Mainstreet Steamboat Springs invites public to join conversation about downtown |

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs invites public to join conversation about downtown

Michael Schrantz

Cyclists make their way down Lincoln Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Police officers said the vast majority of cyclist-motorist conflicts they hear about take place in the downtown area of Steamboat Springs

— Mainstreet Steamboat Springs is inviting those who have an interest in the future of downtown Steamboat Springs to a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Harwigs/L’Apogee.

“We're inviting anyone who has any ideas about downtown improvements and issues,” said Tracy Barnett, manager of Mainstreet Steamboat Springs. “We’re trying to find out what the priorities are.”

A lot of attention downtown recently has been focused on Yampa Street, whether that's the now-abandoned sale of the public safety building or trying to secure funds for a river promenade.

Thursday's meeting is supposed to be a broader look at downtown Steamboat, according to Barnett.

"Since we've been concentrating on Yampa, some of these other ideas have fallen by the wayside," she said. "What does the average person who comes downtown want?

"It's the heart of the community. If there are things we can do to improve the heart of the community, we want to hear that."

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Mainstreet will be helped through some of the process by Casey Earp, a special projects intern for the city of Steamboat Springs.

Earp grew up in Steamboat and is coming back as part of the Best and Brightest internship program through the University of Colorado Denver, which partners students with small governments with assistance from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

"The city has offered to let him work on some of our economic development stuff," Barnett said. "We're going to let him do the facilitation."

And what he'll be facilitating Thursday should be most akin to a brainstorming session.

"That's basically all this is going to be," Barnett said. It's "not going farther than just bringing up those ideas people might have percolating in the back of their heads. We're hoping this is going to be some kind of a series."

If no one is interested, the meetings could stop Thursday, but the hope is the meetings will build on one another. From ideas, projects could be targeted, and then planning could begin on how to pay for them.

“We don't have regular meetings where people can voice their ideas,” Barnett said. “People can come to our board meetings, but they don't. This is an opportunity to let Mainstreet know what you're thinking."

The meeting Thursday will have light refreshments and a cash bar. It's not planned to be a long meeting, she said, and people are free to stop in and offer their input.

"We trying to engage people," Barnett said. "How do they interact with Mainstreet?"

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email