Letter: The Veterans Center will make a real difference in Northwest Colorado

A new 501(c)(3) nonprofit called “The Veterans Center” has made it their mission to create a centrally located veterans resource hub by transforming the former VFW building at 924 Lincoln Ave.

As a result of smoke damage from the Steamboat Smokehouse fire in December 2019, the VFW has been unable to utilize their building. With insufficient VFW funds for repairs, the first goal of The Veterans Center is to historically renovate this, the second oldest building in Steamboat Springs. 

Most importantly, the primary mission of The Veterans Center is to provide a gathering space and information resource center for all veterans and active duty military, and their extended families, and to make the space available for use by other organizations. Although the new building will no longer be a VFW bar, it will continue be the home of the VFW to carry out their mission objectives. 

The Veterans Center is partnering with local health and wellness service providers that already help veterans, but their services are not well known to the 1,250 veterans in Routt. Note that there are over 4,000 veterans in the five northwestern counties. 

Additionally, we have a tentative agreement with Routt County to relocate the Veterans Service Officer to our location; and we’re attempting, through a veterans’ lobby group, to extend funding to make the VSO a full-time position.

On July 14, the VFW generously donated their building, and we’re in the process of raising $3 million for the renovation. We seek the financial generosity of the community to fund this endeavor in order to make a real difference to all the men and women who have risked, and those who are currently risking, their lives for their country and our freedoms which we so vigorously debate every day across our nation.

We offer a special thank you to those who have donated or pledged over $400,000 in these first few weeks. We’re grateful to all of our new partners who have offered services for veterans, and we’re most appreciative of those who have offered such productive advice as we start this new venture.

Bless all of our veterans and active-duty military serving the United States of America. To contact us or for more information and donation opportunities, go to

Joe Armstrong, Sr., Kent Fredrickson, Bruce Hannon, Loretta Kuhlman, Jim Stanko and D. Jeffrey Steck
Steamboat Springs

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