Diggin' Downtown Steamboat Springs Downtown Improvement Plan
Project Map

The Downtown Improvement Plan has been presented in various iterations for the past 30 years. The current plan has been created using input from business owners, planning groups, consultants and community members to develop a comprehensive list of downtown improvements. The plan includes many projects that are identified in various planning documents created over the years including: the City of Steamboat Springs Economic Development Policies, Downtown Design Guidelines and Street-scape Master Plan, the Urban Land Institute Yampa Street Technical Assistant Panel Report, Sidewalk Master Plan, Yampa River Management Plan, Storm Water Master Plan, and Mobility and Circulation Plan section of the Area Community Plan.

In July 2015, the City Council authorized staff to move forward with a Downtown Improvement Plan that would have a three year targeted implementation based on a specific project list including construction on Yampa and Oak streets and side-streets between 3rd and 12th street. Each project has a well-defined scope and associated cost estimate. Funding for the proposed project list includes certificates of participation, general fund revenue, grants, franchise fee restricted reserves, and a private property assessment for the cost associated with sidewalk improvements that were found deficient or missing.

Formation of the Downtown Improvement Plan:

City staff created a detailed inventory of current conditions in downtown. The project team surveyed each block downtown to identify missing links of sidewalk street-scape. Each quarter block was evaluated and current assets were documented during this process. From that inventory, a list of projects including detailed cost estimates were developed to construct many of the improvements identified in City adopted plans and documents. The project scope is primarily based on the 2009 Downtown Design Guidelines, which established a street-scape block layout for each street in the downtown area. The Downtown Design Guidelines were formulated from 2007 to 2009 through an extensive public process. Since 2009, Staff and private developers have struggled with implementation of the Guidelines due to a segmented approach to construction, physical barriers to realization of the adopted plan including topography, floodplain, drainage, and roadway geometry, and lack of funding. The current Downtown Improvement Plan that has been formulated by staff and endorsed by the past City Council offers a pragmatic strategy to realization of the main intent of the 2009 guidelines.

The proposed improvements create the same or improved aesthetic appeal and design of the plan while reconsidering many of the most expensive features that caused initial estimates for the street-scape to be exorbitant. Formation of the improvement plan considered additional efforts to identify overlapping opportunities for the downtown area including proposed development in Downtown, the planned paving of the Rodeo ground parking facility , and the Workman Park and Butcherknife Outfall restoration project to name a few. Some modifications from the 2009 Downtown Design Guidelines are also intended to reduce long term maintenance costs to the City and private property owners.

For more detail on specific project efforts click on the following links for additional project information:

Financing of the Downtown Improvement Plan:

The overall funding package endorsed by City Council includes:

  • $3.8M in capital reserves
  • $4M in debt financing using certificates of participation
  • $1M in special assessments
  • $1.3M in grants
  • $1.1M in utility franchise fees

These amounts are budget forecasts and depend on a number of factors including financing rates, competitive award of grants, assessment determination, future budget allocation, and actual costs of construction to name a few.

Public Improvement Construction Timeline:

Staff has developed an aggressive timeline to accomplish the identified projects. Below is a summary of that timeline:

2015 –

  • Complete survey, design and related coordination processes to enable construction bid package for Yampa Streetscape and Utility Undergrounding and schematic design for Oak Street.

2016 -

  • Yampa Street Complete Project Phase I (Design-Bid-Build)
    • Yampa Street Utility Undergrounding:
    • Yampa Street North Sidewalks (5th-9th)
    • Yampa Street Promenade (5th-9th)
    • Yampa River Bank Improvements
    • 7th Street Raised Intersection
  • Oak Street Project (Design-Build)
    • 3rd-5th North Side
    • 4th-5th South Side
    • 7th-8th North Side


  • Yampa Street Complete Project Phase II
    • Yampa Street Core Trail
    • Yampa Street North Sidewalks (9th-12th)
    • Yampa Street Promenade
    • 11th Street Raised Intersection
  • Oak Street Complete Project (Design-Build)
    • Oak Street Sidewalk Remaining Segments (except 6th-7th)
  • Side street Complete Project (Design-Build)
    • Side street sidewalk “Install”
    • Side street sidewalk “Replace”
  • Side street sidewalk “Retrofit”
  • Asphalt Overlay on Yampa Street
  • Design
    • Final Butcherknife Creek Floodplain Improvements, Eagle Scout Restroom, West Lincoln Restroom and Park Improvements, 13th Street sidewalk:


  • Design-Bid-Build Projects
    • Butcherknife Creek Floodplain Improvements and Eagle Scout Park Restroom
    • Oak Street Sidewalk (6th-7th) and Remaining Segments
    • 13th Street Sidewalk
    • West Lincoln Park River Amphitheatre
    • West Lincoln Restroom
    • Asphalt Overlay


Project Map (PDF)

Downtown Design Guidelines (PDF)