New dating website focuses on Colorado and the outdoor lifestyle
Steamboat Springs — Scaling 14ers, climbing sheer rock hundreds of feet above the ground or ripping down an epic mountain face in new powder are seemingly minor obstacles when compared to the world of dating.
But now, adrenaline seekers and outdoor enthusiasts who care more about gear than designer labels have help in the grueling search for a potential date or a potential mate.
Based on a niche specific to Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle, Mike Keshian developed the online dating site and soon-to-be app, luvbyrd.com.
“I hadn’t seen anything like it before,” said Keshian, who lived in Steamboat Springs for four years and Crested Butte for eight and also spent summers fishing in Alaska. “It builds that common ground for people who are into the outdoors. It opens up the next door for them, and it’s easier knowing they can connect with someone who has the same interest.”
Currently available only in Colorado, luvbyrd.com was initially launched in September 2014, and the Website allows users to find matches based on their favorite activities and skill levels.
An avid skier himself, Keshian said the site will offer the option to find someone with similar skiing abilities or who enjoys the same runs or ski mountains. Essentially, he said, if a person enjoys climbing 14ers before the morning light, for example, or biking for 100 miles or more, the site points them in the right direction to find someone who can keep up.
While living in smaller mountain towns, Keshian and recently hired coworker John Weaver said they noticed a void in resources for connecting with people who shared the same affinity for the outdoors.
“On a Saturday morning, I would rather spend it out skiing than recovering from a hangover, and on this site, you find those same types of people,” said Weaver, who lived in Steamboat from early 2012 until the beginning of this year. “It’s hard to meet someone out running on a trail without making that situation awkward. But this takes that pressure off, because it’s people actively looking for a relationship who share that same interest.”
In his experience with the site, Weaver said he found many “high-quality people” with whom to connect, unlike other dating sites or apps such as Tinder.
On the user-friendly site, Keshian said, their blog offers a variety of content that features the best places to go on a first date in Denver, a list of state parks to hike, waterfalls to visit and even a list that includes, “10 Reasons to Date an Outdoor Enthusiast.”
Though dating varies from person to person, Weaver and Keshian agree the culture of online dating is changing and producing more successful relationships now than ever before.
“I think it’s the way to go,” Keshian said. “There are several statistics out there that claim 80 percent of relationships are generated through online sites in some way. I definitely think it’s how people are meeting now. From what I’ve seen and heard, people on the site are generally looking for someone and not just a hook up.”
Keshian said that, eventually, they would like to expand the site to Oregon, Washington, Vermont and New York. But for now, their focus is on the state of Colorado, and in February, they will launch the new app, in addition to a new version of the website. On March 28, he added, they will host a “LuvByrd Ski and Board Singles Mixer,” which will be similar to speed dating but on a ski lift with a chance to win prizes.
“To be honest, it’s a super-efficient way to meet people,” Weaver said. “People on the site are actively looking for a relationship, and LuvByrd narrows it down to others who are looking for the same thing. It really allows the date or relationship to progress a lot more.”
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