Fill the Seats, Steamboat Springs Residents Passed the Tax

Fill the Seats, Steamboat Springs Residents Passed the Tax

Just how important must an initiative be for Steamboat Springs’ residents to raise their own sales tax? Well, what do you do when the airlines are cutting back on flights coming in to your rather remote ski resort town? Generate support for a sales tax addition that will be 100% funneled into the winter air service program to increase the money on the table. Money talks, and airlines will fly in to Yampa Valley Regional Airport bringing passengers to Steamboat Springs if you guarantee them seats!

Empty Airline Seats
Empty Airline Seats

With a huge groundswell of support led by local businesses who live and die by tourist numbers, the .25% tax increase won with a 61% approval, and will generate an estimated $1.3 million annually to add to the existing dollars funded by Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. and the local hospitality industry.

While there were many vocal proponents for the plan, one of the best opposing questions was the following:

* So just because the flights will increase, we can’t force people to fill the seats, so since we are all going to be paying for the seats now, do we get free tickets to fill the empty seats?

Sales Tax Increase
Sales Tax Increase

Here’s the challenge for the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce and Steamboat Springs Ski Corp:

* Develop aggressive marketing programs to fill the additional seats and keep the winter and summer visitors coming to our beautiful resort town.

In the end, empty seats won’t help anyone because it’s the money folks spend when they get here that local restaurants, retail merchants and service providers are counting on. So we’ve got half the equation solved now thanks to a community who banded together to pass the tax we’ll all have to pay. Now the pressure will be on the marketing end to entice families to choose Steamboat Springs as their vacation destination. Once they get here, it’ll be up to all of us to ensure they have an experience that will keep them coming back and telling their friends to do the same!

—For more information on buying real estate or questions regarding Steamboat Springs real estate or renting a home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, feel free to call Charlie at 970-846-6435 or write me an email at:





Originally from Seattle, Washington, Charlie relocated to Steamboat Springs with his wife Carol and their son, Finn, to become a Steamboat Springs realtor eager to share the joys of Colorado. Charlie is a second generation realtor and is proud to be a member of Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After graduating from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, Charlie worked in the high-tech industry in Seattle for several years before deciding to follow his father's lead and began his career in real estate. Working for Windermere Real Estate in Seattle, Charlie had a great, innovative career in the highly competitive Seattle market before moving to Steamboat in 2005 and delving deep into Steamboat Springs real estate. At Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty, Charlie has become one of the top agents with his innovative style and tireless perseverance.
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