The year was 1825. A group of three French trappers were hunting in what is now known as the Yampa River Valley in western Colorado. They heard what sounded like the chugging sound of a steamboat engine. Upon further inspection, it turned out to be a natural mineral hot springs. It would be named Steamboat Spring.
By the late 1800s families were homesteading in the area, and the turn of the century saw a railroad being built and several businesses were established. Carl Howelsen built a ski jumping facility here in 1915 that would become one of the first ski areas in the country. The rest is history. Over the next 100 years, the area has turned into one of Colorado’s premier resort locations with world class skiing in the winter and countless outdoor recreational activities in the summer.
It’s always a pleasure to travel to the ‘Boat (as the locals call it). This month I had a wedding here, so I decided to spend the entire weekend. I drove up on Friday afternoon to attend the ceremony rehearsal (photo left), Saturday was the wedding, and I stayed an extra day to enjoy some outdoor activities. Chassity & Jeff really went out of their way to create an incredible weekend for their guests, almost all of which spent the entire weekend in town as well.
They picked Bella Vista as their venue, a beautiful hilltop location overlooking Lake Catamount just east of town on the main road up Rabbit Ears Pass. A tent was set up for the reception’s 100+ guests on Saturday. These guests loved to party…and so did the bride and groom. What began as a late afternoon ceremony ended 7 hours later at midnight with a full dance floor and a great sparkler exit of the bride and groom. Wisely, Chassity & Jeff provided shuttle buses for their guests to get back into town to the Sheraton as they had a hosted bar and frankly, many guests had a few too many drinks to be driving back to town on a winding mountain road. Definitely a good move! Overall it was one of my favorite weddings of the year.
As a side note, a wedding that I was hired for last summer was recently featured in the latest edition of Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine. Christina & Jason’s wedding took place at the Black Canyon Inn. This was another really fun couple. Here’s the featured link: