Steamboat is a real town, with real people . . .

Our beautiful Yampa Valley encompasses cow and sheep ranching, hay and wheat farming, and coal mining as county industries with tourism as the major economic factor in the area. Major corporations in Steamboat are the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, Smartwool, Honeystinger & Big Agnes. Telecommuting is also a coveted profession here. You won't see a lot of glitz walking around our town, but that is what most find compelling about it and what adds to the charm of this community in northwestern Colorado. In Steamboat, we like to refer to our genuineness as "western hospitality" but others may just call us down to earth.


For hundreds of years prior to the first settlers' arrival in the valley, the Yampatika Utes found the area ideal for summer hunting. Trappers began to come to the valley in the early 1800s. They called the area The Big Bend because the Yampa River makes its turn toward the west at this point in the valley. The name Steamboat Springs is thought to have originated around this time when French trappers thought they heard the chugging sound of a steamboat's steam engine. The sound turned out to be a natural mineral spring. Ranching was the primary industry of the valley and in the late 1800s a mining boom was underway in the area of Hahns Peak. For more information on the spirit, culture and heritage of our community, click here.

Curse of the Yampa Valley 

There are certainly a few versions  of this friendly "curse" that have circulated time and time again over the years. For Tom, who discovered Steamboat in the 70's after skiing Aspen for years, he certainly had already been smitten by the curse when he met Marci in the mid 80's. As the "curse" goes, once you have been to Steamboat, you will be compelled to return. Steamboat will be on your mind, like you have been cast under some type of spell, where you are destined to come again and again. So winter vacations were spent skiing in Steamboat for the Valicenti's and summer vacations were also spent in Steamboat.  Coming down Rabbit Ears Pass, looking out over Pleasant Valley and Lake Catamount, one can feel the "ah" and the "awe" of the valley to which you are descending. It is amazing. So, as you might imagine, as the end of the vacation period neared, Marci became apprehensive as she knew that the inevitable departure and the "curse" would soon impede on Tom's mood. Locals confirmed to Marci and Tom, that he certainly had been cursed. Fortunately after about a week, the mood would lighten with the promise of the next Steamboat vacation and ultimately the permanent move. 

We have now lived in Steamboat full-time for over 20 years. During this time, we have met many people who have experienced the "Curse of the Yampa Valley" in varying degrees. Some are often perplexed and don't know why or are confused as to why they feel about Steamboat the way they do. But we understand all too well. And, we know that if they don't move here, or buy a second home here, that they will find their way back to Steamboat somehow, sometime, some way. 

Why is Steamboat Springs so Great?

City of Steamboat Springs

Read more about the town of Steamboat Springs, CO.