Hello Council Members,I know that you all have considerable challenges ahead of you with this budget process. The issues and challenges at Howelsen Hill deserve your attention and your scrutiny. The budget for maintaining and operating Howelsen Hill is considerable… and the real ROI is hard to quantify, but please do not make the mistake of under-estimating the impact that this incredible venue has on our community.
The legend of Skiing in Steamboat was born with the hill that Carl Howelsen built. In all reality the epicenter of skiing in the United States is Steamboat Springs because it has trained more US Olympians than any place in the US, by far. It takes a village… and we’ve found it.
When you consider the true economic impacts that Howelsen Hill brings to our community it is hard to underestimate the financial harm that would be caused by allowing the jump venues to deteriorate. It is troubling to consider that inexpensive repairs years ago have now ballooned to these astronomical numbers, and I will take responsibility if those repairs should have been dealt with while I had a say in the matter.
When you consider the full scope of winter and summer activities at Howelsen, our quaint little downtown ski hill likely supports the livelihoods of just as many residents as many of our other top employers. So please consider the true need of these repairs in the context of the full impact that Howelsen has on this community and furthermore commit to setting dollars aside to invest in this facility each year so that we stay on top of the repairs and don’t find ourselves having to play catch up in the future.
Remember, before Steamboat was every town to everyone, we are first and foremost Ski Town USA!
Posted 6 October 2015, 7:40 a.m.
Great letter Kevin. Thanks for taking the time to pull these facts together.
Posted 22 September 2015, 7:50 a.m.
I will do just that. And thank you!
Posted 21 September 2015, 10:20 p.m.
What I don't know is if this also brought down 911 again. I hope that our folks at the County and the City are shaking the tree hard out there! The PUC and the Governor's office should be getting an earful!
Posted 21 September 2015, 10:34 a.m.
FYI...I just found out that CenturyLink had yet another outage over the weekend, though most folks would not have noticed. Inbound calling was down from Saturday night at about 11pm till about 11am Sunday morning. Go Alpine could not receive any calls in for just about 12 hours! This was not a result of the power outage, just a coincidence. Once again... we are seeing systemic problems CenturyLink that seem persistent and troubling.
Posted 21 September 2015, 9:42 a.m.
That is incorrect George. I know of hundreds, actually thousands of "local" phone numbers that are with carriers other than CenturyLink, and even if your carrier is CenturyLink there is a very real possibility that the calls are not actually hitting the PSTN in Steamboat. The exchanges, 870, 871, 875, 879 are traditionally Steamboat numbers, yes, but if the number is with Comcast, Verizon, Level3, Vonage or any other over the top provider, and even CenturyLink's CLEC division, then the call is hitting the PSTN outside of town, and it's carried as IP traffic from here to the carrier's co-location center.
By the way, how do you think cell phones work? In most cases there is fiber optic cable feeding cell towers. Up here it is often provisioned with bandwidth from CenturyLink. And yes, those cell carriers are pushing the calls to wherever they hit the PSTN using IP.
It is a very challenging landscape these days, and as a business owner and purveyor of these kinds of products, it is discouraging that we appear to be so vulnerable. This morning we had a power outage for about 45 minutes. I don't know how widespread it was, but I know that businesses that still had power could not get calls in! It makes me think something in CenturyLink's was affected by the power outage. Steamboat Medical Group could not get calls in for almost an hour, and they had power. So what the heck happened?
As a community we just need to recognize how important this infrastructure is to us, we need to tear down barriers that keep us from helping ourselves build better infrastructure, and we need to keep pushing for more and better!
Posted 20 September 2015, 4:18 p.m.
Ah but George, you miss my point. The thing is that "traditional" phone service is not what it was a decade ago. 15 years ago most calls from one place in Steamboat to another never left the Steamboat central office. Today, with the explosion of cell phone use, dynamic IP-based T1 services, VoIP, cable phone service, and over the top providers, my best educated guess is that 80 to 90% of calls from one destination in Steamboat to another require some hops out of town to be completed. VoIP is not an app, though it is the bane of my existence from time to time. Reality check... most calls you make each and every day involve VoIP at one end or both.
Posted 19 September 2015, 10:14 p.m.
By the way, a personal note to all of my friends who work hard for CenturyLink, Comcast, Zirkel, Mammoth, or Resort Internet in this community every day... this community is blessed to have a fantastic group of dedicated professionals supporting it. This is not an indictment of the men and women who live and work here in these businesses by any means. It is about grappling with living at the end of a thread of glass that spans from Steamboat to I-70.
Posted 18 September 2015, 10:05 p.m.
If you would like more background on this we have set up a website: http://www.yes2broadband.com.
Posted 18 September 2015, 9:40 p.m.
What these continuing failures continues to illustrate is that we are vulnerable because a great percentage of our internet service rides on 1 fiber pathway that is in the middle of a construction zone right now. And I have news for you... if you look at the mileage that fiber travels... portions of it will ALWAYS be in a construction zone.
We do need to recognize that the only new utility of the 21st century has quickly become the most important in many respects. In fact, increasingly its true that delivering traditional utlility services like water, electric, and sewer now requires reliable broadband to work properly, and yet in our neck of the woods this basic infrastructure is incredibly vulnerable.
I am supporting the measure you will see this November from many authorities to exempt us from the restrictive legislation known as Senate Bill 152. This effort does not solve these problems in and of itself, but what it does do is open up more possibilities for our region to grow its broadband capacity and takes back the rights these authirities had 10 years ago to participate in the development and commerce of broadband infrastructure. I hope you'll all join me in supporting this. It does not raise taxes!
By the way, if you are looking for a way to express your dissatisfaction with the level of service we are afforded by CenturyLink in our region, if you are tired of wondering whether you call to 911 will make it to an operator in Routt County, and if you would like your vote to send a clear message this November... vote YES to every Senate Bill 05-152 measure you see on your ballot this November! CenturyLink opposes the exemption... big surprise since the original legislation primarily benefits them at the expense of our local governments and citizens.
Posted 18 September 2015, 9:31 p.m.
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