Downtown is no longer the only provider of goods and services in our community. With the advent of the Steamboat Ski Area, Steamboat Springs began to grow beyond its traditional agricultural and mining roots to include tourism. As the ski base and surrounding areas expanded, shoppers had more choices. Many of the traditional shops and services, which had only been available in the central commercial district of the past, spread out and often left the downtown area entirely. Gone are the days when the drug store, the post office, the grocery store and the hardware store were all within walking distance of each other.
The center of the community and social life was the downtown. Our history as a community was formed downtown. This is where FM Light set up his store in 1905. This is where the railroad came to town to drop off visitors for our hot springs and to hunt our wild game. Carl Howelsen, the father of skiing in Steamboat Springs, was a stonemason who built many of our historic stone buildings in the downtown area.
As Main Street the organization has matured, Downtown is again at the center of our social lives, just in a different way. Restaurants and shops are the core of our Downtown, but Galleries, coffee shops and places for the community to gather outside are becoming more important. Events like the Farmers Market bring people downtown to connect with community while accessing local made and grown products.
These things do not happen by accident. Main Street Steamboat is the Champion for Downtown. We work with the City to improve infrastructure and to keep Downtown Beautiful. Past projects include the design and installation of bus stops, flowers on Lincoln and Yampa, new trash receptacles. We organize litter clean up days and tend to the flowers. We help new businesses to get started and existing businesses to innovate and grow.
Downtown is the iconic image for Steamboat Springs. The picture of Downtown Steamboat Springs with the ski area in the background is famous all over the world.