Stettner hanging up hat

Historic Routt County director wants next generation to take reins

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— Historic Routt County co-founder Arianthe Stettner will retire next month from her role as executive director of the nonprofit organization.

"I'm still going to be involved, but I'm just shifting gears so I have more time to play," said Stettner, 59, a Steamboat Spr-

ings resident.

Stettner has lived in Routt County since 1971 and first became active in historic preservation in the late 1980s. In 1992, Stettner served on the Historic Preservation Committee, a newly formed group under the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

"That was really the first chapter of Historic Routt County," Stettner said.

In late 1997, that committee formed Historic Routt County, or HRC. Stettner, who was a Steamboat Springs City Council member from 1997 to 2003, served on the Historic Routt County Board until 2005, when she was named HRC's first executive director.

"I've been doing this a long time, and I love it in all different ways," Stettner said.

She said HRC has a strong foundation, a dedicated board and an impressive record of preservation programs and projects. The organization's mission is to "promote the heritage and historic character of Routt County communities and rural areas."

HRC also has a good home, Stettner said, on the second floor of the historical Squire Building at the corner of Ninth Street and Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat.

HRC has helped property owners get their buildings listed on the Routt County, Colorado and National Historic Registers.

"One thing that has been fabulous has been our nomination initiative," she said. "It's helped 60 people get their properties listed on historic registries."

Other HRC projects have included the restoration of the Routt County National Bank Building, rehabilitation of the Mesa Schoolhouse and stabilization of the Mad Creek Barn. The organization also is conducting a survey of Hayden commercial buildings.

"The success of preservation happens in the private sector," said City Council member Towny Anderson, who spent his professional career in preservation. "The private nonprofit is really the liaison between government and the private sector."

Anderson said he was sad to learn of Stettner's retirement.

"She has a true preservation ethic and has probably done more to introduce that to this community and the region than anyone else," Anderson said. "We have a long way to go, but she has got us to where we are at. We've certainly made progress."

HRC Board president Patrick Delaney said the organization has "big shoes to fill."

"It's a big loss for HRC, but it's good for Arianthe to step back and do some things she wants to do," Delaney said. "It will leave a big hole in our organization, but she put us in a good position to move forward from. We know she'll still be involved, and the board really appreciated her contributions."

Stettner said she plans to travel to Europe with her husband, Paul Stettner, who also is retired.

"It will be great fun, but Historic Routt County is part of what I do," Stettner said. "I just think of the skills that the next generation can bring to the table."

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