Greetings, Steamboat Springs and surrounding communities. I am Soniya Fidler, president of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center and the new president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Board of Directors.

I arrived in Steamboat Springs, sight unseen, in 2000 to be a ski bum. Now, more than 23 years later, I feel extremely fortunate to call it home. Steamboat Springs is an incredible place to raise a family, have a fulfilling and challenging career and engage in the community. No matter the reason you chose to make Routt County your home, I believe many of us stay because of the great sense of community found here.

I have participated on the Steamboat Springs Chamber Board of Directors for over five years and am honored to serve as president this year. I am excited to steward the vision of the Steamboat Springs Chamber — economic vitality for Routt County. We are the catalyst for business growth, we convene leaders and influencers and we champion for a thriving community.

Each year, the Steamboat Springs Chamber sets strategic goals, and this past year saw success through a variety of initiatives and accomplishments. With pandemic support in our rear-view mirror, we got back to the basics of supporting our members and the local business community.

We focused our efforts on destination stewardship, expanded programs and membership engagement that could best support our community’s current needs. We acted on over 20 policy issues, received two membership awards at the Annual Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce, and created a new business education series.

On top of all this, we also provided education at the Visitor Center and through our online channels to be good stewards of Steamboat Springs’ resources while also helping our community better understand why tourism is essential for so many local businesses to survive and thrive. We experienced a change in leadership, and are happy to have Sarah Leonard, an incredibly strong and committed leader, as our new CEO.

Over the past few months, the Chamber board and staff have been diligently working on a strategic plan overhaul to truly focus our efforts on priority areas. We have an opportunity to collaborate with communities outside of Steamboat Springs as we work to expand our reach further in Routt County, elevate the voices of future generations, support our members, act as a central resource for the community and ensure our long-term sustainability.

As we move through 2024, we will continue to support and advocate for our business community. We know business growth can occur alongside the preservation of the traditions, culture and environment rooted in the Yampa Valley. Just like so many in Northwest Colorado, we too want to protect our Western charm and hospitality. While we must plan for welcoming visitors to our incredible community, we are working to do so in a way that is beneficial to our businesses, workforce and quality of life. We look forward to continuing to support our residents while welcoming visitors as we keep the vitality of our town at the core of what we do.

I encourage business owners, the local workforce and others throughout the community to join the Steamboat Springs Chamber in engaging with our advocacy work, leveraging membership benefits, attending networking or professional development events, learning about destination stewardship, and welcoming visitors who support our local economy and culture. Read on the Pilot website >>