Jump to content
Part 3 of 3
I do not, and can not, agree with the notion that Steamboat is "blighted" - but all of you that read and comment on this stuff must understand that it is merely a requisite term, necessary to enact a URA, or a BID, etc... However, for the sake of discussion - (and while I completely agree that the whole 'blighted' designation is completely ridiculous...) Can any of you all truly argue that we do not need at least some basic infrastructure improvements necessary to make our downtown ADA compliant and up to the standards in the uniform municipal code?? I'm not saying, nor have I ever said, that the URA is a perfect solution to this quandary - but we HAVE to do something. Other attempts have failed and no the time has run out - So what are we to do?? Sidewalks on Yampa and Oak are not too much to ask for, curbs and crosswalks? How about handicap accessible walkways, basic parking delineation, a public restroom here or there? Maybe a few simple street lights, possibly a bike rack or some landscaping to beautify our beloved downtown? Are these very basic improvements really too much to ask our city council for?!?
We have tried to pass a BID, TIF, URA, and I'm sure even a few other three letter acronyms out there that I am forgetting about by this stage in the process...and, still, nothing has been accomplished. Our town council's collective ineptitude and unwillingness to stand up and put their name on something and risk being held accountable for actually getting something, anything, done - for how many years now, has led us all to this point. These improvements and updates are not going to be getting any cheaper in the years to come, and they have been put off for how many years now?! This council, and numerous councils before them, have just "kicked the proverbial can" down the road and "punted" the difficult agenda items on to the next council, hanging them out to dry, and left them "holding the bag" for stuff that we as a community can no longer afford to delay. We as a community have been talking about these exact same improvements for literally 30 years. There have been four comprehensive studies performed and numerous consultants and "experts" hired, at a very great cost of tax payer dollars, to tell us exact what and how to do these things - and still here we are...with those studies and reports sitting on a shelf down at the planning department collecting dust on some shelf right now.
SO, all I am saying/asking/begging for is for us to let level heads' prevail and let's all figure out a solution that gets Steamboat up to the same code and level as our competition out there in the other mountain towns and transform our downtown into the little gem that we all know it is, and truly deserves to be... without doing any harm to the schools, taxpayers OR our locally owned businesses.
[RANT OVER - Sorry so long!]
Part 2 of 3
However I don't see how ANY of you can argue that we don't need to "fix" downtown. If you think we don't have major infrastructure improvements that need implemented, think agin! If we don't improve our downtown infrastructure, we will begin losing everything that is special and unique about 'The Boat' to other mountain towns that are surpassing us out in the tourist marketplace. Before you go on and lecture me about "being a local" or try to claim that "we don't need tourists in Steamboat" - just stop. Our community, and thereby our entire local economy, are 100% dependent on the tourist $$$ that is poured into our city to make it the place we all love and want to raise our families, etc... Failure to compete with Breckenridge, Vail, Grand Junction (in the summer), Park City/Salt Lake, Aspen, etc is, and will be, detrimental to our collective way of life if we do not act soon! That is not good for you, me, or our neighbors and friends... Remember - Sales tax collections drive this whole boat! (pardon the obvious pun, I couldn't resist!)
Hello Everyone - This is part 1 of 3
I sincerely hope that you all understand just what exactly is at stake with this issue and don't just take up the opposition's side (depending which side you're on) for all of this, without doing some research into the truth on your own... Both sides of this argument are very much misrepresenting the truth to the masses here. The "facts" being strewn about by both sides of this are simply not entirely accurate. Both sides of this argument have some pros and some cons. THAT is a fact. There is no more truth in the discussion (from either side) that the URA is not, will not, does not "Steal" or "Rob" from the schools!! Period. Fact. But if you listen to one side of this debate - its being presented as though the downtown business owners and city council will be going out to the schools and quite literally taking the food right out of our children's collective mouths and that our children will have to read by candlelight and will only have one ball amongst grades K-12 to share on the playground... its simply absurd. The same way that if you listen to the "other side" of the debate - downtown is in total shambles and is in complete decay...that nobody will ever want to come visit Steamboat ever again and any/all development potential that exists downtown will never be capitalized upon due to the blight that we face...So many people will probably stop coming to Steamboat that 100's of jobs will be lost and we will wither up and become a ghost town.
Neither of these scenarios are true, obviously. They are simply scare tactics, being used by both sides here, that are meant to drum up fear and breed contempt amongst us all. Its as though a D.C. playbook on elections is being used in our small town politics and enough IS enough, if you ask me!
To Scott B and Scott W:
I get it… I understand you guys are against anything and everything that is put forth to enhance or improve our amazing community that relies on tax dollars to fund it…that is fine, that is your choice. Your understanding of these funding vehicles (i.e: TIF, URA, BID) are admittedly WAY above what my understanding will EVER be of these topics.
SO, that said - Can you honestly argue that Yampa and Oak Streets do NOT need, at the very least, new/better sidewalks and basic public accommodation improvements? None of us are asking the city or the taxpayers to fund lavish or extravagant improvements down here - just basic, good-quality infrastructure improvements to continue to better our downtown. Is downtown NOT the highest concentration of tax-collecting/tax-paying businesses in Steamboat? Do we not collectively contribute more to this community, local economy, job market, etc than any other area in town by far? This ‘NIMBY' mentality has to stop if we are going to advance our community forward and be competitive with the other ski markets! Scott W, I’m told doesn’t even live in town for Pete’s sake! Yet always has the most to say-doesn’t make sense to me!
How you guys can sit there bashing everything that comes our way to make this community better and even more of an amazing place to live, all while attracting even more vitally important tourists (who pay a lot of sales tax) to our amazing community, is beyond me. Please remember that without our tourists, half of what we love and enjoy about this valley would cease to exist in an instant… Maybe if you guys had "some skin in the game” and had made the kind of financial investment that those of us (and many more) that are on that letter have made, took the risk and made the sacrifices, you too would understand where we are coming from… We have put up our end of the pie - the city needs to put up theirs. Sidewalks and basic improvements are not too much to ask and should not be 100% our responsibility.
You’ve been against every single thing that has been suggested - so what would reasonable solution would either of you put forward to ‘fix’ the problem and fund these improvements??
So instead of being part of the problem of why nothing ever seems to get done around here(except for expensive studies that get sat on a shelf somewhere in city hall), how about suggesting something we can do to make both sides happy!? Nobody wants the schools to lose out on funding here - but, nobody wants busted up sidewalks and poor public accommodation for our locals and visitors alike... So what can we do? You guys are the smartest guys on these forums, yet never offer up anything insightful or progressive that would be a solution to the matters at hand…
So please - you two clearly understand this stuff way better than most - so step up and LEAD instead of whining and doing nothing behind the safety of your keyboards.
^ Are you actually serious??
For you to say that our community is "safe, affluent, and remote” implies that you believe we need only a police force similar to that of say, Mayberry… and while it is true that Andy and Barney did do a nice job protecting Mayberry, Steamboat Springs (though contrary to some locals’ belief) is NOT Mayberry. Your mockery of the job that our boy’s in “silly blue costumes” perform on a daily basis is offensive and off-base. For you to spout such ignorance is further proof that you couldn’t even carry their gun belts, let alone do the thankless jobs that they dutifully perform on a dilly basis. Did you ever stop to think that maybe the reason we are lucky enough to have a such “safe and affluent” community is due to the very fact that they defend and protect it?
You clearly either don’t live here on a year-round basis or have sheltered yourself into thinking that no crime exists in our beloved community. Have you not read the blotter? Have you not walked the downtown streets past midnight? What, if anything, do you know about the influx of terrible, life-threatening drugs that have infiltrated our town and it’s schools? It is ludicrous and absurd to suggest that we need a smaller police force. Equally, do you understand that the Sheriff and the Chief of Police are two different jobs (one elected/one not), two different entities (city vs county), completely separate forces?
Chief Rae, I assure you, is only doing what he feels best serves our community for the long-term. He is doing his job. You do not have to agree with him or what he perceives as necessary for functionality of our police force - but you must respect the position he has and the job he is tasked with. Residents of this town can’t agree on what time it is, let alone important issues like building a new police station, but take one look at our existing facilities and you will be unable to argue that we do not need some type of significant improvement over the next decade or so, as it ushers in a new generation of Steamboat as we know it today. All I’m saying is "show some respect.”
Also, Scott Wedel IS always very well researched and fact-based in his approach, whether I agree with him or not, you have have to respect the time and research he puts into his posts. Just like you should. (and if you would like to ‘hear more from him’ just read the online edition of the paper on a daily basis - he’s in the comment section below every article.)
Wow. I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s comments here and respectfully, I find at least some truth and good points in nearly everyone’s contributions - However, there are simply just too many factors to name of why this attempt of the BID failed. Most of which, none of you will ever understand - unless and until you own your own business in our gloriously ‘blighted’ downtown…
While, yes - an improved downtown will benefit nearly everyone who lives "in town" - sorry 'county folks’ - the true fact is, there may be better ways to accomplish the same goals of the BID. (which many of you have suggested here, or in previous posts)
My main point - having zero proof at all - that I must submit to the discussion that if the votes were public record, and mapped out for us to see - you might find that the failure of the BID attempt, lies squarely on the shoulders of the OAK street owners.
The BID was DOA when they lumped us all together… I, along with many other Yampa Street business/property owners, knew this at the time it was first suggested to us, nearly two years ago. The “deal" simply was just not fair or equitable, at this time, for Oak Street. I could list all the reasons why Oak and Yampa are both amazing downtown entities and what makes them different, but those of us who live here know the obvious.
A BID that was exclusively for Yampa and Lincoln OR Lincoln and Oak might have actually had a chance at passing…but when the three unique and different streets were lumped together, none of us trusted the outcome of how it would end up. There was no oversight, no sunset or termination date, no transparency and too many property owners with their own agendas and interests on “The Board” - not to mention that you had to jump through hoops to actually get the ballot, that nobody informed us how to do so until the 11th hour, and the fact that nobody besides Tracy Barnett (who did an amazing job) could intelligently answer how much of an increase in taxes we were actually going to pay or answer any of the questions that we might have brought up about the previously listed issues that we may have had…
What this all boils down to, is that the three streets involved with and directly impacted by the BID all have their own distinct personalities. All three streets have different needs, all three streets have distinct interests and agendas, and all three streets are on different paths at this point in Steamboat’s evolving economy and its place in the history of downtown Steamboat.
Here’s to a great winter.
Compared to every other ski town of our size, we have by FAR the least amount of chain restaurants. Also, city council has nothing to do with approving this business, nor would they receive any money from doing so! Contrary to any and all local belief, there is no ‘ban’ on chain concepts and council has no say on who/what opens in town… If anything, it would be the planning department. Moe's may be a “chain restaurant” but it is not a chain in the Applebee’s or Chili’s sense of the word - Moe’s puts out a really good product and while they may use standardized recipes and systems - they will be at least cooking the food that they serve at any Moe’s. Period. There is no reheat and serve that will go one - you can mark my words. Moe’s has an arduous process to even earn the right to hold one of their franchises.
(I have nothing to do with this venture, btw, I just hate to see uniformed comments that are unfair to the owners and operators of businesses who actually had the guts to step out on their own and take a risk that most people will never even have the capacity to attempt.)
I’m 90% sure that it went out of business already… Unless something changed, they had a going out of business sale this summer that I heard about.
Removing highly valuable parking spaces when we as a community have what anyone who actually lives and works in Steamboat would call “a parking problem” is like putting gasoline on a bonfire… OR - in terms that a few members of the council may, more easily understand - would be like selling your existing police and fire stations without having a new station already built. Or identified. Or land purchased for. Or an ETA. Or actual blueprints. You get my point…. It is lunacy!
Business owners on Yampa provide well in excess of 300 jobs to locals - locals that pay taxes, locals who have to have customers to serve in order to make a living, customers have to have PARKING SPACES in order to patronize those businesses. SO, no - we as business owners aren’t the only ones who’s opinions matter in this topic, but we should be looked upon for guidance of the situation as we are the ones ‘in the trenches’ on a daily basis and have ideas to move this thing forward in a productive manner instead of a destructive, possibly catastrophic manner.
@ BRET MARX - At least the bar/restaurants try... If the bar/restaurants didn't do music, Steamboat would have NO music scene AT ALL. I'm sure the local musicians and bands in this town that make their living playing in those restaurants with those little stages in the corner would disagree with your comment whole-heartedly.... Locals spout off non-stop about the lack of a 'music scene' in Steamboat - yet when good talent is booked anywhere in Steamboat, they scoff at the idea of actually paying to see it! Typical "I'm a local" mentality - can't/won't pay five bucks to see a high-quality touring band in their own backyard... Maybe we are spoiled by the Free Summer Concerts on the Hill and the free concerts that the mountain puts on?
Last login: Monday, June 8, 2015
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2015 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.