Regional coal conference shifts to Steamboat Springs |

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Regional coal conference shifts to Steamboat Springs

If you go …

What: Colorado Coal Power Generation Conference

When: Aug. 23 through 25

Where: Sheraton Steamboat Resort, 2200 Village Inn Court, Steamboat Springs.

Cost: Registration is $125.

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Next month, the Colorado Coal Power Generation Conference will kick off in an location different than originally planned.

The semi-annual conference, which in the past has been hosted in Craig, will take place Aug. 23 through 25 at Sheraton Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs.

Event planner Gena Hinkemeyer, a Craig resident, said this year's event was originally scheduled for May at the Moffat County Pavilion, but was postponed due to difficulties booking speakers.

"So, while researching for a new date, I noticed the Colorado Water Congress had scheduled its annual conference in August (at the Sheraton), so I thought, 'Why not have our conference either before or after their conference?'

"A large number of the audience we're trying to target would be in attendance at their conference."

The idea grew, Hinkemeyer said. Eventually, the Colorado Coal Power Generation Conference and Colorado Water Conference partnered for a single event.

Hinkemeyer said the partnership makes strategic sense because the Colorado Water Congress event is popular with state lawmakers.

"We're hoping to have quite a few state legislators (at the conference)," she said. "We're hoping to get them over to Craig to show them the power plant and Trapper Mine, so they can see for themselves what clean energy is all about.

"We want them to see how important it is for us in the Yampa Valley."

On the third day of the three-day event, buses will depart Steamboat Springs for a tour of Craig's coal industry. The tour will be followed by a barbecue and live music at Wyman Museum, Hinkemeyer said.

The conference, she said, is an opportunity to address issues the coal industry faces.

"Clean coal and power generation are pertinent to our economy, our jobs and our quality of life here in the Yampa Valley," she said. "In the coming years, our ability to provide clean, affordable and reliable energy and water will be challenged by issues such as population, demand growth, the ever-changing regulatory environment and climate change.

"The conference is to get people together to talk about the challenges we're going to be faced with, and also to get people down here (to Craig) to see what we're all about."

The fee to attend the conference is $125, and the barbecue dinner is an additional $35.

Registration for the event can be completed online at

On Tuesday, Hinkemeyer plans to visit the regular meetings of the Moffat County Commission and Craig City Council.

There, she will make a plea to the local governing bodies for support.

"I plan to meet with them to give them an update on the conference itself and the scheduled events," She said. And, we – the Colorado Coal Power Generation – will also be asking them for support in helping to make the event successful by sponsoring a portion of the event and speaking at the event."

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