Steamboat’s “House Of Cards” – Part 3

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Steamboat Pilot & Today put out part three of a 5-part series titled “House of Cards” last Friday.  The focus of this week’s reporting was mainly pointed at construction and the woes that the industry has seen in the last 9-12 months.

Obviously with any industry slowdown, the layoffs from one segment of the economy are going to ripple into others.  If construction workers begin to get laid off, then yes, restaurants and retail establishments might feel a pinch too.  But that’s nothing different than we’re feeling on a national level.

To write an expose on our small town and frame it in the light of being some special case, different from what the country as a whole has experienced, is a bit dramatic.  The fact that times are tight for everyone rings true around the nation right now.  Is Steamboat Springs going to be any different?

One local added a public comment to the article online noting that resort towns typically have deeper recessions than the rest of the economy since tourism is discretionary spending.  That might be the case however, in my industry, why am I still having to explain to sellers why showings are down?  Why is it still so difficult to convince clients to lower their price if they want their house to sell?  Could it be that we simply aren’t feeling the true impact what the paper says has fallen on our fair town?

For example, I understand that restaurant numbers might be down year-over-year and that many of those establishments aren’t making as much profit as they have in years past.  But I still had to wait 30-minutes to be seated at Creekside Café for Sunday brunch yesterday.  It seemed as busy as I’ve ever seen it.

In other industries around town, the newspaper quotes owners in saying that they’ve really had to start watching expenses and trim the fat.  While those cuts most likely have residual effects on other areas of the economy, it’s probably about time.  I know that the Boyd Team has had to trim down hours for the staff until sales pick back up again, but there hasn’t been an overwhelming amount of complaint about it.

As Mark Hoovler of Peak Mechanical says in the TODAY article, the bright side of having more time off is having the time to remember why we moved here in the first place.  “You get your life back” Hoovler says.  I tend to agree.

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