A plan to reconstruct the historic Butterfly Barn near the entrance of Steamboat Ski Area is one of the base area projects in the design phase this year.

Courtesy rendering

A plan to reconstruct the historic Butterfly Barn near the entrance of Steamboat Ski Area is one of the base area projects in the design phase this year.

Creation of new iconic entryway to Steamboat Ski Area a possibility in 2014

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— Steamboat Springs' historic Butterfly Barn soon could be moved uphill to become a new rustic entryway to the Steamboat Ski Area.

The relocation of the fragile barn from a corner of the Meadows Parking Lot to a vacant parcel of land at the confluence of Mount Werner Circle just below The Steamboat Grand is one of the bigger projects that is scheduled to be funded by the tax incremental funding generated at the base of the ski area.

Major projects accomplished in the base area URA

• Ski Time Square streetscape and roundabout ($2.5 million)

• Burgess Creek culvert upgrade ($1.1 million)

• Après Ski Way/Mount Werner Circle streetscape and roundabout ($2.5 million)

• Promenade and Burgess Creek daylighting ($8 million)

• Mount Werner Circle median enhancement ($275,000)

• U.S. Highway 40 median enhancement ($160,000)

The funding for base area improvements from the city's urban renewal authority is scarce again for 2014, but that won't stop several smaller-scale projects from going forward.

In addition to planning for reconstruction of the Butterfly Barn, the roster of next year's projects includes new signage that will make it easier for visitors to drive to the ski area and the addition of a sandy beach area at the base area's new promenade.

David Baldinger Jr., co-chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee that makes recommendations for how to fund the base area projects, said the group is excited about what it will be able to accomplish with the 2014 budget.

“Even in tough economic times, we'll be able to finish off some top-shelf projects,” Baldinger Jr. said.

The barn relocation, he said, is at least six years in the making, and the addition of new ski area way-finding signage at the exit ramps of U.S. Highway 40 also will enhance the visitor experience.

Projects like these follow recent improvements to the medians that lead to the ski area.

The list of projects for 2014 is worth about $208,974 and comes at a time when the property tax revenue from the urban renewal authority is projected to fall from $1.86 million this year to $1.6 million in 2014.

Acting as the city's redevelopment authority that manages the funding, the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night unanimously endorsed the budget and scope of projects recommended by URAAC.

They praised URAAC for making the most out of a limited supply of funding.

Facing another limited capital budget because of a lack of major development at the base area, URAAC and the city had extensive discussions about the possibility of holding off on any projects and letting the tax funding accrue for a number of years. The accumulated funds then could be used for a bigger project.

But URAAC had resolved to tackle some smaller high-priority projects next year, and the city and its advisory group still think other big projects will be tackled before the urban renewal authority funding ends in 2029.

Since 2004, the tax incremental funding has been used on several projects at the base area, ranging from the daylighting of Burgess Creek to the installation of roundabouts leading up to the ski area.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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