Groups work to save downtown Steamboat flower baskets


— A couple of local organizations are working to save the flowers that accent downtown Steamboat Springs throughout summer.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said early March is the deadline to buy the flower baskets that hang from light posts and the flower barrels that adorn the front of many downtown businesses. She said Mainstreet is meeting with the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association next week to try to figure out a way to preserve the flowers after the city cut the hanging baskets — at a cost of about $8,500 — from its 2012 budget. In so doing, the city also cut its watering of both the flower baskets and the flower barrels.

The Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, which sells the flower barrels to businesses as a fundraiser, also is working with Mainstreet and the Chamber.

Barnett said the majority of the cost to maintain the flowers is the watering. She estimated the cost to buy the baskets and water them at $13,000.

“It’s really a big deal what these flowers take, but they’re so gorgeous,” Barnett said.

Chamber Board of Directors President Rex Brice, who also is a member of the Rotary Club’s board of directors, said he’s concerned about eliminating the flowers.

“Our downtown, largely due to the flower program, is special in the summertime and very inviting,” he said. “If we lose this, I think it’s going to be a detriment to the community. We’re looking for solutions. The conversation just started Monday afternoon. We haven’t decided on anything.”

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email


Oscar 5 years, 1 month ago

Let's do a fund raiser. I'm eager to donate as I too believe the baskets are very inviting and enjoyable. It's "penny wise and pound foolish" to eliminate them, as my British friends would say.


rhys jones 5 years, 1 month ago

How about a "Flower Tax"? Then we could be "FLOWER TOWN USA." Tracy Barnett presiding.


sedgemo 5 years, 1 month ago

How about using some of the over $2 million in over-budget sales taxes collected last year?


jerry carlton 5 years, 1 month ago

Take the money from the Airline Program. I would rather see my tax dollars going to flowers than to making it cheaper for out of state tourists to fly to town.


Phoebe Hackman 5 years, 1 month ago

Could people "donate" the taxes charged for their Verizon accounts instead of requesting refunds?


exduffer 5 years, 1 month ago

How about we get all the artists in town to make the "flowers" and "baskets" out of plastic grocery bags?


sledneck 5 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, duffer... I am an artist but SNOW is my canvas.


mtroach 5 years, 1 month ago

So the baskets are a Rotary fund raiser, they must be making something from this program, or it wouldn't be a very good fund raiser. If Downtown Steamboat were to eliminate the fund raising profit, and buy directly from a supplier, and request the businesses to water the plants in front of their establishments, this flower program could survive on far less. I would donate to such a program.


sledneck 5 years, 1 month ago

I think a lot of people would donate to a lot of good causes if they were just left alone.

We have been told the lie that so many things would not get done if government didn't do it. That's BULL! When it comes to highways and aircraft carriers that might be true, but when it comes to many things on main street and with regard to communities' providing essentials for the less fortunate it is just not true. In fact, it's insulting.


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