Honey Stinger one step closer to new headquarters following City Council vote
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs City Council gave unanimous approval for the first reading of an ordinance allowing a local energy snack company to lease a portion of the Steamboat Springs Airport during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Since May, Honey Stinger has been working with the city to lease the airport office building, a space of about 17,837 square feet, according to city documents. The clothing company Smartwool currently leases the space, but company officials have said they plan to vacate the building in the spring, likely April or May.
This comes after Smartwool announced plans last year to move its headquarters to Denver. Initially, officials said the move-out date would be February 2020, but that has been pushed back, according to previous Steamboat Pilot & Today reporting.
Honey Stinger also has experienced some recent growth, including the addition of several sponsorships, including the TCS New York City Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon. In November, Mike Keown became the company’s new chief executive officer, and he voiced a commitment to keep Honey Stinger in Steamboat.
Smartwool has leased the airport building since 2002. Its current lease goes through November 2022, but a provision allows the company to terminate the lease with 30 days notice, according to Alan Lind, the city’s director of general services.
During Tuesday’s meeting, council member Lisel Petis shared her concern that nothing prevents Smartwool from further delaying its move from the building in the spring, as it has done in the past.
“It worries me that if they keep (pushing back the date) it could screw up the deal for us,” Petis said.
Lind acknowledged risk exists, but he does not think it is likely any changes would be drastic enough to sour the plans for Honey Stinger to move in sometime next year.
“All indications are that (Smartwool) will be out by the second quarter (of 2020),” he said during the meeting.
Smartwool representatives could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Keown said he has not received an official move-out date from Smartwool, but he does not foresee any problems with settling a deal with the company over the airport space. He said the expansion is necessary for Honey Stinger, which currently shares office space with clothing company Big Agnes next to Vectra Bank.
“We are bursting at the seams here in our current location,” Keown said. “We all need some elbow room.”
Honey Stinger would use the airport building as its office headquarters, but Keown also mentioned some “creative ideas” for the space that employees are considering. He was not ready to offer any further details as of Wednesday.
As proposed for its first reading, the city council ordinance would allow Honey Stinger to enter into a five-year lease with the city. The company wants this lease to begin prior to the end of 2020, Lind said. The lease rate would remain unchanged under the ordinance. That includes monthly rent of $18,527.25 and an annual escalation capped at 3%.
City Council will hold a public hearing for the ordinance Dec. 17. Council members are expected to vote on a second reading to finalize the ordinance that night, according to Lind.
Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs also had expressed an interest in leasing the building. Kathy Kiser-Miller, vice president and campus dean of CMC Steamboat, said the college continues to look for new space to expand its programming.
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