Project Overview and Vision
Long before Steamboat Springs was known as Ski Town USA, it was a humble, isolated agricultural community. The vision of the Arnold Barn Iconic Entry Project is to honor Routt County’s rich agricultural heritage by transforming the dilapidated Arnold Barn into a welcoming and accessible landmark.
Walter Arnold built his dairy barn in 1928 at the base of Mt. Werner (then called Storm Mountain). The barn was the heart of the Arnold family’s 160-acre ranch and dairy farm. For more than 30 years Walter, his wife, and their three sons raised Holstein cows, sheep, chickens, oats, and hay, and sold dairy products and eggs in the small town of Steamboat Springs.
In 1961, the Arnolds retired from agriculture and the newly formed Storm Mountain Ski Corporation purchased their property to allow access to the fledgling resort. For many years the barn was used for storage and a backdrop for advertising photos.
Over time, farm buildings disappeared, the fields became roadways and a parking lot, and development transformed the landscape. As ownership of the property changed hands multiple times over the years, the barn suffered from neglect and slowly sank into the manmade wetland and the edge of the Meadows parking lot.
In 2016 the Save Arnold Barn group formed to advocate for the preservation of the barn and to galvanize community support. In 2017, the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation regained ownership of the barn. Emergency stabilization of the barn was completed in fall of 2017.
A public/private partnership formed between Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, Steamboat Grand Homeowners Association, and Save Arnold Barn/Historic Routt County to relocate the barn to a more accessible location at the base of the ski area and rehabilitate the barn on its new site. Work on this project is anticipated to begin summer of 2018.
Historic Routt County is the proud partner and fiscal agent to the Save Arnold Barn group.