Airport consultant chosen

Group split on whether city should fund alternative study



Steamboat Springs Airport Manager Mel Baker talks about how the airport is used.

Steamboat Springs Airport Manager Mel Baker talks about how the airport is used.


Pilot Steve Bender, of Mayo Aviation, taxis his plane on the tarmac of the Steamboat Springs Airport on Monday morning. The charter flight brought a group of people to Steamboat for a meeting.

— A citizen committee has chosen a consultant to study alternative uses for Steamboat Springs Airport, but it is unsure if the city should fund such a study at all.

Michael Turner, co-chairman of the Steamboat Springs Airport Steering Committee, confirmed Tuesday the committee will recommend Denver consultants Matrix Design Group to the Steamboat Springs City Council. Matrix Design Group is consulting on projects including the redevelopment of the former Stapleton International Airport in Denver, a transfer of contaminated federal property at the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center to the city of Aurora, and the stabilization of hydraulic patterns in the Roaring Fork River.

The City Council has allocated $100,000 for a comprehensive study of Steamboat Springs Airport, including the facility's local economic impact and cost of operations, the potential for consolidation at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, and scenarios for alternate uses of the 255-acre airport site.

At a Feb. 13 meeting, the City Council asked the steering committee to accept bids for the study. City transportation director George Krawzoff said the City Council is scheduled to review the committee's recommendation April 17.

"The committee voted 7-0 to recommend Matrix," Krawzoff said.

Should the council accept the recommendation, Matrix Design Group will become the second consulting firm to examine the controversial airport off Routt County Road 129. Armstrong Consultants, an airport engineering and planning firm based in Grand Junction, is already conducting a $216,000 study to assess possibilities for future growth and development at the airport and to update the airport's master plan.

The City Council appointed the steering committee in May 2006 to oversee the studies and then report to the council. The process is expected to take about 18 months.

Steering committee co-chair Jack Dysart, however, told the City Council last week that five of the seven committee members disagree with conducting an alternative study, primarily citing millions of dollars in grant funds that the city would have to repay the Federal Aviation Administration should the city change the use of the airport.

"I doubt the taxpayers will consider another $100,000 to mostly confirm what we already know as money well spent," Dysart wrote to the council.

Krawzoff said he will not discuss whether to conduct the alternative study with the City Council next week.

"It does us no good to keep going back to square one and to keep asking ourselves if we want to do this," Krawzoff said. "I think the council has been clear in its direction."

Turner emphasized that, in his view, the steering committee was appointed to oversee the studies, not to question their necessity.

"We were not appointed to decide whether or not a study should be done," Turner said. "But the committee is torn on this."


Gadfly 10 years ago

You've got to be kidding! This brain-dead City Council is going to spend $100,000 of our money on a study that will go nowhere and which even the airport study committee doesn't want to do? Give the $100,000 to the Housing Authority, where it might do somebody some good, and drop this Dellinger- and Brenner- driven lunacy. Time to put a stake in the heart of this monster.


Pilatus 10 years ago

What exactly is the point besides the educational aspect of how important the airport is to attracting the kind of people to Steamboat that pay the taxes to even consider a $100k expenditure?


elphaba 10 years ago

The point is, as it has been throughout this process, - The supposed constituency concerned about the airport doesn't exist. They have not appeared at ANY of the meetings or venues for public comments. There have been NO - as in ZERO "concerns" from any public. This is Dellinger and Brenner fronting for someone who wants to make a large profit on a land development scheme at the taxpayers' expense. They are willing to spend $100,000 of taxpayer money to do it so could there be something in it for them too?


Dave Moloney 10 years ago

Let's just keep spending $100,000 at a time until someone tells us what we want to hear. What a waste of the taxpayer's money. If we just spent $216,000 on a similar study, what is the point?


beentheredonethat 10 years ago

what ever became of the group that proposed buying the airport and surrounding land to develop fly in homes???? does anyone know?


jeannie berger 10 years ago

Please not another study to state the obvious.


panky 10 years ago

What does the City pay per year to keep the airport operational?

The $100,000.00 for the study is nothing compared to those costs.


WZ4EVER 10 years ago

Panky, you're right...that airport is THISCLOSE to becoming a cash cow for the NEXT City Council. The one thing (but it wouldn't cost $100k) that the "study" would do is de-bunk the cost accounting for the airport fund.

Elphaba is right too...its all about a real estate grab by Council cronies, me thinks.


CindyMaddox 10 years ago

What the $100,000 study will show is the airport is very close to being a profit-center for the City. What doing the study will produce is a deficit of $100,000 in the airport budget. HMMMM?????? Does that make sense? Maybe to this City Council.


reallocal 10 years ago

Maybe we can get a two for one deal with the school board's internal investigation. Heck, let's just invest in a ten punch card deal with "Wasting Government Money the Fun and Easy Way, Inc." The way this town's leadership is going we can probably use all ten punches this year...


inmate2007 10 years ago

Steamboat has truly arrived as a destination resort. We are a conspirators dream, they can read online about our petty government, evil developers and unbelievable characters all of whom can be construed to engage in numerous evil actions/events. And when they arrive to investigate the theory's they've developed they might find out they are right (score!). This marketing idea will make Steamboat more popular then any mystery cruise, the grassy knoll or Roswell.


panky 10 years ago

That $100.000.00 "deficit in the airport budget" could save millions of wasted city funds IF you're able to look past personal motives and take a broader long term look at the airport gains/losses.

Who gains? How many gain? How much is gained?

Who loses? How many lose? How much os lost?


toolg13 10 years ago

That's right - Who gains? A real estate developer and his buddies on Council. Who loese? The taxpayers of SBS. The airport does not cost this City money. It is an asset.


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