Outdoor seating modifications officially expire | SteamboatToday.com

Outdoor seating modifications officially expire

During the pandemic, the city allowed modifications to outdoor seating areas such as the one at Mountain Tap Brewery, which protruded into the parking lot.
Spencer Powell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

After nearly two years, some of the emergency modifications enacted by Steamboat Springs city officials have expired.

Because of the pandemic, indoor seating restrictions were imposed on businesses. To help those establishments, Steamboat Springs began permitting expanded outdoor seating. However, those modifications are now expired.

The modifications allowed for businesses to expand their outdoor seating into sidewalks and parking spots, and in some cases, additional structures were added to act as barriers for the expanded outside areas.

According to city officials, the modifications were generally effective, especially in the summer and for restaurants that were able to take advantage of the new rules.

“The city responded to the operational needs of local businesses during the pandemic by adjusting guidelines to help accommodate safety protocols during a critical circumstance,” said Rebecca Bessey, planning and community development director for Steamboat Springs.

One local brewery used a perimeter of barrels that stretched into the parking spaces along Yampa Street. However, with indoor restrictions eased, the need for additional outdoor seating is much less dire.

As a result, most restaurants won’t be affected by the expiring allowances, according to a handful of local business owners.

Seating and display areas along sidewalks may be allowed if given permission from the city in the form of a Type B Revocable License, according to the city.

The city is asking business owners to contact Planning and Community Development to determine what approvals and standards apply.

According to the city, sales tax collections show many local restaurants are doing well, as collections are coming in with large growth compared to the same time periods since March 2021.

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