Posted inNews, Outsider

When Smartwool left Steamboat Springs, workers who stayed behind got a “kick in the shorts to recalibrate”

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When Smartwool announced plans to leave its founding headquarters for Denver in 2018 it left a lot of people scratching their heads. Not from the company’s merino wool, but for the conundrum it created for its workers in this thriving but remote corner of Colorado.  Cue the Clash tune: “Should I Stay […]

Posted inBusiness, Housing, News

Buying frenzy slows but home prices remain sky-high in Colorado mountain towns

The blistering pace of home sales in Colorado’s mountain communities is slowing. Finally.  After sales volume and prices more than doubled in Colorado’s high country valleys between 2019 and 2021, the number of home sales in six Colorado mountain counties declined through May compared with the same period in 2021. And while prices remain sky-high, […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors

Rainbow Gathering picks remote area near Steamboat Springs for its angst-inducing 50th annual meeting of tribes

A Rainbow Family council convening this week outside Oak Creek has announced its 50th annual Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes will be in the remote Adams Park area of Routt National Forest, north of Hayden.  The loosely knit group’s “Spring Council” announced the location of its annual gathering on Facebook on Tuesday, with detailed directions […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outsider

The source of Colorado’s high country housing crisis: a doubling of home prices and sales

The rules are changing in the high country. As the labor crisis lingers, community leaders are beginning to address the root cause of the challenges that are strangling mountain valleys. They are cracking down on short-term rentals. Redirecting the flow of tax dollars toward affordable housing. Adjusting economies anchored in tourism to focus on residents, […]

Posted inHealth, News

Officials say mental health clinic is failing Colorado mountain towns, where suicide rates are above average

By Susan Greene, Colorado News Collaborative Summit County is hurting.  The suicide rate in this mountain community of 31,000 is higher than Colorado’s, which is one of the highest in the nation. And locals say almost everyone here has known someone — or several someones — who ended their life:  A beer brewer. A prominent businesswoman. […]

Posted inBusiness, Growth, Housing, News, Outsider

As record-setting real estate sales continue in Colorado resort towns, buyers are now looking way down valley

The blistering pace of real estate sales is continuing in Colorado’s high country, with every resort community setting new records in each month this year.  “It’s been crazy,” Crested Butte broker Frank Konsella said, “way past everything in 2019 and 2020.”   Last year saw record numbers of home buyers paying highest-ever prices for properties in […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Coloradans, Economy, Energy, Environment, Growth, News, Outdoors

Xcel Energy may fill the hole left by closing its Hayden coal-fired power plant with salt. And fish.

There is molten salt in the town of Hayden’s future – maybe trout, too – but almost definitely molten salt. The idea of using molten salt energy storage to fill part of the gap in employment and taxes left by the planned closure of the Routt County town’s coal-fired power plant is being planned by […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Economy, Housing, News, Outdoors

Big Agnes started by sketching plans on beer-stained napkins. 20 years later, the gear company is a local hero.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Bill Gamber, co-owner, co-founder and president of tent, sleeping bag—and now, pack—maker Big Agnes, stoops over and picks up an empty Diet Coke can from a willow bush next to the bike path, just a block away from the company’s new headquarters. It’s a small gesture, really, but one that’s symbolic of […]