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A preliminary agreement has been reached by City of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) on an update to the Howelsen Hill Operating Agreement as it relates to the Joint Use Agreement (JUA).
“We’re all in agreement on the importance of Howelsen Hill to the community,” said Councilor Robin Crossan. “This process accomplishes one of council’s top goals and clearly lays out our partnership with the club into the future, especially as we focus on the community vision and strategic plan for the historic ski area.”
A City Council subcommittee, comprised of councilors Heather Sloop and Robin Crossan, along with city staff including City Manager Gary Suiter and City Attorney Dan Foote, worked together with SSWSC management, as well as representatives from the boards of directors from the SSWSC and its foundation, to negotiate the terms of the Howelsen Hill Operating Agreement in an effort to clarify positions of the club’s use of Howelsen Hill within the 1987 JUA. The JUA forms the framework for the responsibilities between the city and the SSWSC as it relates to Howelsen Hill.
After two years of meetings, the negotiated Agreement addresses the SSWSC’s use of Howelsen Hill in winter and summer and establishes limits on the city’s funding and maintenance obligations. Once ratified, the Agreement will govern much of the city’s budget for Howelsen Hill operations, which is approximately $600,000 annually. In addition, the club will contribute $100,000 annually for capital support at Howelsen Hill over the life of the Agreement. The Agreement does not create any new fiscal obligations for the city; however, it does limit during the term of the Agreement the nature and extent of the city’s requirements under the 1987 JUA.
“As part of the fabric of our community for more than a century, the SSWSC is thrilled to enhance our partnership with the city to help preserve Howelsen Hill as the place for all kids and families in our community, and as the home of the club,” said Jim Boyne, SSWSC Executive Director. “The financial and geologic challenges at Howelsen Hill pale in comparison to the long list of benefits to young athletes and families in our community that result from a strengthened partnership between the SSWSC and the City.”
During the City Council meeting on August 21, councilors directed staff to bring the Agreement back as a city ordinance. The first reading is scheduled for September 4; with a second reading on September 18, 2018. The document has been approved by the boards of both the SSWSC and the SSWSC Foundation.
Gary Suiter, City of Steamboat Springs, City Manager, 970.871.8240 or email
Robin Crossan, City of Steamboat Springs, City Council-District I, 970.819.9144 or email
Heather Sloop, City of Steamboat Springs, City Council-District III, 970.846.4545 or email
Jim Boyne, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Executive Director, 970.879.0695 or email