Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

Downtown makeover

Downtown makeover

Downtown Steamboat Springs is enjoying a renaissance the likes of which the city has never seen.

“It’s truly amazing what’s occurring down there and what it’s become,” Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Director Tracy Barnett says. “All the hard work is paying off.”

Highlighting the improvements is Yampa Street, a restaurant- and bar-filled, riverside pedestrian zone that would make any mountain town green with envy. No fewer than 10 dining establishments and bars now line Yampa Street, many offering riverside dining and drinking. And all are close enough to walk between, meaning patrons can bar- and restaurant-hop all night long. The revitalization owes itself to revamped efforts by the city to improve an area it recognized has great potential.

In 2014, voters approved spending $900,000 in lodging tax dollars for Yampa Street improvements. Other funding options also are being explored. The city is weighing a proposal to use tax increment financing for additional downtown improvements, and a business improvement district board is surveying residents for improvements funded with a property tax.

The city also is beginning negotiations to purchase a property at Sixth and Yampa streets to convert into a public park with improved river access. Finally, YVEA’s former headquarters on the west end of Yampa Street recently went under contract with developer Blue Sage Ventures, which plans to repurpose the building into a mix of retail, residential and commercial spaces, bring renewed energy to Yampa Street’s west end, as well.

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