The Chautauqua Lease

The city owns approximately 80 acres of land, including Chautauqua Park and the surrounding open space, and leases 26 acres and three city-owned structures to the Colorado Chautauqua Association.

The Stewardship Framework is a collaborative effort between several city departments, the Colorado Chautauqua Association (CCA) and a consultant team, and is a result of the CCA's "Chautauqua 2020 Plan" that was brought to the city in February 2011.

Framework and Guiding Principles

The overall purpose of the Stewardship Framework is to establish a shared understanding and approach to Chautauqua's stewardship, through which potential changes to facilities and adjacent historic areas can be considered. It also seeks to lay the foundation for continued success of the Colorado Chautauqua through coordination of uses and shared management philosophy and practice between the city and the CCA.

In December 2012, City Council approved the Guiding Principles for Collaborative Place Management and Fiscal Sustainability of the Colorado Chautauqua.

CCA Strategic Plan Information

The Colorado Chautauqua Association (CCA) provides an annual report to the city every year. The CCA also brought their strategic plan for the area to the Boulder City Council in February and April of 2011 for input and consideration.

The CCA's mission is "to preserve, perpetuate and improve the site and spirit of the historic Chautauqua by enhancing its community and values through cultural, educational, social and recreational experiences."

The CCA developed a strategic plan, also known as "The Chautauqua 2020 Plan," to "ensure a sustainable and vibrant future for the Colorado National Historic Landmark's second century." The 2020 Plan incorporates the recommendations of the Chautauqua Park Cultural Landscape Assessment and Plan (CLA) completed in 2004 and the HVS 9-month Retreat Feasibility Study completed in 2005. Most of these documents are available on CCA's website. The CLA's advisory committee included representatives from the City of Boulder, neighbors and a team of experts in landscape architecture, civil engineering and transportation planning.

Chautauqua Park History

  • 1897
    Boulder residents vote to raise $20,000 to establish a "Chautauqua" to promote "educational, recreational and political programs" reflecting the ideals of the national Chautauqua movement.
  • 1897
    City of Boulder purchases 80-acres of land and agrees to build an auditorium and dining hall and provide electricity and water to the Chautauqua.
  • 1898
    The Colorado Chautauqua opens .
  • 1901
    The Colorado Chautauqua Association is formed and becomes the successor in interest to the original 1898 lessee.
  • 1978
    Chautauqua Park designated as a Local Landmark Historic District and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1998
    Date of the current 20-year lease between the City of Boulder and CCA for 26-acres of land and the historic Chautauqua Auditorium (built 1898), the Chautauqua Dining Hall (built 1898) and the Academic Hall (built 1900) from City of Boulder (lease expires in 2018).
  • 2006
    The Colorado Chautauqua designated as a Nation Historic Landmark, one of only 21 properties in Colorado with the designation.
  • Today
    The area sees more than 500,000 visitors annually.