Steamboat Springs City Council approves $113,000 for special events


2013 special event funding allocations

Free Summer Concert Series: $5,000

Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo: $5,000

Steamboat Springs Running Series: $6,000

Paddling Life Open/Yampa River Fest: $2,000

*National Cattle Dog Association National Finals: $3,000

*Rocky Mountain Tennis Vacations: $3,000

Mad Mud Run: $4,000

*Perry-Mansfield centennial celebration: $3,000

*Savor Steamboat: $3,500

Piknik Theater Festival: $1,000

Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament: $2,500

Strings Kitchen and Garden Tour: $1,000

Ninth annual Tour de Steamboat: $3,500

Steamboat Lake Sprint Triathlon/Steamboat Triathlon: $2,000

Steamboat Wine Festival: $11,500

Steamboat All Arts Festival: $8,000

Emerald City Opera: $2,000

Strings AAF performances: $1,500

USA Pro Challenge: $25,000

Wild West Air Fest: $2,500

*Yampa Valley Crane Festival: $1,500

*Ride for Dirt: $1,000

Run Rabbit Run: $5,000

Sisters in Steamboat: $1,500

Triple Crown: $6,000

Steamboat OktoberWest: $3,000

Total: $113,000

*New event

— The National Cattle Dog Association finals and a series of tennis getaways are among the new attractions that will get some of the $113,000 the city of Steamboat Springs has allocated for special events this summer and fall.

The Steamboat Springs City Council on Feb. 12 voted unanimously to approve this year’s funding requests, which will benefit 26 events ranging from the well-established Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series to the second installment of the Yampa Valley Crane Festival.

Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association special events and sponsorship director Sarah Lenoard said Monday that the committee that awards the grants had to spend more time this year vetting a more expensive pool of requests.

“It was a more lengthy discussion just because the ask for money was much higher than in previous years,” she said.

Last year, organizers of summer events requested $114,995 in funding. The requests nearly doubled to $211,000 for this summer’s lineup as the pool of special event funding remained mostly static at $113,000.

The jump largely can be attributed to a new request from the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp for $35,000 to help fund its centennial celebration, a $30,000 request from local organizers of the USA Pro Challenge, and a $25,000 request from the organizers of the Steamboat Wine Festival.

A voting committee that included City Council members Walter Magill and Kevin Kaminski, Chamber Board President Mark Walker and two members of the Chamber’s marketing committee vetted all the requests last month and decided how much to allocate.

After the vetting, Perry-Mansfield ended up with $3,000, the Pro Challenge received $25,000, and the Wine Festival, which plans to add a new biking event to its roster, received $11,500.

A majority of the other events received a sum between $1,000 and $6,000.

Leonard said the committee weighed each event for its tourism potential, how it would fill a scheduling gap, its media appeal, its long-term potential and its cost per person, among other things.

The allocation process this year continued a trend of some well-established events, such as Tour de Steamboat and the All Arts Festival, gradually receiving less funding so that newer events, like the crane festival, can be funded.

“It’s a fine line between the committee saying, ‘Go and fund yourself now’ and ‘We’re really glad you’re here. Here’s a small thing we can do to show you that your event is important and make you feel the love,’” Leonard said.

She said many events such as the New Belgium Kickball Klassic and the Spring Into Summer Carnival previously received city funding but recently have “weaned themselves off” and chosen not to return for more funding.

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


Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

When I read articles like the one above, and recent others about the City's urgency in moving Big Agnes' to Yampa Street, I'm beginning to notice the significant extent to which our City acts like a Chamber in supporting the private sector. And the reverse seems to be true as well; In downtown revitalization meetings, the private sector is focused on missing public infrastructure.

I get it that Steamboat Springs government lives on sales taxes. And the above events are good for our vitality and our bottom line. The same arguments stood behind the sale of our public safety building to an important Steamboat business. At some level and timing, I agree these are appropriate things for a City to do, and appropriate things for a Chamber support.

But let's not forget the primary obligations of a City to provide infrastructure, and a Chamber to address commerce.


Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago


"I'm beginning to notice the significant extent to which our City acts like a Chamber in supporting the private sector"

Oh wow! That has been a long time coming.

A City spending money to help the private sector on the expectation of it being economically worthwhile is common enough. The key step is whether there is any serious analysis that the money being spent does increase economic activity. Or is the City money viewed as free money that is arguably wasted on popular events that create minimal activity? Or worse, is the City money it is used to benefit a few particular politically connected business owners?

Does the City have any criteria for events on how many visitors are drawn to SB in order for an event to be funded? I know people that ran events whom strongly believed they attracted more people to SB than better funded events, but that they lacked the political connections to be well funded.


jerry carlton 4 years, 2 months ago

The city takes sales tax dollars they steal from me on necessities and spend them to bring tourists to Steamboat to drink wine. Only in America.


Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, my comment understated recent events. I also feel Kevin and Walter have been asking the right questions. Trying to respect that larger picture and still make my point.


Bob Smith 4 years, 2 months ago

the City money it is used to benefit a few particular politically connected business owners? bingo


bill schurman 4 years, 2 months ago

Money for Triple Crown, a FOR PROFIT corporation ?? Public welfare at it's worst.


jerry carlton 4 years, 2 months ago

Bill I agree with you. First or second time? My old mind can not remember!


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