Buyers of $9 million rural Steamboat property seek permit to host weddings
Growth industry: destination weddings
Steamboat Springs — Rural Steamboat Springs’ trending high-dollar wedding industry could see a spectacular new venue if the new owners of the Wildflower Meadows property a half-mile off U.S. Highway 40 in the south valley floor are successful in their bid for a permit from Routt County.
Neal Neumiller is the managing member of a limited liability company that paid $9 million for the property at 33855 Pine Drop Dr., with its 10,900-square-foot house and multiple ponds and lakes on 154 acres. He confirmed to Steamboat Today this week that the investors hope to obtain a permit to host weddings and other special events in a new barn they intend to build on the property as soon as this summer.
“That would be the goal,” Neumiller said. “The first step is to get the (conditional use permit) and then go ahead and get the barn built.”
The right turn off the highway into the entrance to Wildflower Meadows is shared with the historic red Mesa Schoolhouse. But the one-room schoolhouse is not a part of the permit application.
The matter is scheduled to be considered by the Routt County Planning Commission at 6 p.m. April 20.
If the permit is approved, Wildflower Meadows would represent the third rural wedding venue given the go-ahead here in about seven months.
In autumn 2016, the Planning Commission approved two new wedding venue permits. One was granted to Kathie and Wayne Jacobsen, of La Joya Dulce ranch on Routt County Road 129 north of Steamboat Springs, and another was given to Ann and Kevin Kvols, of Circle K Ranch on Routt County Road 43 south of town.
Local wedding planner Lindsey Grannis, of One Fine Day, told Steamboat Today in September that Steamboat lacks sufficient wedding venues to meet demand, and the minimum budget for a full-service wedding here is $50,000 with some costing more than $100,000.
Neumiller said the buyers considered other uses for Wildflower Meadows (its approved for three more estate home lots) but when they considered its attributes they settled on weddings and special events, from large family reunions (there will be no overnight accommodations) to fundraisers.
“What Wildflower offers is being close to town, and as spectacular as it is,” Neumiller said, “I don’t know if you can find a (venue) so close to town with all the amenities. One of the best things to do is share that infrastructure and let people see another beautiful part of Steamboat.”
Site drawings envision as many as four different sites for brides and grooms to exchange their vows on the property. The gated entrance road to Wildflower is paved and about a half-mile long. Neumiller anticipates they will hire two new employees in addition to the six part-time employees who have been on the property the past 15 years.
He envisions that guests of the property might hike and bike, recreate on the ponds and lakes and go Nordic skiing or snowshoeing in winter. The property is heavily landscaped, but the new owners intend to add more berms and plantings to screen the property from view.
The barn will be equipped with restrooms and a catering prep area, and it’s the LLC’s intent that it be used year-round. Neumiller wrote to the county planning staff that he has been in touch with his closest neighbors to allay any concerns they might have.
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