TRIVIA: Steamboat


Test your knowledge of Steamboat Springs.

  • Rodeo was a part of Steamboat Springs’ culture even before the town was incorporated over 100 years ago. It’s a tradition that is alive and well today. No one knows for sure when Steamboat Springs hosted its first organized rodeo competition, but mentions of competitive rodeo events in the local newspaper, the Steamboat Pilot, date back to at least 1898.  The rodeo was named the “Small Town Outdoor Rodeo of the Year” by the ProRodeo Cowboys Association in 2002.  Check out the Steamboat Springs ProRodeo Series.


  • Named by French Fur trappers in the 1860s for a hot spring near the Yampa River that sounded like a steamboat, Steamboat Springs is also called Ski Town, USA.


  • Located on Mt. Werner in the Routt National Forest, the Steamboat Ski Resort features 164 named trails on 2,965 acres. Snowboarders everywhere know that the resort hosts the longest superpipe in North America.


  • Steamboat holds the oldest annual winter carnival west of the Mississippi River.  The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) has maintained the Winter Carnival as a service to the community since 1914.  The event started as a way to help residents cope with cabin fever during the height of the winter season. The Winter Carnival continues to this day as a way to celebrate winter; as a reason for neighbors to gather; and as an opportunity for everyone to experience a piece of Ski Town USA® history and tradition.


  • The Depot (now the site of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council) was once one of the largest cattle shipping centers of the West.  Ranching is one of the valley’s mainstays.  Cattle were introduced into the area around 1860.


  • Two women started the oldest continuous modern dance camp in the nation, Perry-Mansfield, 1914 in Strawberry Park.  Dustin Hoffman, Julie Harris, Lee Remick and many others attended the camp.  In 1992 the community of Steamboat Springs raised $150,000 in 6 weeks to save the 1.2 million dollar camp.


  • There are more than 150 mineral springs in the area including Litha Springs, Strawberry Park Hot Springs, the Heart Springs at the Health & Recreation Center, Soda Springs and many on private lands.


  • The building that has housed the Old Town Pub & Restaurant since 1983 has a lively and multi-faceted past. Originally built in 1904 by Ernest Campbell as the Albany Hotel, it was one of the area’s finest hotels and catered to the upscale Steamboat visitors who arrived by train.  As Steamboat Springs prospered, this two-story Victorian structure was converted to the town’s first hospital by Dr. Willett (see photo).  It later became a post office, a general store, a movie theater, a library, a ceramic shop, a barber shop, a radio shop and a dance hall.  Be sure to look for the wild west bullet holes in the phone booth.


  • Nearly 9,000 crates of strawberries were shipped out of Strawberry Park in 1911, thus how it became known as Strawberry Park.  The Strawberry Hot Springs is one of the most spectacular mineral springs in the world.


  • As far back as the 14th century, the Ute Indians vacationed at Steamboat Springs, staying throughout the summers, not only taking advantage of the plentiful game available but also the hot springs in the Yampa River valley.  In 1868, the US Government claimed the Steamboat Springs area, forcing the Utes onto a reservation.  But the Utes didn’t give up their land easily, and up until 1880, many scuffles took place between the Utes and the Settlers (except for town-founder James Crawford who respected and befriended the Utes).  By the 1880’s, the Utes had completely departed the area.


  • Steamboat is one of the first 8 US cities to receive the ‘Preserve America Community’ designation from the White House


  • The Cabin Hotel used to be what is now the present day library on 13th & Lincoln.  It had 100 rooms, mainly for visitors who came to visit the hot springs on the railroad.  When it burned down on January 24, 1939, two people died in the blaze.  Read more.


  • Steamboat Springs has produced more Winter Olympians than any other U.S. community.


  • Steamboat Springs native and 3-time Olympic skier, Wallace ‘Buddy’ Werner, was killed in an avalanche in the Alps in 1964.  In 1967, the Bud Werner Memorial Library opened its doors in Steamboat Springs as a lasting tribute to Werner’s revolutionary contributions to American downhill racing.


  • Former alpine ski racer and US Ski Team member, William Winston “Billy” Kidd (born April 13, 1943), has lived in Steamboat since 1972.  His full name is William Kidd because he is a direct descendent of William Kidd, the famous pirate.  Kidd has since been identified with the Steamboat Ski Resort, and guests can ski free with Billy every day at 1pm and get ski tips, instruction and stories about the Olympics and skiing.


  • Stunt-minded skiers in Steamboat Springs developed the region’s first ski jump around 1913.


  • Nearby Rabbit Ears Pass straddles the Continental Divide in the Park Range, a 12,000-foot mountain cluster in the Rockies. The pass is named after Rabbit Ears Peak, which was not named because it augmented area TV reception, but because its summit resembles the head of an alert jack-rabbit.

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