Steamboat Springs City Council agrees to Arnold Barn preservation deal |

Steamboat Springs City Council agrees to Arnold Barn preservation deal

An undated photo of the Arnold Barn shows it in its glory days surrounded by dairy cows.
Courtesy Photo

— A neglected relic of Steamboat Springs’ western heritage is a big step closer to getting a sturdier frame.

On Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs City Council agreed to the terms of a proposal that will preserve the iconic Arnold Barn and have Steamboat Ski Area become its new caretaker.

In addition to paying for the stabilization of the structure, the current landowner and developer at the barn site will also gift a 1.5-acre parcel the barn sits on at the corner of the Meadows parking lot to the ski area.

Sarah Fox, of Fox Construction, said Thursday her company would be ready to start the stabilization work on the barn as soon as Monday if the agreements were signed.

However, Steamboat Ski Area and the landowner of the barn site want to wait until the land transaction closes before ordering the stabilization work.

City Attorney Dan Foote told the council it will likely take at least three weeks for that to happen.

The agreement is poised to end a legal battle between the city, the landowner of the barn and a developer over the neglect of the barn at the Wildhorse Meadows site.

“I’m pleased,” Foote said of the agreement. “This agreement gives us a window for (relocation) of the barn.”

The city decided to sue the property owner and landowner because it thinks they are responsible for maintaining the barn per the terms of an old development agreement.

The barn, which was built on the Arnold family’s dairy farm in the late 1920s, is currently in a perilous state.

When all parties sign the new agreement over the barn’s future, the city will drop its lawsuit, and the developer and landowner will pitch in $25,000 to have the barn stabilized.

The goal would then be to have the barn relocated.

Some community members have eyed the knoll near the Steamboat Grand as a new permanent home for the barn. But funding for the expensive move is still an open question.

Councilwoman Robin Crossan speculated that a big donor might step forward and help pay for the relocation efforts.

Historic preservationist Arianthè Stettner praised the pending deal for the barn’s preservation.

“We appreciate the city’s commitment to finding a resolution, and the property owners finally stepping up to the plate,” she said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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