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Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Trendy and Cool, Steamboat Springs is Tucked in Colorado's Rugged Northwestern Mountains and is a Magnet for Elite Skiers and Vacationers
Sitting at 6,728 feet above sea level in the rugged mountains of northwestern Colorado, the Steamboat Springs' area was first known to the Ute Native Americans for its natural hot springs. When trappers and ranchers arrived in the 1800s, they thought the springs sounded like a steamboat and named the little town Steamboat Springs. For many winters after, skiing was practically the only way in and out.
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Today, Steamboat is growing but is still remote. It sits at the base of Mount Werner and is a premier downhill ski destination, famous for its champagne powder and home to the Steamboat Ski Resort where international skiing events such as the World Cup take place. Hip, casual, affluent and touristy, it still holds onto its cowboy roots while drawing elite skiers and ski bums as well as vacationing families. The town-wide annual Winter Carnival celebrates all things winter, including snowshoeing and snowmobiling, but summers are busy, too, with kayakers and river rafters shooshing down the Yampa River that runs through town. Hiking, camping, biking and fishing are all popular. Residents and visitors alike still enjoy Steamboat's hot springs, particularly in Old Town and Strawberry Park.
There are two primary shopping centers, one along the main road and one at the mountain base. Housing stock includes colorful Victorian single family homes and large, modern condominium developments.
Population: 14,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 30%
Cost of Living: 85% above the national average
Median Home Price: $895,000
Climate: Summers are short but just about perfect with blazing blue skies and temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Winters are long with whispy blue skies and temperatures in the single digits, teens and 20s. On average, the area receives 165 inches of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes, and Yampa Valley Medical Center is a Level IV Adult Level Trauma Center.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by Steamboat Springs Transit. This is a free service that makes stops at hotels and the ski resort but also at the grocery, the shopping centers and the library. A para-transit service is available, too.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 57%
Is Colorado Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Steamboat is only accessible by one road, State Highway 40.
Notes: The mountains around Steamboat are not as tall as those in some other Colorado ski destinations. Most jobs are seasonal, so a lot of people come and go. Despite the tourists and seasonal comings and goings, permanent residents have a closely-knit community, and several Olympic downhillers, including Billy Kidd, reside here. Yampa Valley Regional Airport is open year round and has flights to Denver and Salt Lake City. The population has grown 12% during the last decade. Home prices increased 10% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although it has a young demographic.
Similar to California, the Colorado area was surrendered to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. It did not become a state until 1876, 100 years after the nation's birth.
The Centennial State's geography includes high plains, deserts, foothills, and mountains. Its Rockies are part of the 3,000-plus mile geologic uplift known as the North American Cordillera. More than 50 of the Cordillera's peaks taller than 14,000 feet are in Colorado. Outdoor recreation ranges from backpacking and climbing to road cycling and skiing.
With roots in mining and agriculture, Colorado's economy has branched in many directions. It currently has a high concentration of tech and scientific research companies. Food processing, manufacturing, and tourism round out the state's industries.
The Centennial State maintains a long list of superlatives. It has the highest paved road, the deepest geothermal hot spring, and the nation's largest concentration of scenic byways. Colorado is the only state in the Union to reject the Olympics and one of the first to legalize recreational marijuana.
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