Routt County Board of Commissioners to pursue every way possible to open restaurants in some fashion, noting what has been happening in Mesa County, which is also in level red.

Mesa County created the Variance Protection Program earlier in the pandemic which requires restaurants and businesses to obtain a Five Star Certification to ensure that they are in compliance with public health orders. They were able to start this program while in the Protect Our Neighbors level of the state’s dial, a level that Routt County did not reach.

While the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment tried to revoke the program when Mesa County moved into level red, Gov. Jared Polis overruled them, allowing the program to remain in place for a limited amount of time, said Erick Knaus, attorney for Routt County.

Still, to keep the program, Mesa County would need to get back to level yellow, something that does not seem likely in the near future, Knaus said.

But for restaurants on their last leg, it is frustrating to see other counties conduct business while they have to keep their doors closed. This has restaurant leaders pushing commissioners to do whatever they can to try to reopen restaurants, especially by pressuring the state.

David Wilson, a lawyer who represents the owner of three restaurants in Steamboat Springs, wrote to commissioners trying to stress the dire circumstances that some restaurants are facing.

“Having the restaurants continue without in person dining is not only unsustainable, it will shortly be fatal to a number of restaurants in Steamboat,” Wilson said.

He identified the Mesa County program as a potential solution to allow restaurants some stream of revenue.

Scott Engelman, board chairperson of the Colorado Restaurant Association and owner of two restaurants in Steamboat, said he has been working with Commissioner Beth Melton to try to give some restaurants relief.

“We don’t want to subvert any of the mandates that are being passed down by the state, the county or the city,” Engelman said. “What we do want to do is possibly find a path that allows us to create an exception to the level red that allows restaurants to try to harness some opportunities for taking in revenue, kind of a survival tactic I suppose.”

Engelman wants Routt County to push the state to allow them to incorporate the Five Star Program locally and reopen restaurants with limited capacity.

But Knaus said he has been told this is not a possibility.

He noted the state is flexible at times, pointing to an executive order that does not allow variances even though the state has issued some variances since it was signed.

Still, there is no current variance process available to Routt County, Kraus said. Other counties have also been told they will not be able to implement such a program while at level red.

Engelman said that he wants the county to be open to the possibility of such a program, even if it doesn’t happen in the near future.

“It may be possible for us to do it and it may be far fetched, but who is to say until we take a look at it,” Engelman said

Commissioner Doug Monger said that he feels the state acted too quickly when it shut down restaurants in Routt County earlier this month.

“It was a stretch by the governor to say that we need to shut down the last 25% of the restaurant business,” Monger said.

Monger said he struggles to see how 25% capacity at restaurants would contribute significantly to more COVID-19 cases, though he admitted that is not his expertise. Monger suggested that counties collaborate with each other to ask Polis to rethink restrictions on restaurants.

Melton said that she was on a call Tuesday to learn from Mesa County and what they are doing. In that meeting it was clear that a county-by-county approach to implement programs to safely open restaurants would be difficult and a statewide approach would be better.

Still, the state is not considering such a program at this point, Melton said, but she made clear she is open to new ways to open restaurants safely.

“If there is a way that our public health experts believe can safely be open for dining in than I am all for that because absolutely our restaurants are hurting and they are critical to the character of our community,” Melton said. “I think anything that can be done should be done.”

Letter: Trump takes credit for record Dow

Trump held a 60-second press conference yesterday to brag about the Dow hitting a record high. If we go back to after his election in 2016 when the market was also hitting new highs, Trump attributed the highs back then to his election.

So to be “fair and consistent” — two character qualities that are missing in Trump’s genetic makeup — President-Elect Biden should deserve the credit for the market’s runup after his election.

Leaving market movements aside, what was truly disgusting was that on the same day that the Dow hit a record high, hospitalizations from COVID-19 here in the U.S. hit a record high as did the number of new infections. Deaths also hit a level not seen since early May.

Not a word of empathy or compassion — two more qualities not in his genetic structure — to the American people regarding the very difficult times that we are all facing.

To be fair, Trump did mention the success of the vaccines. But if anyone out there believes that is why he held this press conference then you are truly in la-la land.

And nothing was said about President-Elect Biden’s victory. Nor the fact that Trump has put the wellbeing and security of our country at risk by his refusing to start the transition in a timely matter. This delay has occurred because Trump is a spiteful and selfish individual — two qualities definitely in his gene pool. But then again it has always been about Trump and not about the people of this country.

That 60 seconds — just one minute — again illustrates why the man is totally unfit to be president of this country.

Lou Coggia

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Homefinder Winter 2020-21

Real Estate and Mountain Lifestyles

Letter: Thank you for supporting Cinema Steamboat

In 2018, Steamboat Springs was honored as a Blueprint 2.0 Initiative from the state Office of Economic Development & International Trade to launch a film festival for our community during 2020. Donald Zuckerman and his staff at the Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media provided a full year of mentorship and support from Denver Film Festival, Crested Butte Film Festival, SeriesFest, DocuWest, the Steamboat Springs Chamber and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Key to bringing Cinema Steamboat to light were John Bristol at the Chamber and additional cash support from the Steamboat Springs Film Committee.

After a year of learning and brainstorming, last weekend a grassroots group of organizations and film aficionados presented a safe, socially distanced, pop-up drive-in Cinema Steamboat film festival. The soldout Emerald Parking Lot’s attendees watched a dozen short films from inside their well-spaced cars, thanks to a big screen and an FM transmitter. The curated lineup of films represented everything from animation to documentary to drama, selected from nearly 260 submissions that poured in from all over the country during October, including the Best of Festival winner, “Latitude,” a beautiful story about Steamboat’s hometown ski racer, Anna Marno.

The Cinema Steamboat organizers include Steamboat Creates, Bud Werner Memorial Library, Steamboat Springs Chamber, Colorado Mountain College, 2005 Films, The Main Event, Whistlebird Productions and Holiday Inn Steamboat Springs. While the festival was free to attend, it wouldn’t have been possible without financial support.

Ultimately, this community’s generous donations with your ticket reservations helped make this a sustainable self-supporting event with solid aspirations for another Cinema Steamboat to come in 2021. Cinema Steamboat now resides as a program under the auspices of Steamboat Creates, with an earmarked fund for donations to seed future festivals.

Thank you, Steamboat, for supporting this wild idea of a homegrown film festival and for the overwhelming enthusiasm from all who wanted to attend. Here’s to more films and more Cinema Steamboat when we can all gather again in bigger groups. We are grateful for your patience and your support.

Learn more about the festival, our organizers and our 2020 films at www.cinemasteamboat.com.

In gratitude,

Cinema Steamboat volunteer organizing committee