Veteran businesswoman swaps roles

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Tracy Barnett, the former owner of Mazzola's Italian Restaurant, has been hired as the interim executive director of Main Street Steamboat Springs for the coming year.

Main Street Steamboat Springs is a nonprofit organization based on a national model that is working to strengthen Steamboat's downtown commercial district.

"Our board of directors is delighted that Tracy is willing to take on this job," Main Street President Tom Ptach said. "She is one of the founding board members of Main Street Steamboat Springs and has chaired our promotions committee since its outset. She is a strong believer in the Main Street concept and a seasoned business and marketing professional,"

Ptach said Barnett's top priorities include working with the organization committee to build a membership program. In addition, Barnett and the Financial Restructuring Committee have been tasked with compiling a database of the buildings in the area including Oak Street, Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street. The database, or space inventory, will become the basis for managing the mix of businesses in downtown Steamboat.

Barnett said she is seeking volunteers interested in doing some of the legwork necessary to contact businesses for memberships and the space inventory.

Main Street Steamboat hopes to have some built-in membership as the Downtown Business Association prepares to merge with Main Street. Memberships in Main Street will cost $50 for individuals and $300 for businesses, but current DBA members will receive a prorated membership, Barnett said.

The Steamboat Springs City Council recently agreed to fund Main Street Steamboat next year with $20,000 or $30,000, depending on the outcome of the Nov. 2 vote on the Local Marketing District. LMD funds would not be used to fund Main Street Steamboat, but its passage would create new room in the city budget.

Ptach said hiring an executive director and obtaining annual funding will make the local Main Street organization eligible for official status under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. That status, in turn, opens up eligibility for a range of grant monies.

Barnett, who will step down as a Main Street board member, serves on the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and is a former president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. She was named 1991 Woman of the Year by the Yampa Valley Business and Professional Women's Organization.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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