Sunday, April 6, 2008

Highmark: $1.5 Million - $2.3 Million

A new day at Highmark?
High-end boutique hotel appears to be back on track
By Tom Ross - Reporter Steamboat Pilot
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Steamboat Springs — The Highmark Resort at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area appears to be back on track.

Recent developments include the listing of a dozen “condo-tel” units for $1.5 million to $2.3 million, the signing of a major luxury hotel management company and the settlement of a breach of contract suit involving seven of the units.

Construction on the six-story building at the corner of Apr├Ęs Ski Way and Village Drive began in 2004, and although it is complete, it has never been occupied.

Pam Vanatta of Prudential Steamboat Realty has listed the condominiums for sale and confirms that the plan is to offer a high-end boutique hotel opening in June. She said the intent of developers Steamboat Ventures Ltd. is to offer a hotel property that is unlike anything else available in Steamboat.

“The developer wants to make the Highmark Resort a high-end boutique hotel,” Vanatta said. “It’s going to be a first for Steamboat.”

Vanatta said Crescent Hotels and Resorts will manage the property.

“They will have management on site,” she added. “The level of service will far exceed” anything currently offered in the market.

Crescent features a photograph of Highmark Resort prominently on its Web site. The company has business relationships with Wyndham, Marriott, Starwood, Hilton and Radisson as well as with independents such as The Opal in San Francisco and the Georgian Terrace in Atlanta.

Buyers will be able to use the units for two weeks in the winter and two weeks in the summer, then on a space-available basis, Vanatta said. However, the units are being offered as whole ownership purchases, not interval purchases.

Buyers will also benefit from a guaranteed rental program, Vanatta said.

“It’s been done in other places, but it’s very new to Steamboat,” she said. “It’s very boutique-y.”

All of the units have been redecorated and furnished.

The property will offer a pool and a large living room for entertaining and a gourmet grocer.

Longtime Steamboat business people Bill and Kay Stuart have long planned to move Market on the Mountain across the street to the first level of Highmark Resort.

They confirmed this week they are looking ahead to making the move this summer.

“The plan is for us to take ownership toward the end of April and begin the tenant finish, putting us in there this summer,” Bill Stuart said.

Stuart said he and his wife toured the decorated units and were impressed.

“We were very pleased with the high level of the finish and furnishings,” he said.

A breach of contract suit filed last year by Steamboat Ventures against seven contracted condo buyers who never closed on their purchases was settled early this week, according to documents on file in Routt County District Court.

A Fort Lauderdale, Fla., business entity, The Formula, stepped in as settling buyer and took a joint venture interest in all seven units with the contracted buyers. Steamboat Ventures agreed to return the earnest money committed by the buyers (in the range of $150,000), with interest. The Formula will receive a fee at such time as the seven units are resold.

To learn more about Highmark or other Steamboat Properties contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate with Century 21 Ski Town Associates at (970)846-1086 or e-mail