Saturday, March 27, 2004
In last Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today I read with some amusement the comments of a Steamboat Airport supporter decrying the lack of positive press coverage regarding the $7,000,000 of economic benefit that the Steamboat Airport brings to our community. Let's set the record straight. The report "Economic Impact Study" that the Colorado Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics issued in 2001 quantifies the economic importance of airports in terms of dollars and jobs. It provides information to municipalities and local sponsors that can be used to evaluate policy decisions, to assess capital investment needs and to make other airport decisions. In fact according to the report, the Steamboat Airport does account for $7,287,900 of projected benefit to the Steamboat region. However, the report continues on listing the economic benefit from the Yampa Valley Regional Airport at $225 million. In simple terms 97 percent of the economic benefit to the city of Steamboat comes from YVRA while only 3 percent comes from the Steamboat Airport.
Oak Creek parking
I was calling about the comment you had recently about Oak Creek and cars parking the wrong way. They sure are retaliating on that now. If they were to get after fixing the roads the way they're getting on that, it sure would be nice. I'd sure like to see those streets fixed.
Opposed to big box
I'm totally opposed to big boxes here in Steamboat. If you want to live where there are big boxes, go down to Glenwood. Go to Silverthorne. Go to Laramie. Go to Breckenridge. Go to Estes Park. Go to Denver. Go anywhere else. This valley has been ruined by all the construction and all the development going on here.
Discourage big boxes
Yes, we definitely should discourage big-box stores from coming here. I work at The Unique Shop.
Our customers, locals and tourists, say they like shopping there because it is so unique. Let's not be part of the mall-ization of America.
Just say no
I'm responding to the question, "Should City Council try to discourage big-box retailers from coming to Steamboat Springs. My response to that is, "is there nothing sacred?" Just say no.
I wanted to express my feelings on the Oak Creek code enforcement officer. I recently needed her help with a situation, and she handled it with style and grace. She is the mother of all the animals in Oak Creek, and she works to make sure all the animals are safe. I appreciate her being here.
I would like to thank the Steamboat Springs Police Department for enforcing leash laws on public trails.
Too many dog owners feel their dogs have a right to run free, but I think others using the trails, such as myself, have more of a right to walk without being accosted by dogs running at them and jumping on them. I am a dog owner, but my dog is never off her leash or is in a fenced back yard.
Responsible dog owners will not be affected or offended by this enforcement -- only the dog owners who need to be trained themselves will be bothered.
Big box competition
As a longtime Steamboat Springs resident, I treasure the friendship and convenience of shopping locally. The business I was in here was very competitive, and we had to carefully pick our niches to be successful. However, customer service, product knowledge, business location and a range of inventory and services that matched our customers' needs and wants kept us successful.
I believe these same things can keep most local businesses healthy when competing with big-box stores, with one major exception. The big boxes can buy in larger volume at lower prices than smaller local stores. I have never had to compete with higher volume, lower cost businesses, but I have to believe there are examples of businesses that have done this successfully. And the big boxes don't start out as community members with years or decades of customer loyalty. Gart certainly has broad name recognition, but they are not "Steamboaters."If they come here, I will not stop shopping at Ski Haus, Straightline or One Stop Ski Shop, whose owners I have known for decades. The challenge Gart would bring to these owners is to keep people like me as loyal customers and to continue building customer loyalty in locals and visitors. I believe it can be done.