Skip to main content

Steamboat Magazine

Arnold Barn on the Move

10/02/2018 12:35PM ● By Alesha Damerville

Arnold Barn, autumn 2016. Photo by Fred Hodder

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS-During the week of October 8th, the historic Arnold Barn will be moved from the corner of the Meadows Parking Lot to a new location 1,000 feet up the road at the intersection of Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle. Once on its new foundation, the barn, built in 1928, will be preserved to serve as a welcoming, authentic landmark that celebrates Routt County’s rich agricultural and ski heritage. 

Preparations for the move are underway at the current and future sites. The move itself is anticipated to take several hours potentially starting on October 8th and continuing on October 9th. This process will require closure of the uphill, eastbound lane of Mt. Werner Road plus a short closure of the northern portion of the intersection at Mt. Werner Circle as the barn pulls into its new home at the base of the Knoll open space below the Steamboat Grand. Exact move date and time is subject to change based on weather conditions.  

This project is made possible by strong community partnerships and grassroots efforts. Over the past three years, the Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee, Save Arnold Barn, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, Steamboat Grand Homeowners Association, Historic Routt County, and the Tread of Pioneers Museum have collaborated to save this irreplaceable symbol of rural Northwest Colorado. The project is funded by the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority and generous contributions from community members. 

“After surviving years of neglect and an uncertain future, it is exciting to finally see the work underway to move the historic Arnold Barn to its new home and to preserve it for future generations to appreciate. We are thrilled that this grassroots/community effort has captured the imagination of the public throughout the country. It is yet another example of the "can-do" spirit that make Steamboat Springs and Routt County such a great place to live.” – Arianthé Stettner, Chair, Save Arnold Barn  

 “Across the nation, heritage and preservation projects like the Arnold Barn are growing economies and contributing to the vibrancy of communities. Creating a sense of place, showcasing our authentic skiing and ranching heritage, preserving the legacy of the Arnold family and contributing to our cultural vitality is key for the future of sustainable tourism and makes Steamboat memorable and competitive in the resort marketplace.” – Candice Bannister, Save Arnold Barn and Executive Director, Tread of Pioneers Museum

“Relocating the Arnold Barn has been always a centerpiece of the master plan for the Urban Renewal Area.  This collaborative effort not only will fortify the structure and preserve its historic elements, but also will restore the pastoral context of the Barn. What a great landmark to welcome visitors and residents to the Mountain Area!” – Ralph Walton, SSRA project manager 

History: Long before Steamboat Springs was known as Ski Town USA™, it was a humble, isolated agricultural community. Walter Arnold built his dairy barn in 1928 at the base of Mt. Werner (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 children raised Holstein cows, sheep, chickens, oats, and hay, and sold dairy products 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 Barngroup formed to advocate for the preservation of the barn and to galvanize community support. In 2017 the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporationregained ownership of the barn. Emergency stabilization of the barn was completed fall of 2017. Upon completion of the project in 2018, the Arnold Barn will be enjoyed by future generations of residents and visitors in Steamboat Springs.  

Thanks to Fox Construction, Bailey House Movers, Duckels Construction, Mountain Architecture & Design Group, Baseline Engineering, Steamboat Engineering & Architectural Design and many others for helping to bring this dream to reality.

For more information, visit: