Groups work to save downtown Steamboat flower baskets |

Groups work to save downtown Steamboat flower baskets

Jack Weinstein

— A couple of local organizations are working to save the flowers that accent downtown Steamboat Springs throughout summer.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said early March is the deadline to buy the flower baskets that hang from light posts and the flower barrels that adorn the front of many downtown businesses. She said Mainstreet is meeting with the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association next week to try to figure out a way to preserve the flowers after the city cut the hanging baskets — at a cost of about $8,500 — from its 2012 budget. In so doing, the city also cut its watering of both the flower baskets and the flower barrels.

The Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, which sells the flower barrels to businesses as a fundraiser, also is working with Mainstreet and the Chamber.

Barnett said the majority of the cost to maintain the flowers is the watering. She estimated the cost to buy the baskets and water them at $13,000.

"It's really a big deal what these flowers take, but they're so gorgeous," Barnett said.

Chamber Board of Directors President Rex Brice, who also is a member of the Rotary Club's board of directors, said he's concerned about eliminating the flowers.

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"Our downtown, largely due to the flower program, is special in the summertime and very inviting," he said. "If we lose this, I think it's going to be a detriment to the community. We're looking for solutions. The conversation just started Monday afternoon. We haven't decided on anything."

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email

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