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Routt County Planning Commission considers wedding venue plans

If you go...

What: Routt County Planning Commission conducts a permit hearing for outdoor wedding venue on Routt County Road 24 just south of Steamboat Springs. Vote will be final barring any appeal to the Board of County Commissioners.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs

— Robyn and Lambert Ortons’ plans to migrate their longtime practice of hosting private events on their BAR-O Ranch into the commercial realm go before the Routt County Planning Commission on Thursday.

For years, the Ortons have hosted events for nonprofits and allowed friends to get married in their chapel in a remodeled historic granary. Now, they’d like to begin to operate as a business and host as many as 10 events in the first year and as many as 20 in succeeding years on their property on Routt County Road 24 opposite Haymaker Golf Course. The road is also know as Priest Creek Road or Kemry Lane.

If you go…

What: Routt County Planning Commission conducts a permit hearing for outdoor wedding venue on Routt County Road 24 just south of Steamboat Springs. Vote will be final barring any appeal to the Board of County Commissioners.



When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs



The applicants intend to continue operating their working hay and cattle ranch. Their permit application has generated several letters of approval from neighbors.

“This special property includes a converted granary know as the Priest Creek Chapel, oriented toward Priest Creek Chairlift and accompanying runs,” the Ortons wrote in a letter to the county planning department. “It has hosted many private events, weddings and receptions over the past 18 years. It has been blessed and consecrated and indeed is a special place.”

County Planner Watkins Fulk-Gray wrote in a memo to planning commission that the Ortons are seeking a conditional use permit that would allow them to host a maximum of 20 commercial events annually. However, during the first year, they would host up to eight events with a maximum of 250 guests and two more with a maximum of 400 guests.

One year after issuance of the permit, if no complaints had been received by the planning department, they hope to host up to 18 events annually with no more than 250 guests and two with a maximum of 400 guests.

Events would not begin before 4 p.m., and guests would leave the premises by 11 p.m. All events with more than 50 guests, excluding those with mobility issues, would be required to arrive in shuttle vans.

The Ortons have indicated they would attempt to “bundle” events, holding two per weekend when possible to minimize the coming and going of vendors — bands and caterers, for example — servicing each event.

The Ortons told planning staff they look forward to building a simple structure to shelter wedding receptions if business warrants it in the future.

“As the business evolves, we are going to consider a permanent multi-use pole barn to do away with the use of temporary facilities (tents),” they wrote. “It would be a multi-use ag building that would double as a wedding venue in summer, but provide hay and equipment storage in winter.”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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