Art Museum looks for long-term lease

City Council to discuss facility's future at meeting tonight



5 p.m. Steamboat Art Museum presentation

6 p.m. Joint meeting with Hayden Town Board to discuss regional topics

7 p.m. Public comment, continue regional discussion, review five-year plan for capital improvement projects

If you go

What: Meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Contact: Call city offices at 879-2060 for more information.

— Supporters of the Steamboat Art Museum will ask city officials tonight for a long-term commitment to the museum's downtown location.

At 5 p.m. at Centennial Hall, the Steamboat Springs City Council will hear a presentation of findings from a wide-ranging feasibility study assessing future options for the museum, which opened its doors at 807 Lincoln Ave., known as the Rehder Building, in December 2006. Robert Bailey, vice-president of AMS Planning & Research, said the study began in April and assessed all aspects of the museum's potential and possibilities, including local needs for visual arts, successes and challenges at similar museums in other communities, a funding analysis and operating forecasts. Bailey said that with tonight's presentation, he hopes to solidify the city's support for a grassroots effort that began in 2005.

"What we're looking for is commitment to a long-term lease for the building," Bailey said. "Anything more than 25 years would be suitable : and would basically set the museum on a path to go out and raise the necessary money to renovate the building."

Bailey said a long-term lease for the museum would allow supporters to pursue grant funding and, in time, expand the museum into a cultural hub - an attraction the study says would be very desirable in Steamboat.

"The analysis, based on AMS's national data on attendance at the arts, indicates that area residents are much more likely to attend museums and express interest in the arts," the study states, citing a strong tourism market and rising amount of wealthy homeowners in the area. "Cultural and educational experiences rank high among the population living in the region."

Following the museum discussion, the City Council will meet with members of the Hayden Town Board to discuss regional issues including construction of a sports complex in Hayden and affordable housing.


another_local 9 years, 7 months ago

The building was gifted to the city who now owns it. The museum would be the tenant. The lease would be the contract the defines the obligations and protections of both parties. A lease is form of property rights and as such defines what the entity using the building can do with it. This form of property rights is for a defined period of time rather than ownership which is not defined by time.

What do you do after 25 years? Hopefully renew the lease if it still works for both parties.

Whether or not there is "profit" in the lease is something to be determined, but they do need a lease regardless. Even if they decide to lease it to the museum for $1 per year you still need the contract.


addlip2U 9 years, 7 months ago

How ironic! We can not support Art Museum and Cultural Facilities and Programs, but the City is willing to pump our money into sport complex, the Recreation Center, the tennis bubble, the golf course club house. Where is the balance? No more Rec center and definitely no sports complex for me. I have had enough of the Triple crown invasion. Bring on the culture and they will come.


id04sp 9 years, 7 months ago

A 25 year lease in a town where real estate values are going up out of control? What fool landlord would buy into a deal like that?

You want a museum, then buy or build something to put it in. A few beavers and bears carved out of pine stumps, paintings of broke-back boyfriends and a weeping Ute chief on horseback are about all that passes for art locally anyway.

Local residents express a great interest in art because a large number of them studied it in school and then discovered that you can't make a living at it. They won't pay much to look at it either; people will expect it to be free. I'm afraid that a Spencer's Gifts on Lincoln would be just as big a draw to the general public, and would probably be a better use of the space.


another_local 9 years, 7 months ago

Addlip and ido4,

I think you missed something in the story... where is the lack of support for the museum you are responding too Addlip? I am with you on the rec center, but I think you must have misread the story on the museum.

The property was gifted to the city about a year ago on the condition it be used as a museum. The property was free, but there are certainly costs associated with owning it. I think what is happening is sorting out how much funding the museum can put together for operations, maintainance and improvements. Getting grant money for that kind of thing requires that the non-profit involved (the museum) has the property commited for a lengthy period of time which is why the lease issue is being raised now.

If the museum can fund itself through revenue and grants and the city contribution is forgoing the taxes I am all for it.


id04sp 9 years, 7 months ago

Okay, maybe I was at the dessert table when they covered this at one of my Mensa meetings, but why do you need a lease on property that was a GIFT? Do you mean you want somebody to build a structure on the museum property and then lease it to the foundation to house the collections of dried leaves and velvet Elvises?

I guess this could be done and provide a profit for the building owner (due to tax considerations, depreciation, etc.) but what do you do in 25 years? Have it torn down and start again?

I'd pick the blue Pro Panel for the exterior walls. It blends with the sky.


id04sp 9 years, 7 months ago

The city should sell that property and use the money to cover other expenses. If the benefactor intended it to be used as a museum, they should have established a not-for-profit private foundation. This sounds like a way for somebody to dump a white elephant on the city to obtain a tax break.


another_local 9 years, 7 months ago

They can't sell it. they can give it back but they can not sell it. the non profit has been established already.

White elephant? It is probably worth 2 million.


trollunderthebridge 9 years, 7 months ago

It is my understanding that the Building was gifted to the City for City use or use for the benefit of the public. There was no "strings" attached to it that it had to be a museum, they just came forward with the plan to create a museum.

What is a problem is that I think the building came with a roof that is in dire need of replacement to what some have said could cost $1million


id04sp 9 years, 7 months ago


Thanks for the info.

What is a problem is that I think the building came with a roof that is in dire need of replacement to what some have said could cost $1million<

I think this says it all.


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