Construction of new STARS Ranch progresses with opening slated for September |

Construction of new STARS Ranch progresses with opening slated for September

The new STARS Ranch building is taking shape. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The walls are up, the roof is in place and the 13,000-square-foot building that will become the center of Steamboat Adaptive Recreation Sports — STARS — programming next winter is taking shape.

“We will be able facilitate a lot more opportunities for people with disabilities to experience outdoor recreation,” STARS Executive Director Julie Taulman said of the new STARS Ranch. “We could in essence quadruple the amount of people served.”

The nonprofit organization broke ground on the building, which is expected to be finished in September 2019, last fall. Taulman said by next winter the new facility will become STARS headquarters for operations. Construction crews from HLCC have endured some tough winter weather the past few months but have been able to keep the project pretty close to on-track.

“Last fall, they started construction and have worked through every single bad weather day that there was this past year,” Taulman said.

The new building will be located on nine acres just off of U.S. Highway 40 east of downtown Steamboat. The facility will have guest rooms to accommodate up to 27 people at a time for overnight stays, a full-sized kitchen and a great room that seats 100 people and can be used for training and STARS programs.

The building will also house STARS’ admistrative offices.

“When we do have groups, currently, we try to put them into different facilities around the community and there is very little accessible lodging available … groups are spread out all over the place in different lodging facilities, which makes it really difficult for us to provide meals and transportation and bring them all together so that they can socialize and get to know each other,” Taulman said.

“The building is going to allow us to have groups together in one place where they eat together and stay together,” Taulman added. “It also allows for training areas that we can use for our volunteers and room for local programs to take place where we have a place to go inside.”

Taulman had hoped to be in the building sometime in August but is now optimistic STARS will move into the new $6 million facility in September. When it opens, the STARS Ranch will become one of only three in the region and on par with programs in Crested Butte and Park City, Utah.

Taulman said STARS has raised about $5.2 million dollars to support the project.

“We have raised about 92 percent of the money we need for the building, so we are still looking for some other people that are interested in what we are doing out there,” Taulman said. “It is a huge investment in our community, and it’s been raised 100 percent by private donors and by foundations out of Denver.”

Anyone interested in donating can call Taulman or STARS Development Director Betsy Baur at 970-870-1950. To learn more about STARS, visit the STARS website.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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