Located at 744 Lincoln Avenue (US Highway 40) and 8th Street in the heart of Steamboat Springs downtown commercial core, the Safeway/Nelson Building occupies the northeast corner on Routt County’s busiest intersection. It currently houses Straightline Sports.
The one-story Twentieth Century Commercial style building is a central feature of the downtown core area of Steamboat Springs. Originally constructed in 1939 for the Safeway chain of grocery stores, the building has had virtually only two owners and has been owned by the Nelson family since 1950. The building reflects the simpler architectural style of the period and, at the time of its construction, was a departure from its stylized, two-story neighbors.
After the departure of Safeway, the building housed the Ben Franklin store for several years. The building was remodeled circa 1976 and became the Shortbranch Salon. Straightline Outdoor Sports has operated out of the corner location since the mid-1980s.
The National Register-listed Routt County National Bank and First National Bank buildings are located at the same prominent intersection. The Safeway Building remains an enduring and established visual feature of the downtown commercial district and physically illustrates the growth and transformation of the community. The building with its corner location and prominent neighbors marks the entrance to the business community. The building has survived periods of “modernization” with some alterations to become a highly recognized local landmark.
Tyke Pierce Construction was hired by the Nelson Family in 2015 for a structural repair and interior remodel of this Historical Building. The retail occupants Straight Line Sports had to close down and remove all of their merchandise as the building was basically gutted out. Then it was structurally repaired with new beams and braces that will allow it to stand for many more years. The owner of the building Steve Nelson worked closely with the owners of Straight Line Sports to design an inviting retail atmosphere that fits nicely into Steamboat's love of outdoor sports.