For many, traveling to new places and exploring new communities is certainly a highlight in life. As we embark on those new adventures, doing so with a responsibly kind mindset is key. Here in Steamboat Springs, guests are welcomed with open arms and western hospitality. Kindness Floats the Boat is the slogan in Steamboat Springs, reminding visitors and locals alike to spread kindness so we can better appreciate the land, this special place, and time spent in it.  

The Steamboat Springs Chamber originally set out to create a Visit Responsibly campaign, but in 2022 transitioned that to a broader stewardship function now known as Kindness Floats the Boat. Chamber marketing director Laura Soard explains that Kindness Floats the Boat is a way to share the values and balance the needs of our community. It is a way for everyone to think about “how we can all be better stewards of this incredible place we share, whether we live here or are just visiting,” says Soard.   

Three important pillars comprise the concept of Kindness Floats the Boat: taking care of others, the environment and ourselves. Underneath each pillar are catchy slogans to remind us of how we can best practice and share the core values of Steamboat Springs. 

Spread kindness” is the first message, reminding us to take care of others by embodying Steamboat’s western hospitality, shopping locally and respecting the Yampa Valley. Steamboat Springs is well known as a friendly town where we showcase our western hospitality by helping a “partner” out. Being patient, kind, saying hello and showing off your smile are all great ways keep the spirit of Steamboat alive. Shopping locally at a family-run business or perhaps the local Farmer’s Market is a great way to keep it local and support the community we all enjoy. Respecting the Yampa Valley also falls under the “spread kindness” pillar, reminding us to take care of and respect the open spaces, rivers, lakes and trails we all love and share. Trail and river etiquette are especially important, and knowing the rules before recreating are essential in sharing the Yampa Valley kindly.  

Preserve the place” is another important slogan to know, dedicated to taking care of our environment and the wildlife that call Steamboat home. “Keep wildlife wild” is an important practice so we can all act appropriately around wild animals for everyone’s safety, including the wild animal. “Be wildfire aware” is imperative for all, especially for those who travel to Steamboat from very different climates. In Steamboat and much of the western United States, a dry climate paired with warm temperatures can be quite dreamy for outdoor recreation; however, it can also create an environment that can be susceptible to fire danger. Being knowledgeable and following wildfire safety tips are key to preserving the great outdoors we all enjoy. And Leave No Trace, a now global movement, is key in doing your part to “preserve the place” in Steamboat Springs and beyond. Steamboat Springs has partnered with the Colorado Tourism Office and Leave No Trace to highlight seven core principles that are especially pertinent to recreating in the beautiful state of Colorado.  

Take care” is the third slogan comprising Kindness Floats the Boat, capturing the importance of also taking care of yourself. “Know before you go” is vitally important, reminding us to do the research and to be prepared before heading out to recreate. And part of being prepared for outdoor recreation is also knowing how to access and call emergency services in Steamboat Springs and Routt County. Taking care of yourself, especially if you are visiting, also includes the phrase: “be altitude aware”. Altitude can affect people in ways they might not expect, and at higher elevation, we are all susceptible to sunburn and dehydration. Taking care of yourself by hydrating well, applying sunscreen and gradually transitioning to higher elevations can help you avoid the undesirable effects of altitude sickness.  

Visiting and living in the Steamboat Springs community responsibly helps to make it the extra special place that it is. For a fun and engaging way to learn all of these important principles, challenge yourself to the Kindness Floats the Boat Scavenger Hunt (scroll to the bottom of the page). Kindness Floats the Boat is an exceptional resource, reminding us of all the ways we can best take care of others, the environment and ourselves in the amazing community we all love.