Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween in Steamboat

We had a great Halloween in Steamboat. They just shut down the main street through town for 6 blocks and literally everyone in town shows up whether they have kids or not you see almost as many retirees as parents. The merchants give away candy and toys but the best part is seeing so many friends in one short night. Alden and Neve had a great time. If you are wondering I had to get a little creative costume wise (a real strech for me) so I was a powder pirate, don’t stop above a nice powder field if you are skiing with me. I will be sure to hop in before you.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Skiing in downtown Steamboat Springs

We went over to Howelsen to get Alden on the snow again. He can’'t wait until the big mountain opens and may be looking forward to skiing even more than I am (which is not easy). He has plenty to learn, at age 3, but he picks is up fast and makes up for anything he is lacking in enthusiasm. The SSWSC Nordic director Tom Wilson walked over to talk to him and asked if he would commit to being a Nordic skier now and join his team. I said we were flattered but a boy has to keep his options open and do it all for a while. He thought that was a good idea but said he would watch for Alden in a year or two.

If you haven't been over to Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs it is worth checking out. Right next to where Alden was skiing the Nordic Ski jumping team was getting in their last "summer" practice in on the year round nordic jump the community put in last year. Clint Jones, a Steamboat Olympian was there and we got to see him jump. The sense of history is palatable there since Howelsen hill is where Steamboat's ski traiditon was started nearly 100 years ago. Many dreams have been realized there and local kids can be found working hard to continue that legacy nearly every day all year long.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Christmas in Steamboat

Here is what I call a white Christmas and my favorite present from Santa besides time with my family and friends. I took this picture of a friend just before Christmas 2005. Now that Santa has my list for this year I thought I would prod any of you that haven't made your Christmas plans yet to get your sleigh moving. I read today that One of the larger management companies is 80-85% booked for Christmas 2006 already. Steamboat is a great place to spend the holidays so this is no surprise but it is about 20% ahead of normal driven by earlier bookings and increased interest in Steamboat.

Once you have booked your tickets make sure to book key dinner reservations to places like Cafe Diva, Harwigs, Cottonwood Grill and Antares ASAP as they do fill up ahead of time over the holidays. Next plan some great dinners at home because those are always special.

If you are looking for gift ideas for the whole family Ski gear comes to mind first here in Steamboat. The local's choice and of course my own is Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare at 5th & Lincoln.It is a great shop with genuine people that give great advice. Steamboat Fly Fishing and Straightline Sports have great fly-fishing and general sport outerwear. If Nordic is your game I recommend the Steamboat Touring center at the Sheraton Golf course.

If you need to spoil your wife I recommend sending her to a local spa. These can book up early too so make an appointment now. The Homesteader is a great kitchen store if you want something unique for your favorite chef. I recommend going big for your wife and Santa may just bring you an extra trip to Steamboat this year which is also another great idea as a gift the "rest of your family.

If you need proof to show your kids that Santa really exists a friend of mine has put together a pretty entertaining Santa tracker page that even has a time lapse video of Santa in action at his house last year. He also does an extensive display of lights and Christmas decorations with a webcam that you can control over the internet, they have made national TV and print news for a few years in a row now. Alek is both really smart and has some time on his hands so both pages are a pretty fun diversion for kids.

Call me at 970-875-2962 or send an email to jon@mybrokers.com if you need more ideas, I have more than I can write about here. HO HO HO

Go back to the Steamboat Springs, CO blog main page for more.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Video of Alden Skiing in Steamboat

We got another good snow storm up here in Steamboat so my son Alden was waiting with his skis "almost" on last night when I got home. He is 3 1/2 and it was getting dark so we walked across the street and got at least 50 quick runs in. Needless to say I am a very proud daddy. Alden talks about skiing even more than I do and can't wait to get out on the big mountain. Press the play button below the box to see the video and make sure your speakers are on to here the glee he derives from skiing. I have a feeling we will be out again tonight and will head up to the pass this weekend for some longer runs. Check out more of Alden's skiing in better light over at Howelsen hill in downtown Steamboat Springs. Thanks you stopping by to all of the visitors from ski-blog.com

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Steamboat Powder skiing in this year's Warren Miller Film

I just got back from this year's Warren Miller movie called Off The Grid. Steamboat has a 5 minute segment and the powder shots were awesome. Probably second only to the shots of a paralyzed guy in a sit ski heli-skiing in Alaska. As you know the 2005/2006 season was Epic here in Steamboat so it wasn't hard for them to get some nice shots. Most importantly we all got to relive a whole lot of days that were as good or better than when the Warren Miller Crew was filming. I still have a big smile on my face as I write this. It is snowing hard here tonight and has been since about 6pm. I ran into to a friend that hiked up to the top of Storm Peak on Sunday and said he had great powder turns for a long way down. It looks like tomorrow will be even better, I wish I had time to take a hike to the top. Go back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Intrawest and Fortress in Steamboat today looking at the Ski Area

As you know the Steamboat Ski area is for sale. I understand that Intrawest, the owner of Whistler and Blackcomb along with several other areas, is meeting with American Skiing Executives here in Steamboat today for late stage discussions on their bid. Intrawest in the process of being bought by the Fortress Group a large fund out of New York for $1.8B so Fortress is effectively the bidder. There may be one other bidder in town this week and a straggler in early November so hopefully we will know more soon. Here's to finding a buyer that understands what is special about Steamboat and the Ski Area they are buying so they can preserve that while bringing positive changes to the mountain and our ski experience.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Snowmaking at Howelsen Hill

Snowmaking at Howelsen hill in downtown Steamboat Springs started over the weekend. It's not really that cold in town (got up to about 60 yesterday) but Howelsen is like an ice box since it doesn't get much sun. They plan to open Dec 2nd.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Property Taxes

I was reading through the tax liens in Sunday's paper and found four clients and friends that had a past due balance. With second homes it is easy to miss. I know they would be happy to pay thier taxes since they are pretty minimal here but they either moved or didn't get a bill from some reason, one had paid off their loan and it didn't occur to them they needed to pay it now that the mortgage company is out of the picture. I let each of them know and thought I would do the same for you in case you didn't get your bill or your mortgage company didn't get it paid for you. The Routt County Assessor's office can be reached at 970-870-5544.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Steamboat had 15 inches new on top last night

This morning's snow report showed 15 inches new on top this morning. Steamboat Springs has had an unusually snowy fall that followed a very wet August and 1st half of September. I saw quite a few nice tracks down Storm Peak Face, Heavely Daze and even Valley View this afternoon.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Marabou Ranch in Sunday New York Times

Marabou Ranch located here in Steamboat Springs will be featured in Sunday's New York Times. The articles is titled "Where the front yard stretches 1,300 acres"

From the article: "Mr. Temple and his partners at Due West Land Ltd., which owns the property, have preserved in perpetuity 1,300 of the ranch'’s 1,700 acres. On the remaining land, they have created 62 lots what he calls homesteads— of 7 to 10 acres, priced at $2 million to $4 million apiece. If we’'re doing this right, each of our buyers can say they bought a 1,700-acre ranch, he said. Marabou, which sits along the Elk River, is among a widening group of expensive developments in Western states that are preserving land. At Marabou, Mr. Temple said, the developers decided not to place homesites along the Elk River or on the ridgelines, locations that would have reaped handsome profits. From a business perspective, this was risky,” he said."

You can find the Marabou Ranch article <-- here

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Disney confirmed as a bidder for the Steamboat Ski area

A good friend told me tonight that Disney's corporate jet has been a frequent visitor at the Hayden airport 20 miles west of Steamboat. I'm guessing that they don't have plans to open a theme park in the area so this lends more credence to a Mueller / Disney bid for the Steamboat ski area. The Mueller's from Okemo along with some local investors had the mountain under contract back in 2001 but ASC backed out and sold Heavenly to Vail instead. The Muellers went on to buy Mt. Crested Butte and have done great things for the ski area and town. They are highly respected back east and down in Crested Butte so many people think they would be a great fit for Steamboat.

This has been a big week for suitors to visit Steamboat. I have confirmation that George Gillette and Andy Daly's groups has been here, Fortress (the fund that is in the process of buying Intrawest including Whistler)delayed to next week because of the snow ( maybe they are not a good fit? ) one other I don't know and the Mueller / Disney group. You may not know but one of the Disney heirs has a large equestrian property in the south valley. That is one more cool thing about Steamboat, people don't come here to show their money. They may buy a big home but you would never know it if you saw them on the street, sat on a chairlift with them or ran into them at a party.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Winter in Steamboat

Winter just can't wait to come to Steamboat Springs this year, it has snowed 1-3 times a week since late September and 18 inches is forecast tonight for Rabbit Ears pass. We got about 4 inches of heavy wet snow in town so there may be a foot or more up there to start with.

Sat Night UPDATE: The National Weather Service said the storm's heaviest snowfall was near Steamboat Springs, where some areas got up to two feet of snow. a warning remains in effect through the morning for western Colorado, where up to four more inches of snow is expected in spots.

Normally we get a good snow about the third week in September and then Indian Summer until at least the end of October. It is normally 60-70 degrees sunny and calm. Last winter was nearly a record snow year with huge powder days starting the Sunday of Thanksgiving and I was mountain biking up on the ski hill the first week of November. It normally starts snowing regularly in early November.

Thanksgiving requires some faith because the real storms come either Monday or Tuesday beforehand, during Thanksgiving weekend or the week before in order of likelihood. Personally I never leave town for Thanksgiving because 3 out of 4 years we have good to Epic conditions. Opening day or any day they open upper mountain tree runs for the first time there can be 3-4 feet of powder in the trees making for one of the best days of the year. You have to read the snow very carefully because there is not packed base underneath off of the blue runs but the rewards can be bountiful. Sunday Thanksgiving weekend last year was unreal with faceshots all day and powder days almost everyday for a week. Starting that Sunday we had 70 powder days out of the next 100. I never even got in shape last year because it was so soft. With snow that frequently the report could be 3-4 inches and it would be at least a foot in the trees. Definitely a year full of powder days I will never forget.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Snow in Steamboat Again

Totday We awoke to fog in Steamboat and a little later we got a peak of Storm Peak with a perfect new blanket of snow. This afternoon it started snowing again and it really feels like winter. My ABS got it's first workout of the year on snowy roads as I drove into Eagle Ridge where we live. It seems like we are getting snow every week this fall which is quite different that the indian summer we get here in October most years. It has been far wetter this fall than last and last year was the wettest fall in 5 or 6 years.

I don't know about you but I'm hoping that this is a sign!

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quick break in the 'boat

The Ski Boat, that is. This week has been way too busy so when my friend called this afternoon looking to get out water-skiing I replied that I was far too busy not to go. It's great having friends that work hard to make sure you get out to take advantage of the nice weather and make some turns on the lake. As you can see Mt. Werner is still pretty well covered up high from the storm earleir this week and this is a southern exposure. I have been admiring a nice set of tracks around the corner on Storm Peak that someone left to either make us jealous of inspire others to make their own.
Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Ski Season officially begins at A-Basin Oct 13th

A-Basin announced today that they will open Friday October 13th for the season. Winter hasn't been shy about making it's presence felt in the Colorado mountains since early September in Steamboat and abotu a week later across the state. It looks like A-Basin may win the annual competition to be the first ski area to open for the year. We won't know until morning because Loveland could easily pull a fast one by opening earlier in the morning. We will be driving down to Boulder tomorrow for the weekend to see friends. It would be nice to make some early season turns and overlap my ski seasons but my family will be along so I won't test their patience. On the other hand getting in a second day on the slopes this year for Alden could work if we can leave Steamboat early enough...

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Steamboat Seasons

I have at least 12 favorite seasons here in Steamboat: Early Season, Winter, Sunny Winter, Spring Skiing, Spring time to relax and take trips, Early Summer, Late summer, September Snow, Indian Summer, changing leaves, quiet time when we anticipate winter and take trips then it starts over again. I look forward to each season and at the same time I am sad when each passes. The more time you spend here the more time you will appreciate the subtle and not so subtle differences even within the classic four seasons.

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

One Steamboat Place in the Robb Report

The Robb Report just added One Steamboat Place to their collection of the most desireable real estate with the following comments "at the end of the run, right in the heart of Mountain Village, a home pretty much unlike anything Steamboat has ever seen. One Steamboat Place. These are private, luxurious residences with picture perfect perspectives of the mountains and the entire valley... only the magnificent interior appointments rival the views. Along with luxurious finishes including heated bathroom floors and true gourmet kitchens are favorite Timbers touches - great game rooms, member gathering areas and one of the greatest mountain spas anywhere. The location, next to the gondola, is incomparable. With fine dining, room service, boutiques, ski valets... One Steamboat Place, and especially its residences, is an unprecedented opportunity."

If you would like to know more about One Steamboat Place feel free to contact Jon Wade @ 970-819-6930. They recently started to accept reservations in priority order so give me a call if you would like a chance at Steamboat's finest new development at the base of the mountain and right next to the gondola.

See the short article in the Robb Report

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Vail says no comment on Steamboat but...

Consolidation is part of their strategic plan where they can add value. I think that next few weeks and months will be very interesting and I hope that any potential buyer comes forward with a plan to improve the mountain while respecting waht makes Steamboat so special.

From the Ft. Collins Coloradoan "He declined to make specific comments about potential acquisitions, including whether the company is interested in the Steamboat Springs ski resort, which American Skiing Co. has put up for sale for a price that has not been publicly disclosed.

"I think we look at consolidation as part of our strategic plan, and we are certainly always on the lookout for resorts that we can buy that we think fit into our strategy, fit our guest profile and where we can bring a lot of the skill sets that we have to improve them," he said."

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Steamboat could go to a private buyer

No, it's not what you think. As you probably know the Steamboat ski area is for sale but I’m pretty sure it’s not possible to make it a private resortsince it sits on public land. It just may be a private buyer that goes the distance. Potential buyers are in town this week and next along with top executives from the current owner American Skiing at the Steamboat Grand for management presentations. The deadline for the first round of bids is tomorrow. Some executives have mentioned around town that they hope to have a contract sometime in October for a December close. Let's hope we get new owner with the resources to invest in the mountain and a heart that knows why Steamboat is special & what not to change.

Selected quotes from the Rocky Mtn News (some editing for length) :
"Colorado's ski industry faces one of its biggest ownership shuffles in years. The latest wave of deals likely will put many areas back into private hands. What has changed? Private buyers tend to be coming to the table with gobs of capital. Before Wall Street arrived, ski-area ownership tended to be a largely local affair.

• Private equity firm and hedge fund giant Fortress Investments buying Canada's Intrawest Corp., the public company that owns Copper Mountain and operates Winter Park.
• Publicly held American Skiing Co. putting its marquee Steamboat Ski Resort - viewed as the seventh biggest nationwide - on the block.

"There's a lot of activity right now; it seems to come in these cycles and waves," said Dave Belin, at RRC Associates, a Boulder- based research firm. "Some of these resorts have been doing really well over the last couple years. It's a sell- high mentality. You buy low, and you sell high." That's particularly the case with Steamboat, whose financial performance has improved steadily in the past few years even as its parent company's stock languishes. Given the huge amounts of capital private equity investors have on their hands, observers say the odds of Steamboat attracting a private buyer are high. Recent buyouts all have been funded by private investors. Only Crested Butte's new owner had other ski areas in his portfolio.

"It's a pretty common perception that ski areas only make their money on the real estate sales," said RRC's Belin. "But would Eldora and the others still be operating their ski resorts after all these years if they weren't making any money?" The private equity model can match well with the need for big capital outlays because private owners tend to be far more comfortable taking on debt than public companies, said Sheila Broughton, who tracks Intrawest."

See the full article in the Rocky Mtn news here

Back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page for more.