Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs City Council unanimously chose longtime Steamboat resident Gloria Gossard as this year's winner of the biennial Steamboat Springs Heritage Award at a special meeting Monday.
Gossard was nominated by the Tread of Pioneers Museum for countless donations to the community, including her 1999 donation to the city of a 120-acre parcel that wraps around the east side of Emerald Mountain and includes an inactive stone quarry. The parcel was named Gloria Gossard Park in 2005 and was dedicated in a ceremony last year.
The Steamboat Springs Heritage Award recognizes outstanding community citizenship and qualities including human service, open space preservation and maintenance of community character, or, as Councilman Steve Ivancie worded it Monday, the award should go to someone "who spans decades and whose impact will be felt for decades beyond us."
Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski said the decision to choose Gossard above four other nominees was "a no-brainer."
"She dedicated a mountain to the community and a lifetime of service," Hermacinski said.
Gossard was a supporter of numerous local organizations, including the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, the Strings Music Festival, the Visiting Nurse Association, LIFT-UP, the Bud Werner Memorial Library and the Tread of Pioneers Museum.
"The Gossard name is synonymous with the heritage of Steamboat Springs," Jayne Hill wrote in a letter supporting Gossard's nomination. "When the Tread of Pioneers Museum was in financial crisis, more than once, Gloria signed her personal check to help pay the utilities and keep the museum open."
In 2005, Gossard told the Steamboat Pilot & Today that the idea to donate the 120-acre parcel on Emerald Mountain came to her when her brother Bill and she were surveying land they considered selling. They came across a family who told them how much they loved to bring their children to the area for picnic lunches.
"We got in the Jeep that we drove there, drove on down the trail and said we better just give this land to the city," Gossard said in 2005.
The winner of the award, which has been handed out every two years since 2000, receives a bronze six-point elk statue created by local artist and rancher Curtis Zabel. The Steamboat Springs Heritage Award, which began in honor of the city's centennial, was first awarded to John Fetcher in 2000. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, former City Council President Kevin Bennet and Hill received the award in 2002, 2004 and 2006, respectively.
Gossard, who is in her 80s, could not be reached Monday evening. In 1998, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation named Gossard its Philanthropist of the Year. In 2000, she received the Hazie Werner Award for Excellence. In 2003-04, the Tread of Pioneers Museum honored the Gossard family in a yearlong exhibit.
Gossard's father, Henry Gossard, built the H.W. Gossard Co., which eventually became the largest corset business in the world and introduced the United States to corsets that laced in the front rather than the back. The family moved to Steamboat in 1932 after numerous summertime visits, and owned a large cattle ranch in Moffat County. Henry Gossard, who ran away from his Indiana farm at age 14, later marketed Steamboat and its hot springs as a spa destination.
Of Gloria Gossard, the book "Making Footprints: The Story of Routt County's Women" reads, "Gloria Gossard has helped underwrite almost every artistic, environmental and civic undertaking in Routt County where she moved when she was in the sixth grade."
In the same book, Gossard is quoted as saying, "I was dragged by the heels by my family to Steamboat Springs from La Jolla, California, where ocean and beaches were favorite diversions. My feet were strapped to two over-long wooden slats and I was turned loose on frozen water. I was the novice. Everyone else had been skiing for years. So it was adapt, learn to ski or be an outcast. That's the story of the West: One has to do what one has to do."
The compliance wing of Steamboat's local liquor license authority - unfortunately for some liquor establishments accused of infractions - is back in business.
The City Council unanimously chose attorney Jim Moylan above three other applicants to serve as its hearing officer for reviewing alleged liquor-code violations. Municipal Court Judge Paul Sachs will serve in a backup capacity. The position pays $200 an hour.
City Council used to preside over compliance hearings before voting earlier this year to relegate itself to only administrative decisions. The compliance division has been in limbo since, and there are currently six cases waiting to be heard.
"We're ready to roll," City Clerk Julie Jordan said.
City Council also will meet at 5 p.m. today for a regular meeting at Centennial Hall. Chris Wilson, the city's director of parks, open space and recreation, is expected to present a progress report on the city's negotiations with Triple Crown Sports toward the end of tonight's meeting.