New possible caretaker for neglected Arnold Barn emerges | SteamboatToday.com

New possible caretaker for neglected Arnold Barn emerges

Scott Franz

An undated photo of the Arnold Barn shows it in its glory days surrounded by dairy cows.

— Steamboat Ski Area has emerged as a possible caretaker of a historic barn that has been neglected for years near the Meadows Parking Lot.

The property owner and developers who were recently sued by the city for neglecting the Arnold Barn recently offered to give the 89-year-old structure and the chunk of land it sits on to the city to take care of.

The city's elected officials wanted more information about the proposal before discussing it further.

In recent weeks, the ski area has emerged as a potential new owner of the barn, City Attorney Dan Foote said Tuesday.

"The details are still up in the air at the moment," he said. "I'm expecting to get some details from the other parties by the end of the week. We have a concept right now."

Foote said he expects he will discuss the future of the barn with the council Jan. 10.

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Jim Schneider, the ski area’s vice president of ski services, confirmed Tuesday the resort is talking about taking ownership of the barn. But he said it was too early to provide details about the proposal.

"Obviously, there's a lot of detail to work out. We're just in discussions," he said.

Asked if the ski area's plan for the barn would be to maintain it in place or relocate it to the grassy knoll by The Steamboat Grand, Schneider said the plans were still under discussion.

He said the ski area would work with Save Arnold Barn, the community group that is working to preserve the barn, to come up with the best plan.

Historic preservationist and Save Arnold Barn representative Arianthe Stettner said it was encouraging news that the ski area is part of the discussions about the barn's future.

Stettner said a contractor is available to perform temporary stabilization on the barn as soon as this month if an agreement is reached.

The city recently sued RP Steamboat, the former developer at the Arnold Barn site, and RCS Wildhorse Land, the current property owner, for neglecting to maintain the structure,

Both parties have denied they are responsible for the barn's fate.

They have previously offered to pay for the temporary stabilization of the structure if the city agreed to move it off of the property at taxpayers' expense.

The defendants in the lawsuit have until Jan. 11 to respond to the complaint from the city.

The city thinks the parties are legally responsible for maintaining the barn per a development agreement that was made a decade ago.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10