Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 2 weeks, 4 days ago on Scott Franz: What I learned by riding the bus

CDL drivers are a large part of regional oil and gas employment. That means stiff competition in a wage market for local drivers. As we have seen before, this driver shortage is the indicator of a growing economy and competition for workers. Big difference this time - the region's economy may be as strong as our own. Good news for wages.


Steve Lewis 2 weeks, 6 days ago on City of Steamboat will entertain redevelopment and purchase proposals for Iron Horse Inn

Fred is right. The Iron Horse is a valuable property. Given we are no longer in a recession, this potential sale may feel good today, and in a 3 years be an obvious mistake. Deciding what to do next should be about the future needs of the City, not politics or past financing mistakes. What are our likely needs for the next decade? Future needs are a mandatory beginning for sensible discussion on any city parcel.

A decade ago the Iron Horse was very much a response to city staffing shortfalls. Today those staffing shortfalls have returned with a vengeance, and early in the bullish economy. With no plan to address staffing shortfalls going forward, we may sell the parcel once bought to cure them?

The workforce pinch came quickly. State forecasts warned us years ago, Hwy 40 West will not be the workforce artery of the next Steamboat economy. Oil and gas work will keep many Craig workers closer to home. Where do we expect the workers to come from? Green cards. Where do we expect them to live? Bus drivers from Alaska still need a place to live.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 4 days ago on New police station, bear-proof trash rules and Iron Horse Inn headline big Steamboat Springs City Council agenda

Revitalizing downtown is a good goal. But there are smarter, cheaper steps available.

A more comprehensive revitalization effort would be good. This same council packet offers to add another 2 units of realty office at pedestrian level on Lincoln. Realty offices are long proven dead zones that diminish the vitality of their street. That is why our code does not allow them on the pedestrian level. But we keep adding them anyway. Planning commission unanimously supported this newest realty office on Lincoln.

$8 million to remove a dead zone. While we approve more dead zones?


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Routt County's improving economy confronts a shortage of workers

Not enough workers. Deja vu.

A decade ago local public offices were won in part by supporting work force housing measures. 5 years ago public offices were won in part by offering to throw out housing measures.

It will be interesting to see where we go from here. This rudder is so damn slippery. Steady advice at the helm, Pilot. Thank you.


Steve Lewis 2 months, 3 weeks ago on Downtown Steamboat Springs stakeholders narrowly reject proposal to fund BID with property tax

Scott W,

It is my understanding that Kim Haggerty organized the Yampa St light installation with private interests, not the city? Looks great, btw.

In early 2013 my own outreach could not find real interest among Oak St. owners. Largely because the Yampa St conversation had already mentioned taxes while offering nothing in return. Some improvement carrots from the city may stoke some owner interest. Hard to say after this vote, which I actually thought would pass.

I visited with the city manager this morning. Really informative and appreciated conversation. Should mention I also visited the planning dept., where staff had heard I was campaigning against the BID. Simply not the case. I was quoted by the Pilot and posted some comments here. Not aware of anyone else working against it either. This ballot failed by itself.


Steve Lewis 2 months, 3 weeks ago on Failure of tax poised to impact future of downtown Steamboat infrastructure improvements

I was inclined to support the early downtown URA concept, but leaned the other way after a few meetings when I did not see a 3 street partnership, or a County partnership. These can be built. Communication will have to be much, much better. And open. For instance:

These 2 councilors and the council president intend that BID tax $$ would maintain URA improvements. This may be a reasonable position, but these interviews should have come before the BID vote. Because a majority of BID board members assured a stakeholder audience at the Chief Theater this would never happen - the BID $$ would NOT maintain URA improvemens.

Given such significant miscommunication before a vote on new property taxes, it is a good thing the tax failed.


Steve Lewis 2 months, 3 weeks ago on Downtown Steamboat Springs stakeholders narrowly reject proposal to fund BID with property tax

I made the effort to join the BID/URA conversation during 2012 and 2013. The spirit of the conversation was commendable - let's improve our street. Give them credit for trying.

Tracy Barnett was exceptional. Her effort to accommodate any voter's need for locally acquiring and casting ballots was the antidote for a confusing and cumbersome BID voting process. Thanks Tracy.