Steamboat school district moves forward with tax bid


— The Steamboat Springs School Board said Monday night that the city’s lucrative accommodations tax is an opportunity too good to pass up.

The board was supportive of the Steamboat Springs School District’s plan to apply for the revenue to construct either a turf field or fieldhouse at the district’s middle school campus.

Athletic Director Luke DeWolfe told the board that both proposals could meet the city’s requirements for the future use of the tax and benefit the entire community. He alluded to the success of a fieldhouse and recreational facility in Vail as a reason such a building could benefit Steamboat.

“There’s no doubt a facility like that brings a lot of tourism interest,” he said.

He said the structure could host indoor lacrosse and soccer games, as well as other recreational activities.

District officials estimated that the cost of such a facility at the middle school would be $7 million and the turf field at $600,000.

Earlier this month, the city initiated the first step to identify the future use of the tax by asking community members and groups who have ideas about how to spend the money to submit a two-page description of their proposal by July 16. The school district plans to submit separate applications for both projects.

DeWolfe said the turf field was a “more feasible option” than the fieldhouse. He added the new turf could benefit local sports teams who practice in the spring and attract regional sports tournaments to the area.

The 1 percent lodging tax, which generated $635,000 in 2011, exclusively has supported the Haymaker Golf Course since 1995. But it will be freed up from that use in 2014.

The district will join a crowded field of suitors for the tax that is expected to include several recreational groups.

In other action, the School Board:

■ Approved the hiring of Mark Strasberg as the district’s new assistant principal for Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools. Strasberg has served for the past two years as the assistant principal for Putnam Elementary School in the Poudre Valley School District in Fort Collins. He will make an annual salary of $71,372.

■ Approved a calendar for the 2013-14 school year that is nearly identical to the district’s current calendar. The district proposed three versions of the calendar. The favored calendar didn’t stray from the current calendar. The rejected drafts would have shortened the district’s Blues Break.

■ Awarded a $63,500 contract to the Holmquist Lorenz Construction Co. to build the district’s new health clinic inside the George P. Sauer Human Services Center by renovating an existing space. Construction on the facility is expected to start this month. Human Resource Director Judy Harris said the district is aiming to open the clinic in August.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email


Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

School administration and School Board is completely out of touch if they think the accommodations tax should go to the school district. Even if the school district has activities that affect tourism, the school district has their own tax revenues streams.

Accommodations tax then might as well just be absorbed into SB City general fund since they could argue everything the city government does also ends up encouraging tourism.

And it is really really bad thinking to argue that because something works somewhere else then it'll work here. Vail is on I70 with a far larger nearby population than SB. Far easier for Vail to keep that facility busy than SB.

And it is bizarre for a school district that spends so little time each day with kids in PE to claim an urgent need for a field house. School district has made the choice to emphasize academics and active kids are in after school programs.


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