Steamboat Ski Area coming to Arnold Barn’s rescue
March 1, 2017
Steamboat Springs — The Arnold Barn is poised to be saved by the industry that took over the landscape surrounding it.
On Tuesday night, the Steamboat Springs City Council gave an initial nod to a proposal that would result in the 89-year-old barn being stabilized and gifted to Steamboat Ski Area.
The proposal would bring a friendly ending to a legal battle that is being closely watched by community members who are trying to save a reminder of this city’s western heritage.
The green-roofed barn, which sits in a corner of the Meadows Parking Lot, is in a perilous state after years of neglect.
The property owner and developer at the barn site were recently sued by the city over the structure's condition.
The defendants have now agreed to pay $25,000 to stabilize the iconic structure if the city accepts the proposal to have the ski area take over the caretaking responsibilities for at least a decade.
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Under the proposal, the ski area would cover the remaining cost of the stabilization and also construct a gravel trail and historic sign in front of the barn.
"I think this is a good solution to the issue," Council President Walter Magill said. "The goal was to get the barn to not collapse … I like the way things have turned out."
The council is now just waiting for the concept to be put on paper for approval.
If the council accepts the plan to have the ski area become the barn's caretaker, the city would drop its pending lawsuit against Real Capital Solutions and RP Steamboat Springs.
It still isn't clear if the barn would end up staying in its current location or move up the hill to become a new iconic entryway to the resort area.
Some community members are recommending that the city use urban renewal authority funds to move the barn to a new home.
Under the terms of the proposal council is considering, the ski area could have the barn moved or deconstructed, but it would not be obligated to do so.
The maintenance obligations for both the ski area and the current property owner would ultimately expire after a decade.
In the city's eyes, the deal would accomplish an immediate goal of preventing the barn from collapsing.
City officials would then have some time to weigh any relocation proposals.
Jim Schneider, the ski area's vice president of skier services, said Wednesday it was good to see the proposal progressing and earning an initial nod from the City Council.
He declined to comment further because the agreement has not been signed or finalized.
The barn, which was built in the late 1920s on a dairy farm owned by the Arnold Family, has garnered a groundswell of community support in recent months.
A group called Save Arnold Barn has also helped to raise thousands of dollars to help preserve the unique reminder of Steamboat's western heritage.