City of Steamboat Springs gets flooded with applications for new lodging tax steering committees

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The Steamboat Springs CIty Council won't have a shortage of candidates to interview next week for the two steering committees that will help oversee the spending of the city’s lodging tax.

The trails committee alone attracted 26 applicants, many with diverse professional backgrounds ranging from a welder at Moots cycles to a nurse at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

The challenge now for the city and the City Council will be to select only seven applicants to serve on that committee.

Interviews with the applicants are scheduled to start Dec. 17.

City Clerk Julie Franklin said applications started to pour in right before the Friday deadline to return them.

The committee appointments should be easier for the Yampa River Promenade steering committee as the council has 11 applicants to choose from for seven spots.

Last month, the council agreed that the steering committees would help to prioritize the projects that will be funded with the tax money that is paid by visitors during their stays at hotels in Steamboat.

The trails steering committee will include one member of the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance, a Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association member, one member of the lodging community and four at-large seats.

Twenty people are applying to be at-large members.

The steering committee for the Yampa River Promenade will be identical except that it will include a member of the downtown revitalization committee instead of a person from the Trails Alliance.

The applications for both groups provide insight into some of the challenges the committees will have to work through in the coming years.

Asked by the city what they think the top three challenges for the trails committee will be, applicant Danielle Isenhart, the district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said one will be balancing the requests from numerous user groups with a limited amount of resources.

She said the other challenges include allowing the city to grow financially while still maintaining the small town rustic feel it is known for, and weighing the needs of the entire community “not just the interests of a few vocal constituents.”

Asked the same question on the application for the promenade committee, applicant Ryan Spaustat, a civil engineer, wrote the first challenge will be to make an impact with the $900,000 in lodging tax that will “move the dial” in attracting more visitors to Steamboat.

He wrote the other challenges include leveraging the $900,000 in tax money to get other funding sources for the project, and having to fund it over three years with an annual allocation of $300,000.

The committees will help to prioritize a lodging tax budget that is projected to total $600,000 next year.

That budget will be split evenly between the trails and the promenade until the promenade receives $900,000 in funding, likely after three years.

Proponents of the promenade have said they want to use the money to purchase a vacant lot near Seventh and Yampa Street and convert it into a park.

The trails committee will have dozens of multi-use trail projects to choose from.

Trails committee applicants

At large:

Carter Allen, Wyndham Vacation Rentals

David Epstein, president and CEO, Twin Enviro Services

Gavin Maliam, development manager, Resort Ventures West

Kent Foster, recreation program manager, U.S. Forest Service

Patrick West, Westco carpeting

Cary Foulk, geologist with MWH Americas

Steven Williams, retired with ranching operation at Stagecoach Reservoir

Stephen Caragol, self-employed real estate developer, co-owner of Moxie

Christopher Sias, film video producer, Apex Media Lab

Jakub Dybala, data analyst, Smartwool

Bryce Daviess, welder, Moots cycles

Rick Garth, self-employed private investor

Dan Bonner, CPA, partner of THPK

Michael Shaler, consultant in Leadership Steamboat

Jule McFadden, nurse, Yampa Valley Medical Center

Antonio R. Marxauch, Nordic ski head coach and instructor, Steamboat Ski Touring Center

James "Sandy" Horner, attorney

John Spezia, retired

Pete Wither, broker/owner, Colorado Group Realty

Wayne Ranieri, realtor

Lodging:

Grey Schumacher, owner, Steamboat Rentals by Owner

Scott Marr, owner, Holiday Inn Steamboat

Robin Craigen, president, Moving Mountains

Chamber members:

Harry Martin, owner, Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare

Sue Hansen, SK Hansen, Inc.

Trails Alliance:

David High, vice president, Alpine Bank

Danielle Isenhart, district wildlife manager, Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Yampa River Promenade committee applicants

At large:

Tara Crosby, marketing coordinator, Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Meghan Lutterman, attorney

Jarrett Duty, Bucking Rainbow Outfitters

Ryan Spaustat, civil engineer

Jill Brabec, attorney

Brian Hanlen, president, Brooks Design and Build

Stuart Handloff, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

Lodging:

Chris Paoli, owner, Colorado Group Realty

Mark Scully, real estate executive, Green Courte Partners

Downtown revitalization group:

Tracy Barnett, manager, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs

Jason Lacy, self-employed owner, Steamboat Lawyers Group

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