Still no fix for broken holiday light system in downtown Steamboat Springs |

Still no fix for broken holiday light system in downtown Steamboat Springs

Holiday lights grace downtown Steamboat Springs in February as traffic moves along Lincoln Avenue.
Scott Franz

— Some Steamboat Springs City Council members are wondering how much longer it will take to make Main Street merry again.

The holiday lights that have graced the trees on Lincoln Avenue have now been dark for two winter seasons, and they might not even be back this year.

City staff had to shut down the lighting system in December 2014 after a dog that was strolling downtown was shocked by the lighting system.

Shortly after, the city pulled the plug on the lights due to safety concerns. Former City Manager Deb Hinsvark reported the tree-lighting circuitry had reached the end of its useful life and was beyond repair.

City officials said an easy fix couldn’t be implemented because a previous construction project on Lincoln had crushed the conduit that the lighting system was fed through.

City Manager Gary Suiter met with MainStreet Steamboat manager Lisa Popovich last week to discuss the continued lack of lights on the trees.

“The downtown merchants are concerned,” Suiter said. “They want to see something happen.”

Suiter told City Council he didn’t have a formal diagnosis for the problem or an apparent fix at this time.

“I don’t have good info on this,” he said. “They did take a look at this, and I’ve heard six figures (for estimated repairs).”

Suiter wants an electrician to examine the lighting system and gauge how much it would cost to fix.

In the meantime, Suiter reported Popovich is looking into potential alternatives, such as battery or solar-powered lighting systems to put some of that merry back on Main Street this season.

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

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