Mainstreet Steamboat Springs membership dips
Annual meeting today comes during time of declining dues
January 21, 2011
■ Installation of new board members
■ Recognition of retiring board members and volunteers
■ State of Mainstreet address by Mainstreet President Ruth Dombrowski
■ Steamboat Ski Area update by Rob Perlman, vice president of sales and marketing for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
■ Keynote speaker Al White, former state senator and new executive director of the Colorado Tourism Office
Steamboat Springs — Mainstreet Steamboat Springs' annual meeting today comes after a year that saw declining membership and decreased dues, but at the start of a year that, thankfully for downtown businesses, doesn't have a massive construction project looming over Lincoln Avenue.
"I'm hearing more optimism; Christmas went really well and people's inventory is up," said Tracy Barnett, Mainstreet's manager. "Last year, (retailers) weren't buying anything."
Including, in some cases, Mainstreet memberships.
Barnett said Mainstreet's membership dropped from 127 in 2009 to 119 in 2010 as some businesses decided they couldn't pay annual dues to the nonprofit organization. Mainstreet promotes downtown Steamboat Springs and presents numerous annual events. Losing eight members might not seem like much, but many other members paid less dues than expected, as well, translating to a significant loss of revenue for Mainstreet.
President Ruth Dombrowski said Mainstreet fell about $10,000 short of the $44,000 budgeted for membership revenues last year.
"We know that everybody is hurting just based on how our membership went," she said Thursday. "There's a lot of businesses that could barely pay their dues. … A lot of them were $250, but we would have been happy to get even $100."
Dombrowski will talk about the state of the organization at the meeting, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at Sweetwater Grill on Yampa Street. Former state Sen. Al White, now executive director of the Colorado Tourism Office, is the keynote speaker.
Barnett said Mainstreet worked with business owners in 2010 to offer prorated or otherwise decreased dues, a practice that will continue with a new due structure this year.
Dombrowski, who is to be appointed today to another year as president, said Mainstreet plans to boost its outreach in coming months.
"We are really going to try to do a lot more marketing, (and) we are working to come up with a better recognition program," she said.