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Steamboat Magazine

Steamboat Magazine Pays Tribute to Its Late Leader

06/08/2023 07:00AM ● By Steamboat Magazine
From Steamboat Magazine Home Edition 2023

Colorado held a special place in Dr. H. Dennison “Denny” Parker’s heart, and Steamboat Springs was at the center of that affection. 

In Steamboat, he was a publisher, mentor, friend and colleague to the staff of Steamboat Magazine. In 1998, he and his then wife, Nora Sherwood, purchased the business, which they  operated until Parker sold it in 2004. 

“We were fortunate to acquire Steamboat Magazine from Michael Barry’s Mac Media in July 1998. We’ve had a chance to work with some wonderful people in the community, and I’d like to thank them for all their support,” Nora wrote in the first edition of the magazine the couple published.  “You’ll notice some changes in Steamboat Magazine. Our goal has been to increase the quantity of usable information. In addition to the beautiful feature articles you’ve come to expect, you’ll notice additions like the city map and free bus maps in  the Visitors’ Guide.”

Their goals largely formed the Steamboat Springs Visitors’ Guide as it appears today. It’s not surprising that maps were at the top of the Parkers’ list. Denny was a pioneer of GIS technology, as well as the founder and publisher of GIS World magazine and GIS World books, later adding GIS Europe and GIS Asia to the publication roster. 

(Denny Parker co-owned Steamboat Magazine from 1998-2004.)

His enthusiasm for wildlife, riparian systems, hunting and camping stemmed in part from his doctorate in environmental biology from Colorado State University. Since Denny’s tenure at Steamboat Magazine, these topics have been mainstays of the publication’s editorial content. 

Denny led the company into the digital age. He envisioned a website with live cams, up-to-the-minute weather reports and video footage, decades before others saw these possibilities for websites. At one point, he purchased an early incarnation of a weather sensor, climbed onto the rooftop of the office building where the magazine was housed and installed the equipment himself because no one else in Steamboat had the skills to do so. 

He brought a wealth of expertise to publishing Steamboat Magazine. Long after he sold the business to Deborah Olsen in 2004, he stayed involved as a business consultant and mentor. 
“I don’t think Steamboat Magazine would be what it is today without Denny’s help,” Deb says. “We weathered the recession, numerous boom-and-bust cycles, the emergence of the digital age and even Covid, in large part thanks to his stalwart encouragement and practical advice.” 

In addition to his involvement with the magazine, Denny was also an enthusiastic supporter of the community, especially the Strings Music Festival. After he moved from Northwest Colorado to Florida, he continued to return to Steamboat to hike, flyfish, photograph and explore the outdoors with his son, Jeffrey. 

Dr. H. Dennison Parker died Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, in Lake Wales, Florida, where he was surrounded by his family. He leaves his son, daughters Kimberley and Nissa, and grandchildren Bailey, Tessa, Jeremy, Peyson and Devan in his wake.