After promenade, other big improvements still possible at base area URA |

After promenade, other big improvements still possible at base area URA

People gather at the promenade at the base of Steamboat Ski Area for the Free Summer Concert Series show featuring Carolina Chocolate Drops. Steamboat used tax increment financing to revitalize the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

— Nearly a decade after tax increment financing started being used to improve public infrastructure at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, there still remains a long list of improvements that could be funded through the next several years.

The volunteers who advise the city on the base area urban renewal authority improvements recently briefed the Steamboat Springs City Council on the scope of the work that could be done in the final years of the TIFs lifespan.

The volunteers estimate the city has completed about half the projects envisioned more than a decade ago.

That means at current estimates, a little more than $20 million worth of work could still be done.

Many of the improvements still on the waiting list focus on pedestrian safety and improving intersections near the base area, including such things as a pedestrian underpass at Village Drive and Apres Ski Way, escalators in Gondola Square, a new beach area near One Steamboat Place and promenade extensions.

One of the nearer-term improvements is likely to be a realignment of the intersection of Village Drive and Apres Ski Way.

In total, 26 improvements could still be made at the base area in what has been dubbed Phase Three of the urban renewal authority’s lifespan.

City Council, acting as the city’s redevelopment authority, accepted the list of proposed improvements at a meeting last month.

However, the improvements will have to be voted on annually when City Council considers budget requests for them.

Some council members suggested some items on the list, such as a proposed outdoor ice rink, may not be approved, because they could be perceived as not meeting the legal requirement of removing blight from the area.

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

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