Steamboat Springs City Council scrutinizes airport hangar purchase proposal | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs City Council scrutinizes airport hangar purchase proposal

The Steamboat Springs Airport as pictured from above.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council is not ready to sign a check for a new aircraft hangar at Bob Adams Field to accommodate planes that are passing through.

"The city has a long history of jumping into business opportunities and then saying 'maybe we shouldn't have done that,’" Councilman Scott Ford said.

The city on Tuesday proposed spending $310,000 on a new hangar at the municipal airport to house transient aircraft.

Currently, pilots of transient aircraft have to rent space in privately-owned hangars, and the revenue is split between the hangar owner and the city.

New airport manager Stacie Fain said the new hangar is needed to better accommodate pilots who need to park their planes in a hangar at the airport. She also thinks the new hangar would help to generate more revenue at the city-owned airport.

Council members seemed split about whether to even look into the idea further.

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While no council member was ready to commit to the purchase, some wanted more data before making a decision.

"I don't have enough information to know whether it's a good investment or not," Council President Walter Magill said.

Magill wanted to know how long the hangar had been on the market and what other hangars of a similar size had sold for.

He also questioned whether the city's estimated return on investment from the hangar made it a worthwhile purchase.

"This doesn't look like something I would spend my own money on," he said.

Councilman Tony Connell said the city should order an appraisal for the hangar.

He also questioned whether the city's business plan would be undercut by other hangar owners who would continue to lease out space in their hangars.

Fain said the community of hangar owners at the airport is tight, and they want the city's fixed-base operator to make money.

Fain suggested there was a sense of urgency behind the hangar proposal, as it might be sold to someone else if the council didn't act.

"There may be a profit to be made, at some price point … but a private individual may buy this," councilman Ford said. "I just don't see the need for the city to buy a building."

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