New Hahns Peak gateway sign strategically placed at Steamboat Lake State Park visitors center
Steamboat Springs — Following the lead of Oak Creek and Stagecoach State Park, the Hahns Peak Historical Society will place its new gateway sign, which highlights the “Boundless Landscapes and Spirited People” of the region, outside the visitors center at Steamboat Lake State Park to tap into the park’s thousands of annual visitors.
On Tuesday, the Routt County Board of Commissioners approved the recommendation of the Routt County Museum and Heritage Fund Advisory Board to devote $2,250 in dedicated property tax dollars to the new sign that will point out historic and cultural resources in the vicinity of Hahns Peak Village.
The historical society will match those funds with $1,500 and in-kind services valued at $750 to build the sign. It will point out locations of interest from the Columbine Cabins to the Hahns Peak Cemetery and the newly restored Hahns Peak fire lookout at 10,843 feet.
The new Hahns Peak sign is part of the efforts of Steamboat Springs resident Nancy Kramer and the Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Tourism Project to promote cultural tourism across 17 communities in five neighboring counties in Western Colorado.
Kramer said Nita Naugel, director of the Tracks and Trails Museum in Oak Creek, has confirmed that many of the museum’s visitors learn about it from the sign at Stagecoach.
The sign at Steamboat Lake will be artistically consistent with existing signs in Yampa and at Hayden’s Walnut Street pocket park.
Steamboat Lake State Park manager Julie Arington said her staff routinely engages many of the park’s visitors (typically more than 340,000 annually) to develop interest and appreciation for the mining and ranching history of the area where the park is situated. And the gateway sign is expected to aid in that effort.
“The message and image is consistent with the park’s messaging and will enhance our education efforts,” Arington wrote in a letter of support.
Meg Tully, executive director of Historic Routt County (HRC), also offered praise for the Hahns Peak Historical Society.
“At HRC we save important structures in the county for future generations … What (the historical society) does is vital to what we do, because their programming conveys and interprets the stories behind the buildings in the Hahns Peak area,” Tully wrote in a letter.
Kramer told the Board of Commissioners Tuesday that the day before she had met with Garfield County officials who are studying Routt County’s property tax dedicated to historic preservation with thoughts of doing something similar.
“It shows that Routt County is rock’n and and roll’n when it comes to (heritage tourism) and doing the right thing,” Kramer said.
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