Ski Butlers Blog - Steph Swinford

Make a Difference in the Community: Core Value #7

It’s one of those ideas that most companies initially use to help propel their name out into their local communities and to network while starting up.  The basic idea usually starts out with merely trying to get your companies name out there.  And there are companies that start here and end here.  But the successful ones are the ones who dabble at first in an idea of networking and “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”, but end up addicted to the chain of support and love that is created from local involvement.  Like Ski Butlers has.

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Spring Skiing?

Spring skiing? Maybe.  Or maybe not.  Steamboat Springs Colorado seems to have a mind of its own as it jumps from 60 degrees down to 20 and from blue sky’s to winter storm warnings, all in the matter of days (if not hours!).  For all those Spring breakers out there, bring your long underwear along with your tanks and shorts, because who knows what you’re going to be greeted with here!

 

After last weeks balmy temperatures of about 40 to 50 degrees, Steamboat’s base dropped below 100”.   Yet right when we all started to accept that spring had made its debut and the slushy snow was here to stay, mother nature came roaring in on Sunday to bring Ski Town USA another 18 or so inches.  Total, so far this season, the resort has seen 411”, which by most is considered to be pretty darn remarkable.  But for those of you banking on some nice blue bird slushy spring days on the hill, you may be out of luck.

 

Steamboat Resort is scheduled to be shutting down its lifts for the season on April 10th.  This leaves us less then 2 weeks of the season to enjoy what mother nature has already brought us and whatever else she may brew up.  Looking back on the 2010-2011 ski season, I must say we have had quite a ride and we would all love to see this season ending with a bang.  Although the forecast is looking like warm temps from here on out, who knows what could happen! 

 

As the mountain begins to shut down, the locals of Steamboat Springs are starting to relax a bit.  It has been a phenomenal tourist year for our little town and we’ve enjoyed watching as people from all parts of the world experience Ski town USA and leave saying, “we’ll see you next time”.  Watching as the snow melts is a little bitter sweet.  True, we are ending what has turned out to be a brilliant ski season, but we roll now right into the next.  In hopes for high water rivers, sunny skies and warm temperatures, its hard not to be equally excited. 

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National Safety Awareness Week!

January 15th through the 23rd brings together resort employees across North America to help involve their coworkers and guests in slope safety.  During the National Safety Awareness Week, resort employees touch on accident prevention and what to do in case of emergencies on the slopes.

Throughout the last couple years, it has become a growing trend to wear a helmet while skiing or snowboarding.  Most ski schools now actually require children under 12 to wear them, as well as the instructors.  This sudden increase in helmets is partly because of the increase in media attention to fatalities on the mountain.  But also, it just makes sense.  Snow sports, like most other sports, come with risks.  Protecting your head can cut those risks in half.   With tree collisions up there as one of the top accidents on the mountains, helmets can help dramatically reduce the risk of serious head injury and death.  

Whether you find yourself on the mountain a couple times a year or a couple times a week, it’s always beneficial to keep safety fresh in your mind. Besides wearing a helmet, safety also includes skiing defensively and being aware of your own ability.  Always stay in control of yourself and never assume other skiers are as knowledgeable as you are.  Be cautious of knolls and corners where your sight is restricted.   High-speed impact between skiers can be deadly as well, and is simple to prevent.  If you are going to be skiing at high speeds, do it on open terrain where you can easily see what’s ahead of you.  

For those of you who dabble in the backcountry, your risks grow a bit, but the rewards can be worth it if you keep your body and mind sharp and responsive.  Be weary of tree wells and hidden obstacles.  Especially at the beginning of the season when snow coverage is minimal, creeks and logs can become death traps.  So know where you are and where you want to go.  To prevent tree well incidents, use the buddy system.  Once you encounter a tree well head first, the likely hood of you escaping unharmed drops immensely.  If someone is with you, those first couple seconds are priceless and can save your life.

Keep yourself informed.  Know the conditions of which you ski and if avalanches are a risk, be prepared and have the proper equipment with you.  Take an avalanche awareness class or flip through a couple courses online to inform yourself in basic avalanche survival.  Be aware of the temperature as well.  Dress appropriately to avoid frostbite and be aware of what your body is telling you.  

Most importantly, have fun out there.  Once you cover your bases with safety, you will have the peace of mind that will allow you to enjoy every minute on the mountain without worry.  Take the time this week to ensure that you and those you love are fully aware of the risks and are able to react in emergencies.  Look out for yourself and others and the remainder of the season will be epic!  Safe skiing out there and have fun!  For more information on slope safety, check out the following websites: www.lidsonkids.org; www.freestyleterrain.org; www.treewelldeepsnowsafety.com; www.fsavalanche.com.

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Small Town, Big Impact

There’s something to be said about small towns and big communities.  With a population not quite at 13,000, Steamboat Springs, CO reflects this in a huge way, as its impact is felt throughout Routte County.  You feel it as you walk down Lincoln Avenue and notice the bustling local businesses. You feel it as you talk to a local who is dirt broke, but still managed to buy mittens for a local charity.  You see it in the number of turkeys that were dropped off at the community center on Thanksgiving.  As you walk into the Steamboat Chamber, you know right away that Steamboat may be a little town, but it surely has a huge heart.

The Steamboat Chamber of Commerce itself is quite the gem.  As a tourist or someone new in town, you can stroll in and feel immediately taken care of.  But beyond the marketing and advertisement geared towards tourists, the chamber also offers new businesses in town the opportunity to become involved with the Steamboat community.  With committees available such as the Philanthropist Committee and Young Professionals Network, the chamber helps propel these driven individuals throughout the year, involving them with a number of charitable organizations. 

From the more nationally known organizations like the United Way and the Humane Society, down to the local ones like Rex’s Holiday Wishes and Lift Up, Steamboat is in constant movement.  There will always be those less fortunate, no matter where you live.  But in Steamboat it’s in the back of nearly everyone’s mind and the effect is huge. 

To start off with, the United Way brings the community together with the largest Thanksgiving dinner you will ever see, feeding families who are not only unable to financially put a turkey on their table, but also for those locals who are without family.  As the United Way organizes this huge event, it’s actually the community itself that prepares and donates all the food.  Locals helping locals. It’s truly an amazing event.

Opening day of the ski season brings another charitable notion to the table. Season passes are not valid on opening day and the reason why is because all the proceeds of tickets go towards Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.  This organization is what funds less fortunate kids on the mountain.  They make sure that every child has the opportunity to strap on some skis and give the winter sports a shot. 

Through all the love poured into helping those less fortunate, the community itself is tightened.  There’s a sense of security knowing that we all are doing our best to look out for each other. Of course it’s the easiest time of year to keep that in mind, simply because of the holidays, but its important to Steamboat to keep it going all year.  Because that’s what Steamboat is all about. A constant sense of caring. 

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