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Steamboat Magazine

The Summer Scoop

Honey Stinger CEO Richard Thompson (center) with his team: Sarah Mallicote, Kim Kourkoules, Mike Willig and Wendy Mayo. Photo courtesy of Melissa VanArsadle. 

"Head of the Hive"

Steamboat-based company Honey Stinger has welcomed a new leader to its ranks: Richard Thompson stepped in as CEO this year. Thompson, who joined the company at the beginning of 2022 as interim CEO, replaced Mike Keown, who had been in the position since October 2018.

Thompson is the founder of Pennsylvania-based company Factory LLC, which includes under its umbrella the brands Stuffed Puffs, Pipcorn, ROAR, Partake, Mikey’s, Sampler and now Honey Stinger. Factory LLC provides financial support for companies, in addition to brand-strategy guidance. Originally from Kansas, Thompson’s past work includes similar company-building roles at the American Italian Pasta Company, Meow Mix and Freshpet. 

Thompson is also instating changes, including adding hydration mixes, mini waffles, and nut-and-seed bars to Honey Stinger’s product repertoire. Novel flavors, including mango melon and cookies & cream, will also be added to the popular waffle lineup. At the company headquarters – located at the Steamboat Springs Airport – the company will implement a new basketball court, Pelotons, a weight room and a yoga area.

New Honey Stinger CEO, Richard Thompson.

"An intriguing Development"

For more than a century, the Brown Ranch just west of Steamboat Springs was a fertile harvesting ground for oats and wheat. Now, after more than a decade of lying empty, the ranch will become fertile again – this time, as a place to grow community. 

An anonymous donor gave this 556-acre property, which includes 376 buildable acres, to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. The YVHA plans to use the land to create a large development of affordable housing, complete with views of Sleeping Giant, Emerald Mountain and the Steamboat Ski Area. 

Brown Ranch affords views of Sleeping Giant and close proximity to the Yampa River. Photo courtesy of Brown Ranch / Ben Saheb. 

 The development will comprise neighborhoods where Routt County workers can live long-term and build a sense of community – housing costs will not surpass 30% of each resident’s income. Housing openings will only be available to local workers, defined as those who work at least 30 hours per week at an employer physically located within Routt County. 

The Steamboat Springs community has been in dire need of affordable housing in recent years, leading to a drastic drop off in the area’s workforce numbers. The Brown Ranch affordable housing development could counteract this trend. Projections predict that Steamboat will need as many as 2,300 new homes by the year 2040, and Brown Ranch will meet a significant portion of this need with 1200 units built by 2030.