Chief Theater building sells to longtime supporters for $1.45 million

Teresa Ristow
Scott Parker changes the marquee at the Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell

— The Friends of the Chief Foundation has sold the Chief Theater building to longtime supporters Mary and Jack McClurg for $1.45 million.

The sale will allow the Chief to remain in operation without the organization worrying about whether it would be able afford its monthly mortgage payment, Executive Director Scott Parker said.

“The sale ensures the longtime vitality of the Chief,” Parker said. “Nothing has changed except on paper.”

Friends of the Chief has a 10-year lease agreement with three five-year renewals set up with the owners, who purchased the property under Jack McClurg’s registered business, SBS Real Estate Holdings LLC, at the beginning of the week.

“We’re rock solid for the next 25 years,” Parker said.

Lease agreements also have been agreed upon with the building’s other tenants, Shoe Chalet and Summit Shades.

Parker and board president Alice Klauzer said that the McClurgs were supporters of the vision of the current Chief Theater since the Chief Plaza Theater was put on the market in 2009, and a group of community members joined forces to preserve the future of the space.

Friends of the Chief bought the building for the same price it was just sold for, $1.45 million, in October 2012, and opened the doors to the main theater in May of last year after some renovations.

Parker said the nonprofit was spending too much of its energy on affording its mortgage and the sale will allow the organization to focus on operating the theater and looking toward future renovations.

“It’s one of the best things that has happened to the Chief,” Parker said. “A nonprofit should focus on their mission, not on their mortgage payment.”

The sale will allow other potential donors to feel more comfortable about the financially stability of the organization, Klauzer said.

Klauzer said the McClurgs’ are stepping back and letting the organization continue its work as an entertainment venue.

“They said, ‘Do what you need to do and don’t worry anymore,’” Klauzer said. “They believe in the Chief.”

Parker said business is good at the downtown venue, with nine straight days of events wrapping up Tuesday with a well-attended showing of holiday movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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