Envision the Future of STARS

On August 7th, STARS Staff and Board of Directors along with construction mangers from HLCC gathered together to officially break ground at the STARS Ranch – A Place for Hope and Healing. STARS began construction on the roads and underground utilities last fall and have finally completed project costs, engineering and permitting to begin construction. We expect that the construction will be complete in the summer/fall of 2019 and we will be booking groups and changing lives soon after that.

Phase I includes the fully accessible STARS lodge, equipment building, STARS program offices and infrastructure.  Future phases will include the riding center, ropes course, and additional square footage in the lodge for family suites. Phase 2 and 3 are estimated at an additional $1.3 million.

STARS has raised 89% of our $5.6 million goal for Phase I of the STARS Ranch project. To date, gifts and pledges to the Capital Campaign total over $4.9 million. To help complete the final $700,000 fundraising, STARS received a generous $100,000 challenge grant from the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation’s discretionary funds.  STARS has until December 14, 2018 to raise an additional $100,000 to meet this challenge.

We are so close and you can help us make this vision a reality!  We need your generosity to reach the finish line! If you can help us to close the last $700,000 needed for Phase 1, we can complete Phase I construction without any loans. This means that we can invest more money into supporting our clients through program and services. STARS Ranch donations are part of the Enterprise Zone so for Colorado residents who are eligible to take additional tax credits as part of a donation to the STARS Ranch project.

Please call Julie Taulman or Betsy Baur at (970) 870-1950 or email at julie@steamboatstars.com or betsy@steamboatstars.com, if you would like to discuss a gift for the STARS Ranch.

Project Summary

STARS Ranch will be an asset for our community by providing a centralized hub for program-ming for people with disabilities. The ranch will be used for STARS day and overnight camps as well as by other community groups looking for interesting places for team building and meeting space. The complete project includes a fully accessible lodge and recreational ranch facility that will be warm and welcoming, with large open spaces to gather together, prepare meals, and interact with each other. The ranch will have 25-27 beds in dormitory style. The lodge is located on STARS 9-acre ranch that will have a therapy riding center, archery center, and accessible ropes course. The ranch sits on the valley floor in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado with stunning views of Mount Werner, three miles from the ski area. This location creates a unique, healing environment for our clients and allows them to not just survive, but thrive.

STARS Ranch Facility will include:
✮ Covered therapy riding facility
✮ Fully accessible dormitory style lodging facilities for campers
✮ Accessible high and low ropes course with elements designed to challenge those with and without disabilities.
✮ Archery center
✮ Central community kitchen within the lodge to provide meals during camps or events
✮ STARS year round office space
✮ STARS vehicle and equipment storage
✮ Accessible pathways around the property

The Need

ACCESSIBILITY: Currently there is not a fully accessible facility in Steamboat able to accommodate full overnight camps in one location at a price we can afford. Currently clients are spread out during camps in condos and hotels around the area through donations or because of accessibility. Part of the healing process is building connections with others in a group environment. STARS ranch will have many new group areas and activities to provide clients a place to heal, rejuvenate, reconnect, and to challenge them to achieve their personal best.

SPACE LIMITATIONS: Currently the number of camps STARS can offer is limited due to the availability of donated hotel rooms or condos. By owning our own fully accessible facility, we can offer additional camps throughout the year including holiday weeks. This location will provide a safe, friendly, therapeutic environment for our clients and their families to heal.

NEW PROGRAMS: The ranch allows for us to add new programs and to grow current existing ones. The ranch gives us a permanent home for our therapy riding program with more flexibility for local and group programs. We also can add programs such as the archery center and ropes course, which will bring more recreational opportunities for our clients and our community.

Challenge Grant

Craig-Sheckman Family Foundation awards $100,000 Challenge Grant for STARS Ranch


Michael and Sara Craig-Scheckman have awarded a $100,000 challenge grant through their family’s Foundation, CSFF Discretionary Funds, to the STARS Ranch project. To meet this challenge, STARS must raise an additional $100,000 by December 14, 2018.

All new and increased gifts to The STARS Ranch campaign received or pledged by this date will count toward the challenge. To date, we have raised $4.9 million or 88% toward our $5.6 million goal for the Stars Ranch project.

“We see this challenge grant as an incredible incentive to donors who are interested in our work and the exciting STARS Ranch project. This means that gifts to the Ranch received between now and December 14th will be doubled – a 100% return on a philanthropic investment,” said Julie Taulman Executive Director of STARS. “This generous challenge grant will make a significant impact in our fundraising for the remaining 12% needed to reach our goal.”

The Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation has generously supported STARS programs over the years for local youth as well as numerous youth related non-profits in Routt County.

“We are so grateful to the STARS board and staff for their programs which make our wonderful community more accessible and vibrant for everyone,’ said Sara Craig-Scheckman. “Michael and I are excited about the possibilities available for people with disabilities through the STARS Ranch. It will be a true community asset and we are excited to be a part of it.” 

To help with the challenge grant for the STARS Ranch project, contact Betsy Baur at betsy@steamboatstars.com or (970) 870-1950 ext 106.

Ranch Benefits

✮ Centralized HUB for client drop off and pick up
✮ Additional program services such as extended day programs, respite care, or evening social opportunities for clients and families
✮ Welcoming place for locals and their families that will feel like home
✮ Potential work opportunities for clients with disabilities
✮ Increased tourism through new groups and families participating in STARS programs year round
✮ Small group meeting spaces available to other nonprofits in unique locations such as fire pits, walled tents/yurts, covered picnic areas, and community conference room

Lisa EvansSTARS Ranch