Steamboat Springs The board of Steamboat Springs’ Local Marketing District voted 3-0 Tuesday afternoon to recommend that retired businessman Bill Stuart replace Bob Milne on the board of directors.
The LMD board oversees disbursement of funds to support commercial air service into the Yampa Valley, including the new 0.25 percent general sales tax approved by Steamboat voters last fall.
Stuart, who is the former owner of Market on the Mountain grocery and deli and was president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association in the early 2000s, served as manager of the Yes2Air campaign. It advocated for the general sales tax last fall, which passed with the support of 61 percent of the voters. The tax is expected to bolster funding from the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. and an existing lodging tax to generate revenue guarantees needed to keep the service in place and at certain levels.
Tuesday’s vote by board members Chuck Porter, Lisa Sanchez-Warner and Rod Hanna sends Stuart’s recommendation on to City Council for its consideration Feb. 14.
Stuart, who also checks ski lift tickets at the gondola two days a week, said he learned through last fall’s successful campaign for the sales tax that Steamboat’s working households grasp the role that commercial airline service plays.
“Real people who have a real job and are raising a family here connect” with the need for air service, he said. “We have a leg up on other mountain communities because we have a well-informed citizenry.”
“Bill has the experience and knowledge we like to see, and having operated a business on the mountain, he’s sensitive to the issues surrounding air service,” Hanna said.
Porter added: “Bill has a good understanding of the dynamics of the local economy and understand how the air program fits into it.”
Stuart was the only applicant for the board position vacated by Milne.
Chamber Director of Finance and Human Resources Marion Taylor, who provides administrative services to the LMD, confirmed that although a handful of interested people inquired about the open spot on the board, they did not meet the requirement that board members live within the narrowly defined district.
Porter said he confirmed independently that Stuart’s residence in the Eagleridge Townhomes on Flattop Circle is within the boundaries. The irregular boundaries of the district were originally drawn to capture as much of the nightly rental bed base as possible. They extend from the southern city limits on U.S. Highway 40 up to the condominiums at the base of the ski area, and onto the back nine of the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course through The Sanctuary. Finally, the district stretches along the U.S. 40 corridor west through the downtown commercial district.