Hayden officials announced last week that the town was investing in a new marketing campaign that promotes Hayden as an affordable place to live. The effort comes at an opportune time, when the average home price in Steamboat Springs has risen to almost $550,000 in West Steamboat and just over $741,558 downtown while single-family homes in Hayden are selling, on average, from $280,000 to $310,000.

Anyone who travels through Mount Werner Circle on a busy ski weekend knows how difficult it can be to safely navigate around shuttles and buses coming and going from Gondola Station and vehicles that are idling in the roadway to drop off or pick up skiers at Steamboat Ski Area's base area. In addition, you have to be on the lookout for pedestrians crossing the busy roadway at four different crosswalks, and many of these people are visitors unfamiliar with local traffic patterns.

The most significant takeaway from the Feb. 22 announcement of the terms and prices for Alterra Mountain Company's new $899 Ikon Pass is that Steamboat Ski Resort, the business that has defined Steamboat Springs' identity as a destination resort for 50-plus years, is part of a group of mountain resorts that is well prepared to go toe to toe with Vail Resort's industry-dominating Epic Pass.