Business briefs for Feb. 19

Hoostal named bank's investment sales manager

Steamboat Springs

Steven Hoostal recently was named investment sales manager for Bank of the West, overseeing personal and business accounts for investments insurance and financial planning in branches in Steamboat Springs, Craig, Kremmling and Fraser.

Hoostal was an educator before launching a 20-year career in the investment and insurance businesses. He has an MBA from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., and earned his Ph.D. from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy. Previous positions in Kansas City and Chicago include: vice president at Kemper financial Services, director at H&R Block and financial advisor at Merrill Lynch & Co.

Hoostal can be reached at 870-4353, or at shoostal@bankofthewest.com.

Tourism levels top 14,000 visitors

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs experienced one of the busiest weekends of the ski season with 14,200 visitors in town overnight Saturday. That compares with 13,800 on the corresponding Saturday in 2005. Area lodging properties were 94 percent full. Even after the Presidents Day weekend, tourism was expected to remain high at midweek, with 11,700 visitors here Wednesday.

Buffalo Pass a testing ground for new packs

Mountain Hardwear, a mountaineering and outdoor equipment and clothing company is looking for volunteers to test its new line of Exodus backpacks, and the Continental Divide Trail north of Steamboat Springs is among the potential testing grounds.

Mountain Hardwear has partnered with nonprofit organizations that look after the most revered long-distance hiking trails in the nation.

For more information, visit www.mountainhardwear.com/ExodusTest.

-- For business file submissions, call Tom Ross at 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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