Steamboat Springs city staff accepting public input on master plan for mountain area |

Steamboat Springs city staff accepting public input on master plan for mountain area

Skiers and riders wearing masks and obeying social distancing rules for groups wait in line for the gondola on the Opening Day of the 2020-21 season at Steamboat Resort. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After nearly a year of public meetings, online sessions and advisory and stakeholder group discussions, city of Steamboat Springs staff members have reached the next phase of the Mountain Area Master Plan and are seeking input from residents.

“We’re quite happy with the participation during the initial phase of the master plan,” said Rebecca Bessey, planning and community development director. “As we enter the next stage, it’s imperative to gain as much input as possible on the solutions, which set the stage for future direction.”

Bessey and Senior Planner Julie Baxter said the project’s purpose is to make recommendations to Steamboat Springs City Council and developers for the future of the city’s mountain area, which Bessey said includes areas of Apres Ski Way, Ski Times Square Drive, Mount Werner Circle and U.S. Highway 40.

“The main purpose is to develop a community vision of where do we want to go, and what do we want to see in this area of our town. What do we want it to look like and feel like?” Baxter said. “A long-range plan like this helps guide city staff as we make decisions.”

During the community engagement portion, which is open on through March 21, city planners will share findings, key problems and potential solutions. Feedback will be collected on all levels of support for possible solutions.

“The goal is to have an actionable implementation plan, so we look at those priority areas. Then we’ll develop ideas for actions and solutions and projects based on those,” Bessey said. “Once it’s complete, the master plan is intended to guide policy decisions, growth and development, as well as public and private investment in that area.”

City staff last completed a Mountain Area Master Plan in 2005, and Bessey said as Steamboat continues to grow, city staff wanted a better vision for the area surrounding Steamboat Resort for the long term.

“We just recognize that it’s time for the community to examine the challenges and opportunities in the mountain area again and think collaboratively about where we want to be headed in the next 15 to 20 years,” Bessey said.

Staff focused on several specific areas including parking, the Gondola Transit Center, 24-hour activities, built character environment, navigation and mobility, identity and funding. A series of display boards on areas of interest outline the input and data collected.

“As the mountain area ages, it’s important to have a defined vision, supported across the community, to shape where we go and what we would like to see,” continued Bessey. “As well, the plan must protect the unique character of the community along with the Yampa Valley.”

The city has partnered with Cushing Terrell and Connect One Design to lead the community engagement portion of the project and produce the plan. The comprehensive process is anticipated to run through April. Those interested in reading more details of the plan and sharing their thoughts may do so at

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