Steamboat City Council to talk about barn relocation, Howelsen Hill

The Arnold Barn was on the move in October as crews from Bailey House Movers transported the historic structure to the Meadows Parking Lot from a wetland adjacent to the parking lot.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Another barn might be on the move in Routt County.

The Crawford family, descendants of the first homesteaders in the Yampa Valley, has proposed relocating the Crawford Barn to a city-owned lot adjacent to James and Margaret Crawford’s historic home. The barn is currently located on private property in the 1100 block of The Boulevard.

The Crawford family hopes the move will help preserve the barn.

According to a staff memo to Steamboat Springs City Council that will be presented in Tuesday’s meeting, the Crawfords and city staff will present three options:

  • Relocating the barn and designating the city lot a pocket park.
  • Relocating the barn to the city lot, with the Crawfords maintaining the barn.
  • Allowing the Crawfords to purchase the lot and relocate the barn.

Both the family and city staff would prefer the family to purchase the lot and move the barn because this is “the most straightforward” option, according to the memo. The other two options would require additional maintenance on the city’s part, in the case of the pocket park, or agreements ironing out long-term maintenance and insurance, in the case of the second option. The Historic Preservation Commission unanimously supported the relocation at its March 13 meeting.

Courtesy city of Steamboat Springs

Howelsen Hill

City Council will discuss two items impacting Howelsen Hill: Ski Free Sundays and replacing the Barrows Chairlift.

City Council will discuss continuing the historic ski hill’s Ski Free Sunday program, which so far, has been authorized in some form every year since 2016 when the first three Ski Free Sundays were held in late winter.

Parks and Recreation staff are recommending council approve a three-year commitment to hold the program, which attracted 9,594 Alpine and Nordic skiers this season. The city will also seek sponsors to support the program.

“With a long-term commitment to the Ski Free Sunday concept, we can work to improve the skiing operations for the public, seek financial commitments and support from local businesses and encourage community buy-in for this tremendous resource,” Howelsen Hill Ski and Rodeo Manager Brad Setter and Parks and Recreation Director Angela Cosby wrote in a memo to City Council. 

Staff are also seeking to designate one Ski Free Sunday a month an enhanced Ski Free Sunday, such as the Sunday Funday event held at the hill in March. 

City Council will also hear an update on the Barrows Lift replacement, which is scheduled to take place in summer 2021 or 2022. A contractor has determined an alignment for the new lift after analyzing two years worth of data about the hill’s stability. The monitoring will continue as the city and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club work to identify a lift manufacturer to engineer and install a new lift.

The Poma lift will also be refurbished with a faster drive system this summer. The refurbishment is expected to be complete in time for winter operations.

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting
When: 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16
Where: Citizens’ Meeting Room in Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Those who cannot attend the meeting can contact City Council or watch a live video stream of the meeting by visiting the city’s website,

City Council will also discuss:

Routt Recreation Roundtable

On Tuesday, City Manager Gary Suiter will also present a proposal to continue holding Routt Recreation Roundtable meetings facilitated by the Keystone Policy Center. 

The roundtable emerged out of contentious community discussions on the Mad Rabbit trails project, a proposed expansion of the trails system in Routt National Forest. Keystone has facilitated four meetings about the Mad Rabbit project.

The U.S. Forest Service, Keystone and members of the roundtable have expressed an interest in continuing to meet to give the Forest Service regular input on projects in the area.

Keystone would host two more meetings and help kick the group off with a “one-year action plan,” according to the proposal.

The proposal would cost $12,845, funded from the city manager’s budget.

2A Trails and other city boards

 The city will also interview candidates to fill vacancies on the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, Parks and Recreation Commission and 2A Trails Committee.

One seat is open on the 2A Trails Committee. Jon Wade and Jason Landers applied.

Parks and Recreation Commission has three open positions. Incumbents Craig Keefe, Holly Weik and Calder Young reapplied. Bill Conway also applied.

The Planning Commission has two regular positions and an alternate seat open. Current Planning Commissioners Rich Levy, Tom Ptach and alternate Paul Weese reapplied. Alex Kleman and Taylor Napolillo also applied.

Kleman also applied to the Board of Adjustment, which has five open seats. Current board members Theo Dexter, Tom Effinger, David Levine and alternate Peter Arnold reapplied.

The Historic Preservation Commission has two vacancies. Catherine Brown and Marianne Capra applied.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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