Steamboat introduces new special event permitting system | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat introduces new special event permitting system

A child competes in the skijoring event during the Winter Carnival street events in Feb. 2012. (Photo by Matt Stensland)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Whether it's a race, an outdoor concert or Winter Carnival, those putting together events in Steamboat Springs' public spaces will be using a new process.

The city is introducing a new format and new fees for event applications. The new application consolidates a process that once required filing multiple documents in multiple city departments into one application and establishes a special events coordinator who will be a point of contact on applications.

Some event producers will see additional upfront fees with the application, including fees for city services such as closing streets and staffing events with community service officers.

"Ideally, we believe it simplifies the process overall for everyone involved," Rachel Lundy, the city's special event coordinator wrote in an email. "We've streamlined different applications into one, standardized fees and costs and established a special events point person at the city. By defining permit deadlines and turnaround times, the new process sets key expectations for all parties as well as capacity for city venues.”

Where the old application system focused on the organization putting on an event and whether it was a nonprofit, commercial business or a private citizen, the new system focuses on the venue and the impacts an event will have on the city. In doing this, the city hopes to recoup more of the costs events create for the city.

In a work session with the Steamboat Springs City Council, assistant to the city manager Winnie DelliQuadri said city staff hoped to use the impacts of an event to determine the best location to hold it. "Who you are as the producer doesn't drive that process," she said. "It's really what you're doing that drives that process."

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The city is prioritizing moving events from Lincoln Avenue to Yampa Street and other venues, according to a city news release. Winter Carnival, July 4th events and the Halloween Stroll will remain on Lincoln Avenue.

In a city council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, council members instructed city staff to abandon considerations of moving Winter Carnival off of Lincoln Avenue but encouraged staff to find ways to "skinny" the street event by using less snow on Lincoln Avenue or finding other cost-saving measures.

The new system also aims to allow the city to eventually adopt an electronic application system, Lundy said. City staff has also talked about creating a sort of "menu" of available venues within the city that include capacities and allowed uses.

Some event producers will pay new fees, including a $150 application fee, a $500 late fee for applications received fewer than 45 days before an event is scheduled, venue fees and fees for use of community service officers and city streets. The application fee will not be required for city, school or private individual's events.

"To help ease the move to the new system, $20,000 in funding through the (Steamboat Springs) Chamber was set aside to assist non-profits in covering some of the new costs," Lundy said. Eligible organizations will work with the Chamber to work through reimbursements.

During the last year, a steering committee met with stakeholders to develop the new procedures for city special event permits.

"With any change, it will take time for folks to become used to the new process; however, in the long run, we think it will be more efficient, easier and, ultimately, more successful for everyone looking to host an event in Steamboat Springs," Lundy said.

For more information on the new special event application, call Lundy at 970-871-8225 or visit steamboatsprings.net/732/special-event-permit.

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

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