Our View: Keeping the lights on


Editorial Board, May 11 through Sept. 21, 2011

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Laura Schmidt, community representative
  • Jim Miller, community representative

Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

— While the city of Steamboat Springs has been grappling with a revised noise ordinance that attempts to accommodate entertainment venues as well as their residential neighbors, the leaders of Steamboat’s downtown business organization have been pushing an important effort of their own: encouraging retailers to keep the lights on — and the doors open — into the evening hours.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs and its leader, Tracy Barnett, have ramped up efforts to urge downtown business owners to operate past 6 p.m. during the busy summer and winter tourism seasons. The goal is simple and worthwhile — to keep potential customers happy and spending money. Ideally, there’s a benefit for the business owners, too, in the form of increased revenue.

Some, like Zirkel Trading’s Steve Hitchcock and F.M. Light & Sons Del Lockhart, say a significant amount of their business is generated after 6 p.m. Barnett believes the same could be true for other downtown businesses if they simply gave extended hours a try.

“People have said they’ve tried staying open later and it doesn’t work, but you have to do it consistently for a certain amount of time so people know you’re going to be open,” Barnett told the Steamboat Today last week.

She suggests that businesses that close at 6 p.m. try staying open until at least 8 p.m. a couple of nights a week to gauge the business potential. We think it makes a lot of sense for our downtown shopping district to keep the lights on for folks roaming Lincoln Avenue before and after dinner or on the way to other evening entertainment venues.

Barnett equates the Mainstreet Steamboat Springs mission to that of the manager of a shopping mall. Urging business practices that keep the customer experience at the fore not only makes shoppers happy, but often benefits the retailers as well.

It’s not our job to tell businesses what to do, and for some it simply might not make sense financially to stay open a couple hours later some days of the week. But it is to the community and downtown’s benefit to create a vibrant shopping and entertainment experience. Closed stores during busy summer and winter evenings create the opposite. Kudos to Barnett and other Mainstreet Steamboat Springs leaders for pushing the issue.


cindy constantine 5 years, 9 months ago

Enough already with the "editorials" stating the OBVIOUS. The past few weeks have shown the Pilot to be totally lacking in taking a stand on anything that is even remotely controversial - instead using the "editorial" section to just re-state what has already been said in previous days articles. Why not use the space for more advertising if you cannot come up with something creative and constructive to discuss. What is wrong with you people???


cindy constantine 5 years, 9 months ago

I have an idea. What is with the City spending $$ on painting "bike directional" signs in front of my house instead of using the money for reserves. Are we trying to make "busy work" yet again for our City workers?


OnTheBusGus 5 years, 9 months ago

Why is there new "bike lane" painting on Mt Werner Road that parallels a bike path?


Brent Boyer 5 years, 9 months ago

Hi Cindy, Thanks for your feedback. The Editorial Board obviously felt that the downtown business hours issue was a topic worthy of additional community attention.
That said, the five-member Editorial Board, which includes two community representatives, is always welcome to suggestions for editorial topics. Also, we'll be looking for two new community representatives to serve a four-month term beginning in September. I think you might enjoy the back-and-forth discussions and the variety of issues that are discussed when determining that week's editorial topics. If you're interested, please call me at 871-4221 or email bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.



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