Community members recently celebrated the addition of 586 acres of Emerald Mountain open space that will be undeveloped and publicly available in perpetuity.
City officials spent months debating and negotiating the purchase of the land on the north side of Emerald owned by Lyman Orton. It was a tough sell for some as the city faced a shrinking budget that had led to a reduction in city services and furloughs for some city employees.
The purchase was finalized on March 16. It was paid for using a $600,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant and about $755,000 from the city's capital improvements fund.
Howelsen Emerald Mountain Park will manage the property and spearhead fundraising efforts for improvements. Groups including the Steamboat Springs Nordic…