Golden Cue sunk
Pool hall losing its lease
Steamboat Springs — The Golden Cue Billiards lease is expiring soon, and the bar’s owner is not being given the chance to renew it.
“I’m losing my lease after 20 years,” said Hoekstra, who will be forced to close his bar in the Dream Island mobile home park. “They’re shutting me down.”
Dream Island management could not be reached Thursday morning for comment.
The once smoke-filled bar was surviving the negative financial impacts of the smoking ban. Hoekstra said his business lost about 30 percent of its business because people could no longer smoke inside.
Hoekstra said he was told his lease is not being renewed because mobile home park managers complained of the noise customers made while smoking outside the bar.
“I’ve got no place for people to smoke now,” Hoekstra said.
He put up signs and said he asked customers to keep the noise level down.
“I asked them (to) keep it quiet, my lease depends on it, but then sometimes they don’t think,” Hoekstra said.
His five-year lease ends Jan. 1, but Hoekstra is hoping the management will allow him to stay through June so pool leagues can finish, allowing players to qualify for the annual national tournament in Las Vegas. Players have money invested in the American Poolplayers Association league games played at the bar on Sunday, Monday and Thursday, he said.
“You’ve got 50 pool players and regular working people that like to socialize, come down to socialize and play pool and play in the leagues and have friendly competition,” Hoekstra said. “It’s gone. A lot of them have said when I close down, they’re not going to play pool any more.”
The game of pool was the reason Hoekstra opened the bar in the first place.
Hoekstra was a dairy farmer in Longmont for 42 years before moving to Steamboat.
He worked a few different jobs before opening the bar. He was a bartender at the Veteran of Foreign Wars, and at the time, there was only one pool table.
“I said that if I found the right place, I wanted to give people a place to play pool,” Hoekstra said.
He opened Golden Cue Billiards on Dec. 27, 1986.
He described the bar as being similar to Cheers.
“Most everybody in here knows everybody,” he said. “We don’t have fights and or any problems because people show respect for my business and my place,” he said.
Hoekstra has no plans to find a new location for the bar.
“I’m too old to start over,” Hoekstra said. “Hell, I’m 71 years old.”
He said he will miss the bar, the customers his employees, but he can’t let the bitter ending bother him.
“That’s not good for the heart,” he said. “Life goes on. I’m a survivor.”
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In an effort to make Steamboat Springs Transit buses safer and more accessible, solar-powered lighting in bus shelters and a GPS-triggered automatic voice system that will announce stops in English and Spanish are being implemented.