Steamboat City Council reconsiders special events process following tensions with Triple Crown
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sparked by a community discussion around Triple Crown Sports, Steamboat Springs City Council is revisiting its special events policy, which all groups, local or otherwise, are required to follow if they want to hold an event in town.
Council members first suggested taking another look at the city’s special events process after they voted 4-3 not to renew a contract with Triple Crown Sports, and Triple Crown applied to return through the special event process.
During a discussion at Tuesday night’s council meeting, council members said they mainly wanted to focus the conversation around local versus non-local events, as many members said they believed local events should be given priority.
“When I’ve been at (Colorado Association of Ski Towns) meetings, there has been this huge push to make sure events are being held for locals and make sure locals aren’t being pushed out every summer week or weekend,” said council member Heather Sloop, who represents Steamboat in the organization. “Making sure there’s an inclusivity to people who live in those communities is a huge priority.”
City Council developed the special activity permit process over a two-year period, and in 2019, council adopted policies that defined event categories. These policies classified venues that can be permitted for an event, the capacity of a venue, the capacity of services the city can provide and the number of events that can take place in a general area. The policies also defined reasons for denial of a permit and specified the city manager’s role in setting deadlines and fees.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
City Manager Gary Suiter said while the idea of prioritizing local events may sound nice, in practice, it often hurts businesses, as local residents don’t spend money in the same way visitors do.
“When you have events that are primarily for locals, the locals love it, but the businesses not so much, because locals don’t spend money to go out and frequent businesses,” Suiter said. “Restaurants and bars typically do OK, but retail shops just close down, because locals don’t shop, but visitors do.”
Suiter also said the discussion is part of a larger conversation about tourism.
“One of the balancing acts of tourism is if we do things just for locals, they’re going to cost more money, and businesses tend to not be as supportive of that,” Suiter added.
Other council members questioned whether or not local events were actually being put on the back burner or not.
“I’m trying to figure out if we even have a problem here,” City Council President Jason Lacy said. “Do we have any local groups who’ve been denied because an outside group got there first?”
Winnie DelliQuadri, Steamboat special projects and intergovernmental services manager, said the city implemented its policy to allow existing groups to have a two-year window for reservations for this reason.
Most events throughout the past year were canceled due to COVID-19, which is why council members felt now was the appropriate time to discuss the future of events in Steamboat.
“Because of what we’ve seen and the metrics from last summer and the sales tax revenue that came in with no events, let’s revisit this in the fall,” said council member Robin Crossan.
Council took no action but scheduled a work session on the subject for the fall.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Vanessa Avitia is just 13 years old, and she loves living in Steamboat Springs. But her parents have said if they are not able to buy a house in the next few years, they likely…