A Conversation With Mike And Colleen Sutter, Act I
By Mike Sutter
I was sitting down with my iPad beginning to write my article for this month when Colleen asked me what I was doing. This is how the conversation went:
Mike: It is time for me to write the Chairman’s article for the Masonry Magazine.
Colleen: Are you going to talk about the mid-year being in my hometown of Steamboat Springs?
Mike: Yes, the 2017 MCAA mid-year meeting will be held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, August 28, 29, 30. For those who have not been there before, you will not be disappointed. Steamboat Springs’ summers have become very popular with all the outdoor activities offered. We will be staying at the Steamboat Grand which is just minutes from the Gondola Square at the Steamboat Ski Resort.
Mike: You know that Steamboat is commonly called Ski Town USA, due to the fact that more Olympians call Steamboat home than any other ski area. However, the area has a rich western heritage. Don’t forget to mention your favorite pastime is to count the number of FM Light & Sons signs on the drive from Denver to Steamboat each year. The signs for the Westernwear store are historic landmarks that can’t be replaced once they fall down.
Mike: Monday morning starts our Committee meetings. This is where we set our agenda for the coming year. All Committee Chairmen attend this meeting to represent their committees and also all MCAA members are invited to hear the committee goals and also express their own opinion on where we should lead the association. Our Vice-Chairman Paul Odom will be the facilitator for these meetings as they will be his committees for the next 2 years beginning in January.
Colleen: Be sure to tell them how excited I am that on Monday the Opening Reception/Dinner will be held at sunset at the top of the ski hill at Thunderhead Lodge. It is only a short ride on the eight-passenger Gondola, with views that are simply beautiful overlooking the valley below.
Mike: Somebody will need to hold Jeff’s hand, as he is afraid to ride the gondola, I’m thinking Larry Vacala can handle that duty.
We will continue Tuesday morning with Speed Dating. It is an event that offers a lot of information and this year it has become even bigger with additional suppliers/vendors. This is always a big hit with both the contractors and the vendors as we get time to connect personally and hear how our vendors can help us with very specific challenges we may face. That afternoon everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy golf at the Haymaker Golf Course with a PEC (Political Education Committee) fundraiser.
Colleen: For those non-golfers, Steamboat offers so many activities. Steamboat Flyfisher provides the angler the opportunity to catch some huge trout in the Yampa and Elk Rivers. Guides are also able to provide fishing in non-public areas. You can be an experienced angler or a beginner and still have a great time.
Mike: I know Alan Johnson and Heath Holdaway will be looking forward to it.
Colleen: Steamboat Zipline Adventures offers a state of the art six-segment zipline course with breathtaking views of the mountains and valley followed by an ATV ride back to the drop off point.
Mike: I’ll bet Paul Oldham will be leading the pack for this exciting adventure.
Mike: On Wednesday morning, we have our business meeting taking up the majority of the morning. While in the afternoon, everyone again will have the opportunity to take advantage of the many activities Steamboat offers. A trip to the Strawberry Park Hot Springs will be an unforgettable experience, especially after dark when you will find Mark Kemp there (clothing optional after dark).
Colleen: Yea, my parents didn’t allow me to go there growing up but now it is very family friendly, at least during the day. However, my favorite place to see is Fish Creek Falls. It is just a short hike down to the Falls with additional hiking to the top of the falls for the more adventurous hikers.
Mike: The closing dinner will be held at Saddleback Ranch. After leaving the hotel and arriving at the ranch, we will all ride on a horse drawn wagon ride to the Double Dollar Lodge where we’ll enjoy drinks, dinner and entertainment. It will be a great fun-filled evening while viewing the beautiful Colorado sunset.
Colleen: I believe this will be a destination that everyone will enjoy. In fact, there are so many things to do there that many are already planning on spending extra time there enjoying such things as the water sports, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, or enjoying one of the new Pedego Electric Bike Tours.
Mike: I know I am already planning on coming early to spend Saturday morning at Saddleback Ranch. Because the Ranch is a working ranch, everyone can get the opportunity enjoy the experience of a “cattle drive.”
I closed my iPad and Colleen said I thought you were going to write your article. I said, I just did. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Steamboat next month!
About the Author
Mike Sutter is the CEO of Sutter Masonry, Inc. He has served as an officer on the Executive Board and the Region G Vice President for the Mason Contractors Association of America.