The latest effort to resurrect the Space Station gas station and Go-fer Foods convenience store in downtown Steamboat Springs has failed.
"Our deal with a prospective lessee/operator has fallen through," said Paul Brown, of Monument Oil, which owns the deserted lot at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue in the heart of downtown.
A month ago, Brown said negotiations with a local operator hinged on the securing of financing, he and noted that "timing couldn't be worse" given the difficulties of the lending climate. Earlier this year, Brown said he had the site under contract for sale, but that deal also fell through.
City officials are anxious to see the Space Station lot either reopened or at least made more attractive. The site has been surrounded by a chain-link fence for several months in what Brown said was supposed to be a short-term solution to keep people from parking there as he attempted to sell the property.
"We would like them to clean up the site a little bit, although it obviously looks better with a fresh blanket of snow," said Tom Leeson, the city's director of planning and community development. "We're hopeful we can get something a little more attractive than a chain-link fence."
Last month, Brown said that if his deal fell through with a local operator, he would either come to Steamboat and reopen the store as a company-operated business or at least replace the chain-link fence with a more attractive barrier, such as planters, by the end of the year. This week, Brown said factors such as the holidays and the moving of Monument Oil's headquarters in Grand Junction have slowed his plans.
"I just haven't had time to get up there," Brown said. "I will be moving forward to get up there shortly."
The store closed Dec. 22, 2006, after former operator Dan Bonner decided not to renew his lease after a decade. Earlier this year, a column in the Steamboat Today - which called the neglected site an eyesore and compared it to a vacant lot in Newark, N.J. - prompted a meeting between city officials and Brown.
City officials said last month that the site could be considered a "public nuisance" as defined in the Steamboat Springs Municipal Code. In response to Brown's assurances that he is trying to do something with the lot, however, the city has not cited Monument Oil.