Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

Bike Trails, Yampa Street to Benefit from city’s accommodations tax

Bike Trails, Yampa Street to Benefit from city’s accommodations tax

If Steamboat seems like it has more than its share of well-built public amenities, at the root of it is an innovative funding source. Already responsible for building the Strings Music Pavilion, Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs and Haymaker Golf Course, a portion of the city’s accommodations tax gets appropriated to provide amenities that will attract visitors and benefit residents.

On the list of possibilities for the next round of improvements are enhancing the town’s trail system and creating a new riverside walkway and series of public parks along Yampa Street downtown.

If approved by voters in November, the two projects would benefit from an estimated $6 million in tax proceeds throughout the next 10 years, or about $600,000 per year, with the Yampa Street revitalization proposal receiving $900,000 during the next three years and the trail proposal receiving most of the rest. On Yampa Street, proceeds will help enhance downtown as a visitor destination with the project’s centerpiece a 16- to 24-foot-wide, landscaped walkway along the river side of Yampa Street connecting a series of public parks. Last year, a team of urban planners toured downtown to recommend potential improvements.

“A lot of towns have rivers, but few have parks like Howelsen Hill and Emerald Mountain, complete with ski jumps and mountain bike trails, right on the edge of the downtown,” Steamboat Springs Planning Director Tyler Gibbs says. “Great communities look for these types of opportunities.”

On the bike trail side, the funds would be used by the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance to further expand the Yampa River Core Trail for several miles to the Humble Ranch south of town. The project also would open new public access to the Yampa near the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area as well as build new trail networks for mountain biking and hiking. The Trails Alliance ultimately is proposing to build, expand and improve 46 multiuse trails and connectors in the city and adjacent lands.

Proponents add that their projects can be leveraged with grants from entities such as Great Outdoors Colorado.

“The project is way more than just mountain bike trails,” local trail designer Aryeh Copa says. “The projects should benefit everyone who comes to Steamboat.”

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