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Steamboat Resort opens Saturday with a tiny fraction of skiable terrain

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Steamboat Resort opens Saturday with a tiny fraction of skiable terrain

Steamboat resort will open for skiing and riding on Saturday and Beaver Creek is expected to open on Monday, bringing the number of Colorado ski areas in operation to 15.

Both Steamboat and Beaver Creek had to postpone their previously scheduled openings due to mild weather. Steamboat was scheduled to open last Saturday and Beaver Creek was scheduled to open this past Wednesday.

Steamboat will open five trails on 20 acres. That’s less than 1% of the resort’s total skiable acres of 2,965.

“This has been a particularly dry and warm pre-season,” Dave Hunter, Steamboat’s vice president of resort operations, said in a news release. “Snowmaking depends on wet-bulb temperatures, which is a combination of temperatures and low humidity to create the ideal temperature for mimicking Mother Nature. Our five-year average wet bulb temperature is 15 degrees, and this season our average wet bulb temperature has been 20 degrees. Those extra five degrees make a huge difference. Ideal snowmaking conditions range between 12-18 degrees. We’ve asked a lot of our snowmakers, and they have stepped up to the challenge.”

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Column: Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus hit the ground running at a time when the Chicago Bears roster is ready to be revamped. That will make changes easier as they work to reboot the franchise.

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Column: Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus hit the ground running at a time when the Chicago Bears roster is ready to be revamped. That will make changes easier as they work to reboot the franchise.

Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus are expected to be introduced soon at Halas Hall as the new power duo atop the Chicago Bears organization.

It will give Chairman George McCaskey the opportunity to run back his quote from a little more than a year ago, when he declared “Ryan and Matt are our football guys.” That was in reference to Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy, whom the Bears stuck with in 2021 only to decide to clean house.

Poles, 36, and Eberflus, 51, who comes to the Bears after a four-year stint as defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, are both in their new roles, so there will be elements of learning on the fly.

Poles, the new general manager, and Eberflus, the 17th head coach in franchise history, come with glowing recommendations from those who have worked with them. They’re detail-oriented and communicate well, and the messages they had for the team’s search committee obviously resonated.

“Ryan has been an integral part of this organization’s success over the years and has grown professionally alongside some of the league’s top personnel people in his time in Kansas City,” Chiefs GM Brett Veach said in a statement. “The Bears are getting a hard-working, meticulous and personable leader who has a vision for how to build a winning team on the field and establish a winning culture off of it. I am incredibly excited for Ryan and his family as they begin this journey in Chicago.”

Said Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who worked with the new coach in Dallas: “(Eberflus) is bright … and he communicates very well and he has done a hell of a job at Indy.”

Change comes at a good time. It’s premature to expect either man to have a lot of details for what kind of personnel moves they anticipate making, but there is a lot of room for movement. The Bears have only 29 veterans under contract for 2022, according to overthecap.com, and have at least a couple of clear candidates to be released. So a retooling of the roster isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. No GM or coach is going to acquire a clean slate, but the roster is wide open for them when considering only 19 veterans are signed through 2023.

The Bears are without first- and fourth-round draft picks, which will make building an effective rookie class challenging, but with some maneuvering they will have enough salary-cap space to buy the players they want.

If Eberflus wants to convert the defense to a 4-3 base scheme — which he ran with the Colts — it will be easier from the standpoint that open roster spots will make it possible to acquire new players without having to try to convert as much personnel that might not be ideal fits. Of course, the presence of edge rushers Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, who are scheme transcendent, helps.

Poles and Eberflus have many questions to answer about their vision for an offense that has underperformed for much of the last seven years. The last time the Bears were potent on offense, during the two-year run of coach Marc Trestman, they had such glaring issues on defense that complementary football was something they rarely achieved.

Quarterback Justin Fields is entering his second year and coming off a frustrating rookie season in which he struggled and dealt with injuries. The offensive coordinator hire is going to be key, and it will be interesting to see if they seek an experienced play caller or go with a first-timer.

It might sound counterintuitive, but the best-case scenario for the Bears if they hire a first-time play caller is if he gets dramatic improvement from Fields quickly, the offense surges from the depths of rankings and the coordinator becomes a hot commodity as a head-coaching candidate. Sure, the Bears would then run the risk of losing a central figure in the turnaround of a moribund offense, but if the offense doesn’t explode, the team is unlikely to become a consistent contender.

That’s why the hiring of a sharp quarterbacks coach, who can be groomed as a future play caller, is essential in the process as well. If Eberflus can find a coordinator on a fast track to becoming a head coach, the Bears would have a self-trained replacement ready for promotion. In reality, it would be a good problem for the Bears to have as soon as, say, 2024.

Until Poles and Eberflus are rolled out to meet the media, they will be working to build out the staff, with Poles certain to want changes in the personnel department.

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Denver’s first alcohol-free bar starts to franchise

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Denver’s first alcohol-free bar starts to franchise

Less than a year since Billy and Christy Wynne started pouring mocktails at Awake in Jefferson Park, the couple is hoping to expand their non-alcoholic bar across Colorado and the U.S.

Awake opened applications for franchises on its website this week. Interested business owners can start the process by filling out an inquiry form.

“We’ve been inspired by the dozens of people from across the country who have reached out wanting to bring a radically inclusive, alcohol-free bar to their community,” Billy Wynne said in a release. “We’re honored to offer this opportunity and support the normalization of not drinking.”

No franchises have been confirmed as of yet.

“We’ve been hustling to put this together in response to the numerous inquiries we’ve gotten from people in and out of state,” Billy Wynne said.

Awake opened last May with around 40 alcohol-free beverage offerings. The bar serves coffee by morning and switches to N/A drinks around 4 p.m. (noon on weekends). Menus of seasonal mocktails and “elixirs” ($7-$14) are accompanied by sandwiches and snacking plates ($4-$25). A bottle shop onsite sells N/A beer, wine and spirits to take home.

2240 N. Clay St., 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, until 5 p.m. Sunday and until 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, awakedenver.com   

Subscribe to our new food newsletter, Stuffed, to get Denver food and drink news sent straight to your inbox.

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Sunny skies Friday with highs in the upper-20s

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Sunny skies Friday with highs in the upper-20s

St. Louis weather from FOX 2 Meteorologist Linh Truong:

ST. LOUIS – Sunshine spreads across the St. Louis area Friday afternoon with highs in the upper-20s. Quiet, milder weather moves in this weekend. Expect sunny skies and highs in the 30s and 40s.

Big changes are coming next week. It will be warm and dry on Monday. It looks wet starting out on Tuesday and lasting through Thursday with temps in the 40s and 50s.

There is a chance for some snow late Thursday night.

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