I don’t think there is a spot in America where Summertime hasn’t taken over. Summer is a great season, except maybe in the northwest. The fires that have occurred nearby have been small, and even luckier, mostly contained from monsoon rains. The forecast looks like …
We can definitely feel Summer in Steamboat! Blue skies and warm temps have made us all a bit giddy. The river has peaked and folks are enjoying kayaking and paddle boarding. Bike trails have opened up. The only thing that slows us down is occasional …
Steamboat Springs in Spring is an excellent season! Flowers are up and things are getting green. We have just had several fronts move through that made sure that we remembered that this is still ‘Mud Season’. Today, the skies are blue and it’s 68 degrees.
Here’s the current Daily Occupancy Report:
It’s a bit boring. It reflects our shoulder season well. Being a forecast, I find that it has represented the past weekends well enough. Many residents can tell that there are more visitors than usual right now. I don’t know if this is a COVID related trend or the way tourism is going to be from now on. Next Spring, and even this Fall, will give us more data to work from to understand further.
Many of the customers I am working with right now are buying land. This is a newer trend. I suspect this comes from much of the same drive for purchasing second homes and sometimes relocation.
There are persons who are looking for a place to escape to and a remote location is often top of mind for some folks. In the Stagecoach area there are lots of locations that provide seclusion and beauty as well as land that is smaller and affordable. Having up to a few acres provides space and a place to escape to.
That being said, Steamboat has very few lots available. Builders struggle to find places to build homes. Hayden has some lots, and those are being purchased at a higher rate than anyone expected. In Oak Creek/Stagecoach, parcels with utilities are hot right now. Persons are able to get out to see these lots and decide if they are fit for their new home. Builders are flocking to this area too. Availability is good and there are many near the lake that are easier to build on than others located towards Lynx Pass.
Interestingly enough, Stagecoach HOA is in the process of changing their covenants to allow ‘tiny homes’. The current regulations require a minimum house size of 1000 square feet. The new criteria would allow homes of 500 square feet. There are both persons and builders looking forward to this change because it fits what they like to do.
What’s up with the market?
Nothing has changed since I last wrote. The biggest difference now is that sales continue to be strong through what is typically a slow time of year. Inventory is maintaining a historic low in all price ranges. Trying to find a place to buy or rent now is very frustrating.
The Summer doesn’t look much different than today. Without more building or higher interest rates, housing will continue current trends.
What will happen at the end of COVID? That’s a good question. With the amount of money the government is investing into the country, the increase in wages persons are getting from workforce shortages, and the great savings families have from not spending for a year, the US economy looks great. When we all get back to the new normal, maybe this Fall, that’s when we will see some changes in spending patterns.
A close friend of mine is turning 50 years old in the near future. We have spent many days together and are over 400 days snowboarding together. We also have done other things frequently, like rafting and camping.
When I asked him what he wanted to do for his HBD, he didn’t give me an answer right away. We debated adventures from Copper Mountain and Solitude to Wolf Creek. Eventually he told me. Snowmobiling. I told him I’d set it up.
The first person on my mind was Clay Hockel of Thunderstruck Adventures.
I met Clay when he was looking for a place to house his snowmobile rental and guiding business. Reaching out to him, I found a day later in February that would work and signed us up.
One of the things I really like about Clay’s snowmobiles is that they are sexy! In the past, the snowmobiles I rode were more like Cadillacs. Also, we spent much of our time trail riding, often to catch powder turns in secret stashes. In this case, there wasn’t any trail riding and Thunderstruck Adventures lived up to the name.
The day I reserved was a Tuesday because most visitors are traveling to or from Steamboat and everyone else is working. This makes the middle of the week a great time to escape. Plus, posting photos of doing epic things on a workday makes my friends jealous.
After cursing a short distance, we came across the ranch Clay leases each Winter. 10,000 acres of pasture, hills, and huge views of California Park and the back side of Steamboat Lake. The snow was a couple feet deep and new, which made for high speed riding and big powder turns.
I can go into several stories of the day, from me ‘accidentally’ dropping a cornice to Clay getting every snowmobile unstuck without a shovel. One of my favorite things to do was to watch Clay. He is an incredible expert and can ride up a 40% slope, wheelie at the end while turning his sled around to go back down the same slope.
For a birthday celebration, this was an excellent idea. For me, the challenges were unlearning old snowmobile habits that were gained from well-intentioned advice and understanding how a sport snowmobile handles over a cruiser. To me, cruisers are more like Cadillacs, big and heavy. These snowmobiles are more like sports cars, fast and light.
And the views? Outstanding.
Would I do it again? Heck yeah! Getting out and being in the middle of nowhere with three other people was amazing. Most men enjoy power sports of some sort. Add a motor and eyes light up like a child’s.
Things have changed in Steamboat for occupancy. This past weekend is a prime example. Tourists were everywhere enjoying Steamboat as best they can. Though lift lines were beyond record length, folks were enjoying the first real storm of the season. The chart above is …
This season has been a slow snow season. We get a few to several inches each week, but the big snowstorms have been elusive.
I’ve come to really enjoy having multiple days in a row when I look outside throughout the day, or night, and see snow continuing to fall. I quote one of my favorite Teton Gravity Research lines “It’s still snowing!” every time.
This year has been quite different. We have had some snow storms, but they were quick. And we had one snow squall where the snow came in at 40 miles an hour and dumped 4” in 45 minutes. The storm looked like a dust storm moving across the land. Lightning and thunder lasted the entire time. After living in mountain areas for over 40 years, I’ve never seen anything like this. Here is a video of it that was shot from southeast Steamboat Springs:
This week is a few snow storms in a row. Town is pretty excited. We have heard stories of the new four feet of snow in the Sierras. I know- that’s common. But not this year. The projection is 8-16 inches of new snow on the mountain. In town, that will be 4+” over the week. Maybe as much as 10” in town.
Wednesday update: Well, the snow was supposed to begin at noon. No snow has come about. And interestingly enough, it’s supposed to rain a couple hours before! This is the beginning of February. It shouldn’t rain until later March. With as warm as it is, and the delay in precipitation, it looks good for a big dump of snow.
Around 5:00 it started snow and rain mix. By 7:00 it was snowing consistently- a light, constant snow. Over the next few hours it snowed over a couple inches, but the warm air prior melted off a significant amount. I went to bed after gazing out over the south valley – I saw thick clouds lit up by city lights, and flakes continuing to fall. In the morning, I had inches on my truck. There was 7 inches at the top of Storm Peak.
Now for Friday! We are supposed to get up to two feet of snow for the whole weekend. By the time I made it the resort in the afternoon, there was a great base of new snow. The turns were light and the snow fun to maneuver. The snow brought lots of control, so the runs were fast. I will disclose that there was a big wind, probably 40 miles an hour. For me and my ski buddy, we found Ted’s Ridge to have great snow and no wind, and no one on it. It was a great afternoon.
For the weekend, I saved the Saturday snow for the tourists in town. They enjoyed an 18 inch storm total day. From what I heard, the snow was excellent and crowds heavy. All across the ski towns of Colorado, the resorts were filled with Front Range visitors who also had not see any good snow all season. I’m grateful to have been up on Friday, and going on Sunday.
Sunday was all fun. The snow was a little bit like cake, and overall great to push on. Getting a couple of days on the hill has made my demeanor sooooo much better!
COVID has kept most of us home more than we like, except for the best introverts. Recently, Kristen and I got serious cabin fever and had to escape our condo. Steamboat Springs, realistically, is in the middle of nowhere. Located in the northwest corner of …