Mainstreet hosts BID fundraiser Wednesday at Schmiggity's

Event coincides with launch of downtown survey

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— New downtown music venue Schmiggity’s soft opening Wednesday coincides with a Mainstreet Steamboat Springs fundraiser for the business improvement district.

Downtown Steamboat stakeholders are aiming for a November vote to try and fund the BID with a special property tax, but the mail-in election will be costly and funds are needed for legal fees and voter education.

Wednesday presents a chance to have the first look inside Schmiggity’s and support the push to put the BID question to a vote.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at All That Jazz or at www.schmiggitys.com. Doors open at 6 p.m. with 1970s and ’80s jams before Wish You Were Pink, a Pink Floyd cover band, comes on at 8 p.m. All of the ticket sales and 50 percent of the bar will go toward the BID.

The BID board also is soliciting feedback from downtown property and business owners in the form of a survey.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said the goal of the survey is to gather information and comments from stakeholders to find out what the top priorities would be for a fully-funded BID.

“We’re assuming there will be people who don’t want it at all,” Barnett said, as well as those who will ask why the BID hasn’t already been funded. “We got new members in Mainstreet because of this.”

Barnett said the board is just as curious about what the top priorities are for a BID as it is about who’s not in favor of the concept and why because there could be legitimate concerns that need to be addressed.

After about a month, Barnett said the hope is to wrap up the survey information and hold some public meetings about the results. The BID board also is working on getting a website up and running to provide some basic information for those interested in learning more.

“It’s going to be evolving,” Barnett said. “The more we hear from constituents, the more we’ll know what questions they have and how to answer them.”

According to Barnett, there’s been some concern that BID funding will disproportionately benefit Yampa Street business owners, but she said the BID is intended to benefit all parts of the district equally. Maintenance for Yampa Street improvements will be shouldered by those they benefit, she said.

“We got a lot of people starting to ask us questions,” Barnett said. “We just need to be sure that we have everybody on the same page.”

The next BID board meeting is 2 p.m. May 27 in the Crawford Room at Centennial Hall. Meetings typically are the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 2 p.m. in Room 113 at Centennial Hall.

Matching grant funds for directory project

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs is raising matching funds for a Colorado Department of Local Affairs Grant of up to $10,000. To get the full amount, Mainstreet would have to raise $2,500.

The project proposed as a use for the funds is a mall-style directory map downtown for Mainstreet members. The scope of the project would be dependent on how much in matching funds Mainstreet is able to raise.

Barnett said she just got a check supporting the project from a judge in California who said a map of this nature has been needed in downtown Steamboat.

In addition to directing people up and down Lincoln Avenue, the map would let visitors know that there’s more shopping on Oak and Yampa streets and the side streets, Barnett said.

Those interested in donating can contact Barnett at tracy@mainstreetsteamboat.com or 970-846-1800. Checks can be mailed to MainStreet Steamboat, P.O. Box 774611, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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