Steamboat Springs Working its Way into a Real Jackpot

March 23, 2012

During my junior year of college, I worked as an editorial intern at a golf magazine. Before I started my internship, I imagined my days would look something like this:

· Free golf

· A complimentary meal at a nice restaurant

· An afternoon of uninterrupted face time with Hale Irwin.

In reality, I hacked up bad travel writing, and transcribed interviews. The only time my day-to-day came remotely close to my expectations was a wintery weekend when, against his better judgment, my editor sent me to Steamboat Springs to write up a couple of restaurants.

My first night in town I got into a heated argument with a sommelier at an eatery I pray is no longer operational. (Please note the lack of a hyperlink; very mature!) A flustered manager bought dinner for my date and myself in exchange for a hasty departure from his establishment, and a vow that I would soon exit the Yampa Valley.

The strategic exit occurred just before 9pm. It was too late for the hot springs, and too early for the bars. I pulled my coat to my body against the winter chill, contemplated the ambient light that made viewing the stars an impossibility and turned to my date in the midst of an epiphany:

“You know what this town needs? A casino.”

Three time Olympic silver medalist Johnny Spillane must have also been thrown out of a restaurant. On Friday, March 23 Steamboat Today, (in a story that was picked up by the Denver Post,) reported the world class Nordic Skier, in partnership with four local businessmen, was meeting with residents, business leaders, local chambers, and state officials to solicit feedback for a proposed casino near the Yampa Valley Airport. Spillane noted that the feedback generated in most of his meetings was positive.

Pending approval from outlying communities, federal regulatory agencies, Governor Hickenlooper, and a partnership with an American Indian tribe, this author thinks a casino would be a smash hit in the Yampa Valley. Legalized gaming in Ski Country USA could draw in huge amounts of revenue and provide great employment opportunities in a part of the state that is beautiful, but can sometimes seem remote. I won’t ask you to give me credit for the idea, just take it easy on me at the black jack tables.

Gaming in Steamboat? What do you think Denver?