Business Beat: Winter weather necessitates snow tire sales



Andy Bockelman is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society, and his movie reviews appear in Explore Steamboat and the Craig Daily Press.

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With the first day of winter come and gone, Northwest Colorado is far from immune to the driving conditions that come with the coldest months of the year.

Snow, slush and ice will be in plentiful supply on the highways, city streets and back roads of the region. And if you haven’t already taken the precautions to deal with these, the time is now to contact your preferred tire dealer.

Fred Shaffer, owner of Big O Tires, 1111 W. Victory Way, said he is still receiving requests for snow tires.

“We’ve been selling them for three months, that’s when we started to advertise,” he said. “It gets really busy at that time. It’s the nature of the business.”

Though servicing vehicles with winter gear is no more difficult at this point in the year than any other, Shaffer urges people not to procrastinate. He added that the studded setup of snow tires makes them the best option.

“They’re top of the heap when it comes to traction for winter driving,” he said. “Everyone thinks that all-season tires will get them through everything, but I’ve got articles on my desk that say they’re proving now that they’re good in summer but have limited use in winter. If you want ultimate protection in winter, you have to go with snow tires, the traction values are way higher.

“The ideal situation is to use all-season in the summer and snow tires in the winter.”

Shaffer said the proper methodology for snow tires is to buy a new set biannually, though depending on the usage they can last for three years.

“You have people who come in this year who bought them two years ago, or next year we’ll have people who bought them last year,” he said.

Equine group to start non-profit process

Nancy Roberts has been working on a project for about two years now.

And, what started as a hobby is about to turn the corner to become a full-fledged philanthropic effort.

Roberts is the organizer for an as-of-yet-untitled coalition dedicated to preserving the mustang herd of Sandwash Basin, part of western Moffat County.

Roberts has been documenting the area’s wild horses since fall 2009, blogging about them and maintaining a Facebook page about the herd that has attracted local and national attention.

“We’ve got almost 4,000 people following us,” Roberts said.

Roberts hosted a meeting Nov. 19 at Downtown Books to test the waters and find people in the region who would be interested in forming a group to further observe and care for the mustangs, of which there are about 400 head, according to the most recent aerial census of the herd management area by the Bureau of Land Management.

With about 10 people ready to join in with enthusiasm, she is ready to take the cause to the next step as an official non-profit organization.

The first steps involve dealing with red tape to receive designation as a non-profit group and perhaps more importantly, settling on an official title.

“It should be a fun group, we’re hoping to have a naming contest,” Roberts said. “We don’t have any funding right now, so we need to do some fundraising, like maybe a poker run.

“Becoming a non-profit is a matter of getting organized to get that tax status. We need a mission statement and officers like a president and a treasurer.”

“Once we’re a non-profit, we can do things like apply for grants, get sponsorship, maybe start a foundation. We’re also hoping to work with the BLM.”

Roberts said she is hoping to follow in the footsteps — or hoofprints — of Friends of the Mustangs, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes the welfare of the Little Book Cliff herd near Grand Junction.

“We’re really hoping to mimic their success,” Roberts said.

Roberts said with proper funding, group members would be able to take on a variety of on-range projects, like taking over the task of administering PZT, which is currently performed by the Humane Society of the United States.

“We want to be a voice for the horses,” Roberts said. “There aren’t many wild mustangs in Colorado anymore.”

Roberts’ group will meet again at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

For more information, visit or call 756-1978.

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Lethie 5 years, 4 months ago

How wonderful to hear the news about Nancy Robert's efforts to start a non profit org. to help preserve the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses in Moffat County. This is a beautiful group of horses and a real asset to the County. I came all the way from Florida to see them. It was a amazing trip and Nancy has a real appreciation for what they stand for. I encouage the folks in Moffat County and Colorado to go see these horses so they will get an appreciation for their unique role in mother nature's paradise. Good Luck.


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