Photo by Corey Kopischke
Here is the complete article about the latest in downtown Steamboat.
2011 in the Rear-View Mirror
As 2011 comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the past year downtown. Despite the down economy, downtown Steamboat was able to hold it’s own with respect to vacancies While we are sorry to say goodbye to Cowgirls and Angels, Rustique Home and Garden, Ghost Ranch Saloon, Old West Steakhouse and Goody 2 Shoes, we are happy to welcome Carl’s Tavern, Om Gallery, Branches – An Inspired Collection, Calamity Pass Trading Co, Milk Run Donuts, Fixins Kitchen, Steamboat Home Consignment, Mountain Brew Coffee Shop, Acqua Spa, Steamboat Hat Company, Robin’s Nest, Rina’s Tea Haven, Spostas World Sushi, Sambi and ART Works Functional Art Gallery.
Wheel’s Bike Shop moved into the front of the building with Backdoor Sports. One Fine Day moved to Oak Street and Quiksilver expanded in its new location in Howelsen Place. Ski Town Lifestyle Properties and the MainStreet office vacated their spaces in Howelsen Place to make room for Quiksilver. STLP moved next door, filling the final space in the B Building at HP. MainStreet moved back down to 751 Yampa Street, between Sunpie’s and Sweetwater Grill, courtesy of STLP. Sweet Pea Market has become a year round operation by moving the cafe indoors for the winter. DC/Oakley moved into the former Quiksilver space. Chocolate Soup moved all operations back up to the Mountain, making way for Bella’s Crepery, a complimnent to the popular Bella’s Wine Bar downstairs. With Embellishments combining with Steamboat Art Company, Straightline was able to expand operations into the former Embellishments space. Bushwackers is still in the FM Light and Sons family of stores, but is now run by Lockhart daughter, Lindsay, and her husband, Chris Dillenbach. Chris Allen has joined his father, Tod, at Allen’s Clothing and is making some changes in the store. It’s great to see another generation joining their parents in these long standing family businesses. The Laundry, another in the Steamboat Restaurant Group family of restaurants is about to open the Soda Creek Building. While it may seem like musical chairs out there, the vibrancy of downtown continues to lure new business. Downtown is the place to be!
2011 also saw a change in the noise ordinance to more accurately reflect the desire for a vibrant night-time economy. The Hospitality Resource Panel, with the help of MainStreet, was established to engage the stakeholders in the night-time economy in working on issues of mutual importance to all sectors. Despite the fears of the bar owners that the revised ordinance would adversely impact business, the fears were unfounded. Noise complaints have been minimal, usually stemming from people out on the street rather than coming from inside the venue.
With the completion of the Lincoln Avenue Streetscape project, focus has now been directed toward Yampa Street. Bike lanes have been added to Yampa to help create more awareness about the active bike and pedestrian scene on that street. Infrastructure needs (curbs, gutter, sidewalks, undergrounding of utilities) are being assessed. Design guidelines are being reviewed and may become standards. View corridors to Howelsen Hill are important and should be preserved. Public access to the river is important. To reduce the impact to Lincoln Avenue and Hwy 40, Yampa Street could become more of a festival street in the future.
Oak Street is no longer the sleepy transitional street of the past. New businesses, like Mountain Brew Coffee Shop, Acqua Spa, One Fine Day, Kneading Hands Massage, Habitat ReStore and Spostas are all adding to the vibrancy on Oak.
Residential units in Howelsen Place, Alpen Glow Townhomes, The Olympian and The Victoria are slowly being absorbed. More of the unsold units are in the nightly rental pool, bringing more guests downtown. The downtown rentals have proven very popular. Having lights on in the upper units is extremely important to a sense of livablility and safety downtown.
The Farmers Market reached capacity in its present location on 6th Street, with as many vendors on the wait list as were able to participate this past summer. The market continues to draw crowds downtown on summer Saturdays.
MainStreet events continue to grow. The Downtown Hoe Down/Chuckwagon Chili Challenge, Sisters in Steamboat, Light Up the Night and Merry MainStreet drew more participants than in years past. The new Downtown Chocolate Tasting for Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving was a huge success!
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge brought downtown Steamboat to the world stage via video feed. The thousands of people in downtown that day created an energy that was hard to match, and drew people who would never visit Steamboat in the winter to experience our town. While retail and restaurants didn’t experience the business they had expected during the event, the days following proved to be successful.
And, MainStreet Steamboat has been named as a semi-finalist in the Great American Main Street Awards. It’s been a great and very busy year for MainStreet and for downtown. Here’s to even bigger and better 2012