Saturday, May 31, 2008

Steamboat Springs Summer Golf Tournaments

Golf tourneys galore
By Luke Graham (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & Today Newspaper
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Steamboat Springs — Golfers and philanthropists have plenty of opportunities for both endeavors this summer in Steamboat Springs.

Many benefit golf tournaments are scheduled and will be played at all four area courses.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Fairway Face-Off

On Monday, the Fairway Face-Off Golf Tournament to benefit the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association takes place at Catamount Ranch and Club. The four-person scramble is $175 and includes golf, lunch and prizes. Check-in is at 11 a.m. with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. To register, call 879-8977 or e-mail

YES Golf Tournament

On Wednesday, the tournament played at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course (Formerly Sheraton)will benefit Routt County high school students and programs. Registration for the tournament takes place at 10:30 a.m., and play begins at 12:15 p.m. Individuals and teams still can register for the four-person, best ball tournament by calling Barbara Robinson at 879-2250. The cost is $135 a person. The tournament includes hole-in-one prizes of $5,000 on one hole and a new car on another hole.

Know the Signs … Save

a Life Golf Tournament

The June 7 tournament takes place at the Steamboat Golf Club and benefits the Jeffrey Allen Dye Suicide Prevention Project at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. It’s a nine-hole, four-person scramble. The tournament has shotgun starts at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. It also features a silent auction and prizes. The cost is $50 per person. For more information, call 879-9148.

North Routt Golf Classic

The sixth annual North Routt Golf Classic on June 8 benefits the North Routt Community Charter School. The tournament, a four-person scramble, takes place at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course. For tournament details, call Jack at 846-5814.

Board of Realtors

The June 11 Board of Realtors Scholarship Golf Tournament benefits area students. The tournament is a four-player scramble at Haymaker Golf Course. Early registration — until June 5 — is $180 a person. After June 5, the price is $185. This price includes golf and a dinner. There also will be a silent auction. Registration starts at noon with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. For more information, call 879-4663, ext. 10.

Hospice Charity Golf

On June 17, the Hospice Charity Golf Tournament takes place at Catamount Ranch and Club. Cost is $225 a person and includes golf, lunch and a gift. The tournament helps sustain services offered to terminally ill patients and families in the Yampa Valley and helps support the hospice program in Routt County. Check-in for the four-person scramble is at 8 a.m., and the tournament begins at 9 a.m.

There also are tickets for the Celebration of Life Dinner at the Steamboat Grand on June 16. The dinner includes a four-course meal, live entertainment and drawings. Tickets for the dinner are $60 a person or $100 for two. To sign up for the golf tournament or to get tickets to the dinner, call Suzi Mariano at 879-1632.

Ski Town USA Golf Classic

The June 27 and 28 tournament takes place at Catamount Ranch and Club and Hay­maker Golf Course. The proceeds benefit the Health Care Foundation. The cost is $495 a person. Call 871-0700 to sign up.

Sailors Golf Shoot-Out

The Sept. 8 Sailors Golf Shoot-Out at Catamount Ranch and Club benefits the Steamboat Springs High School golf team, junior golf players and programs and a scholarship fund.

The tournament is $150 a person and includes lunch, access to the practice range, cart and prizes. There also will be a silent auction. To register, call Steve Dodson at 846-4223.

Moose is Loose

Details haven’t fully been worked out, but the tournament will take place the first or second week of September at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course. The tournament benefits the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. For more information, contact Rollingstone Ranch at 879-1391.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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Steamboat Springs - Triple Crown Summer Schedule

Triple Crown to host 8 events
By Luke Graham (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & Today Newspaper
Saturday, May 31, 2008

Triple Crown Schedule
June 9 to 11 — Triple Crown girls fast-pitch Mountain Magic Camp

June 12 to 15 — Girls fast-pitch Mountain Magic

June 20 to 22 — Steamboat Mountain Magic

June 27 to 29 — Steamboat Mountain Magic

July 4 to 6 — Triple Crown Mountain Magic (slow pitch softball)

July 21 to 27 — Triple Crown World Series session one

July 28 to Aug. 3 — Triple Crown World Series session two

Aug. 4 to 9 — Triple Crown World Series session three

Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs will play host to seven Triple Crown tournaments and one camp this summer.From June 9 to 11, Triple Crown will hold a girls fast-pitch Mountain Magic Camp. After that, there are seven tournaments — including three World Series sessions — throughout a two-month stretch.

Last year, there were four World Series sessions.

“I’m guessing for that three-week stretch we’re looking at about 375 teams,” said Matt Van Alsburg, Triple Crown World Series director. “That’s about 25 teams more than we’ve had up there.”

Besides the World Series sessions scheduled at the end of July and beginning of August, there also is a girls fast-pitch tournament, two youth baseball tournaments and a slow-pitch softball tournament.

This will be the last year for the slow-pitch softball tournament in Steamboat.

Van Alsburg said most of the tournaments will see an increase in participating teams. The World Series sessions will feature teams from as far as Vermont and Florida and will be represented by 22 states.

Teams first must qualify for Triple Crown regional tournaments before being selected to play in destination national championships such as the ones that take place in Steamboat.

Of the 4,000 teams participating in regional and local qualifying tournaments nationwide, only a small percentage of premier teams are selected for national series play.

National champions will be determined in 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 13- and 14-and-under age divisions.

Play for the World Series sessions begins Tuesdays with a parade of teams and a skills competition. Pool play then determines playoff seeding.

Playoff rounds usually begin Fridays with consolation and championship games on Sundays at the Howelsen Hill fields. Last year’s championship games were televised on Altitude Sports & Entertainment on a tape delay. This year’s session two World Series games will be broadcast.

For more information about Triple Crown, visit

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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The Future of Emerald Mountain...

Future of mountain discussed
Public meets to evaluate recreational options for Emerald
By Kristi Mohrbacher - Steamboat Pilot & Today Newspaper
Saturday, May 31, 2008

The future recreational use of Emerald Mountain is the topic of two upcoming public meetings, from 6 to 8 p.m. July 10 and Aug. 7 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Comments and suggestions regarding Emerald Mountain can be sent to consultant Stephen Sellenriek of THK Associates, at

Steamboat Springs — Its future use is far from finalized, but Emerald Mountain already is drawing crowds.

About 50 people attended a public meeting Thursday night at the Steamboat Springs Community Center to discuss future recreational use of the 4,139-acre parcel of land. The city of Steamboat Springs, the Bureau of Land Management and THK Associates — consultants hired by the BLM and the city to make recommendations about Emerald Mountain — hosted the meeting.

Emerald Mountain was ac­­quired by the BLM in February 2007 through a land exchange that involved the city, the Emerald Mountain Partnership and other partners. A general implementation plan was adopted in June 2007 that set basic guidelines for the recreational use of the mountain.

“Getting public input is what this whole process is all about,” said Craig Robinson, the open space supervisor for the city.

Emerald Mountain is divided into two zones. Zone 1 is geared toward more strenuous activities, including mountain biking and Nordic skiing. Zone 2 is for wildlife viewing, hiking and similar, less strenuous activities.

“Tonight, I heard that there are people who would like to see some sort of loop system or loop trail developed,” Robinson said.

For a loop trail to be constructed, the boundary between the two zones would have to be adjusted. Gina Robison, outdoor recreation planner for the BLM’s Little Snake Office, says the process of moving the boundary “shouldn’t be too difficult,” though she wasn’t sure of the exact steps to do it.

“There are folks who feel that preserving the area for wildlife, which is one of the priority goals, is important, and that a loop trail has potential impacts,” Robinson said.

Since the acquisition of Emerald Mountain, Robison said the BLM has completed Phase 1 of Ridge Trail, a trail that runs along the northern end of the parcel. “We are hoping to complete Ridge Trail this year,” said John Husband, field manager for the BLM’s Little Snake Office. The process includes rerouting the trail around steep areas with a grade of more than 10 percent for sustainability purposes.

As far as a timeline for completion of the entire project, “we think it’ll be 5 to 10 years before it’s completed,” Robison said. “There’s just so much to do.”

Public meetings are planned for July 10 and Aug. 7. Stephen Sellenriek, senior planner for THK, said the consultants plan to further define the implementation plan and get a better idea of the existing trails on Emerald Mountain before the next meeting.

“Right now, this is a big-picture view,” Sellenriek said. “This is not about nuts and bolts.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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DOW may construct foot bridge over Yampa River

DOW plans footbridge
Proposed steel bridge would open up 50-acre lake for fishing
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The Colorado Division of Wildlife plans to build a 120-foot-long steel footbridge over the Yampa River at the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area south of Steamboat Springs.

The bridge would link an existing parking lot on Routt County Road 14 with a 50-acre fishing lake created by the old Lafarge gravel pit. Access to the lake will be from the east only via the parking lot. The proposed site of the bridge is about two miles southwest of U.S. Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 131.

The 101-acre parcel surrounding the lake was acquired from Lafarge in late 2004 for a price several hundred thousand dollars less than its appraised value. The purchase was made with funding help from the Yampa River Legacy Project and Great Outdoors Colorado.

“I have been involved in the final plans for the bridge and trail and believe the project will be very beneficial to local and visiting anglers,” District Wildlife Manager Danielle Domson wrote in a memo to the Routt County Planning Department.

Domson said a fisheries management plan has yet to be established. Without a bridge, the only legal access to the lake is by kayak or wading the river at low water.

County Planner Connie Staponski confirmed the DOW has entered the county planning process to satisfy local officials that the bridge will conform to county water body setback and floodplain regulations.

The DOW is pursuing a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will seek construction bids for the project.

Plans to begin construction this summer depend on receiving bids that come within the budget, Domson said.

The 6-foot-wide bridge would consist of a prefabricated steel truss pedestrian bridge, according to bid documents. It would rest on concrete footers at either end. The bridge would be built in a spot between two islands where the river channel is narrowest.

The work also would include the installation of stream bank riprap to prevent erosion and revegetation of the surrounding area. The contractor also would promise to leave any archaeological sites, burial sites or paleontology finds unearthed by construction, unharmed.

The land surrounding the lake is outside the city limits but owned by the city of Steamboat Springs. An agreement governing the acquisition calls for the DOW to manage it in perpetuity.

In recent years, Yampa Valley FlyFishers has undertaken a stream rehabilitation project along the Yampa within the boundaries of the Chuck Lewis area. The pond affords fishing and waterfowl hunting opportunities.

Staponski said county ap­­proval for the bridge is likely to be acted on at the administrative level and would not involve a public hearing.

Recreating in a Colorado State Wildlife Area such as the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area on the Yampa River south of Steamboat Springs requires a state habitat stamp.

Anyone who has purchased a Colorado fishing license already possesses a habitat stamp. People who want to use the wildlife areas to hike or pursue other forms of recreation may purchase a stamp for $10.25 at the combined U.S. Forest Service/Division of Wildlife service center on U.S. Highway 40 across from the Holiday Inn.

Of the total fee, $10 goes to acquiring more habitat and 25 cents defrays the cost of search and rescue expenses.

The fees also apply to the Service Creek Trailhead and Christina fishing area on the Elk River.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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Downtown Steamboat Springs - Possible Streetscape Ideas

Streetscape consultants plan revitalized downtown
By Brandon Gee (Contact)- Steamboat Pilot & Today Local Newspaper
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Yampa Street could become a festival hub, Lincoln Avenue could have wider, plaza-like sidewalks, Oak Street could get greener and side streets could be revitalized under recommendations consultants are considering.

Kristin Cypher of Britina Design Group presented a range of possibilities in a presentation Thursday at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Economic De­velopment Council’s 2008 Econ­omic Summit. Britina is study­­ing downtown streetscapes in Steamboat Springs.

“You have the ability with your downtown streets to have a different experience on each street,” Cypher said.

After a series of public meetings last year, Britina’s study looking at a revitalization of streetscapes was put on hold while a separate firm conducted a traffic analysis to make sure Britina’s Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan — a $439,000 project — would fit needed pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle improvements. Now that the traffic analysis is complete, development of the streetscapes plan will continue.

Cypher said that at public meetings last year, residents overwhelmingly said they don’t want to see typical mountain resort commercialization in Old Town Steamboat.

“It’s a rich place from a historic perspective,” Cypher said.

In an exercise where residents identified their favorite downtown locations, Cypher said those places were almost invariably green — unless it was a downtown business owner marking their own business.

Cypher said more emphasis is needed on key downtown locations such as the Routt County Courthouse lawn. She also said Steamboat needs gateway elements that make a strong statement to motorists that they’ve arrived in downtown. Cypher said sidewalk bulb-outs at intersections would make for easier crossings and the widening of sidewalks in places could create linear plazas for people to gather. On-street parking would have to be eliminated in these locations.

“When you’re designing Main Street, you’re making a statement of your values as a community,” Cypher said.

Cypher also suggested design elements that would celebrate downtown connections to the Yampa River and Howelsen Hill.

Yampa Street is envisioned in the plan as a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly area, conducive for on-street festivals. Cypher said it could make sense to move festivals currently held on Lincoln Avenue to Yampa Street to eliminate the need to close down Steamboat’s main thoroughfare for events.

“Festival, natural and artistic is really where we are going with Yampa Street,” Cypher said.

Cypher described Yampa Street as underutilized and unorganized. She said design elements should be used to make the street more permeable, which also would invigorate Old Town’s side streets.

“Right now, the side streets are about dead,” Cypher said.

Oak Street presents the biggest challenge for consultants.

“Bless its heart, Oak,” Cypher said. “Ugh, what a mess.”

Cypher’s suggestions for Oak Street include making it as green as possible with trees and the daylighting of creeks, punctuated by mid-block gathering places. The residential and family elements of Oak Street should be emphasized, Cypher said, to make it clear that this is where downtown comes to an end.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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South Routt Medical Center - New Services...

Clinic renovations complete
South Routt Medical Center offering new services
By Melinda Dudley (Contact) - Steambaot Pilot & Today Newspaper
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oak Creek — Just more than two years ago, the South Routt Medical Center was running on bake sales, dances, raffles and the generosity of Steamboat practitioners willing to spend an occasional day in the clinic, physician assistant Jennifer Sliney said.

In 2006, voters in South Routt County created the South Routt Medical Center Health Service District by an overwhelming margin and agreed to fund a 2.1 mill levy expected to raise about $180,000 a year for the clinic. The mill levy funds not only have allowed the South Routt Medical Center to offer services five days a week but also paid for the recent renovations that bring new local services to South Routt residents.

“We’ve met the goals we set out to do when we started this,” board member Janie Romick said. “It’s so wonderful to be open five days a week now.”

Last year, the clinic saw patients three days a week, with eight to 10 people coming in for services each day. Now, the clinic sees a dozen patients in person daily, plus six to eight telephone consultations and another half dozen blood draws and blood pressure checks, Sliney said.

“People are now transferring their care here — people who historically went as far as Grand Junction or Kremmling to get their health care,” Sliney said. “We’re seeing many more complicated cases as well.”

With the center’s new facilities, the patient load is expected to grow even more.

The clinic’s new sports medicine and physical therapy facility, operated by Yampa Valley Medical Associates, was constructed in space formerly occupied by the medical center’s X-ray room, kitchen and laboratory.

The interior redesign also allowed the clinic to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by providing handicapped-accessible restrooms and entrances. The building the South Routt Medical Center occupies was built more than 50 years ago, and not much had changed on the inside since then, Sliney said.

The clinic also boasts a new minor surgery room, which Sliney said will be used for procedures including lesion removal, skin biopsies and laceration repair.

Alterations also were made to the waiting, check-in and record-keeping areas of the clinic. The former open layout was not suitable for modern medicine, Sliney said.

“Part of the cool thing about this clinic, and has always been, (is) it being rural, down-home,” Sliney said. “However, there comes a point when you’re not compliant with patient confidentiality anymore.”

Lower costs
According to the Colorado Rural Health Center, the South Routt Medical Center is one of only two community-funded health centers in the state.

“I try to stress it with patients all the time — you guys did this,” Sliney said. “You guys voted to fund this and ensure that we will always have a health center in our community.”

The board is considering joining the clinic with the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and bringing in OB/GYN services once a month. The clinic already has joined the federal Vaccines for Children program, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention effort that provides no-cost vaccines to low-income children, causing its pediatrics visits to skyrocket.

Funding from the mill levy also allowed the South Routt Medical Center to immediately drop all of its costs for service by 14 percent and establish an additional 15 percent discount for cash payments at the time of service.

“We have a lot of Medicare and Medicaid, a whole lot of children are on (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), and a whole lot of people are uninsured,” Sliney said.

Cash discounts are particularly important to ranching families, who like many other self-employed people do not have health insurance, Sliney said. The clinic’s expanded hours also have been helpful to ranchers during their busy times of year, she said.

“We do negotiations with people all the time — as soon as calving is over, you’re coming in for your physical therapy,” Sliney said.

The South Routt Medical Center hosts an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. June 8, to celebrate its new facilities with the community.

“We’re going to have a barbecue with food and drinks and entertainment, to thank everyone for their support,” Romick said.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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Yampa Valley Medical Center - Expanding...

YVMC expanding care
$13 million expansion will increase birth, surgical services
By Brandon Gee (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & TODAY Newspaper
Sunday, May 25, 2008

More information: Call 871-0700 or visit
YVMC 2007 statistics
■ Inpatient admissions: 1,955

■ Emergency visits: 9,105

■ Ski/snowboard injuries: 1,759

■ Surgical cases and treatments: 4,119

■ Newborn deliveries: 431

■ Laboratory tests: 99,232

■ Chemotherapy treatments: 3,369

■ Meals served: 230,208

■ Volunteer hours: 7,771

■ Total revenue: $64,777,822*

■ Operating expenses: $57,895,600*

■ Cost of restructuring long-term debt: $1,402,357*

■ Net income: $5,479,865*

* Fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2007

Source: Yampa Valley Medical Center 2008 Report to the Community
Steamboat Springs — Things can get a little tense at Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Family Birth Place.

When the hospital was built in 1999, about 200 babies were being delivered each year. YVMC delivered 431 babies in 2007.

“It hasn’t been uncommon for the unit to be full and people to come in ready to deliver,” said obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Jim Summers, one of five doctors who deliver babies at YVMC. “It’s hard to give these patients the care they need and deserve.”

That will change, Summers said, when the hospital completes a $13 million expansion that also will increase the hospital’s space for surgical services. A groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion, which hospital CEO Karl Gills said will take 15 to 16 months to complete, is Tuesday.

“We would like the whole community to be aware and to know they’re certainly
invited,” hospital spokeswoman Christine McKelvie said. “We’re really putting the focus on the fact that we’re celebrating this long-awaited expansion. … We’ve been really pushed for space, especially in the Family Birth Place. Any family who has delivered a baby here on a busy day or a busy week is well aware of our space constraints.”

The expansion will double the size of the Family Birth Place to 10 patient rooms, which the hospital says should be enough for as many as 550 deliveries a year. The number of operating rooms also is increasing from three to five.

Summers said the hospital still will have protocols in place for overflow situations, but he hopes they won’t be exercised as often.

“Hopefully, with this new addition, it’s going to become lesser and lesser of a chance that these things happen,” Summers said. “We all want to deliver the highest standard care possible. This expansion will allow us to do that.”

Unexpected growth
“We’re doing this much sooner than we expected,” Gills said of the expansion, the hospital’s first major one. “I don’t see another expansion of this nature for five to seven years. Maybe even longer.”

Unexpected population growth in Routt County, which the hospital expects to continue, forced YVMC to consider an expansion earlier than it had planned. Gills said the accelerated timetable didn’t present any financing difficulties; the hospital was able to free up a large portion of the project’s budget by refinancing the two bonds that built the original facility, lowering its interest rate and debt repayments. The rest came from donations and cash reserves and did not require any additional bond issues. The hospital is a nonprofit organization and is not supported by tax dollars.

Senior Director of Surgical Services Debbie Cassidy said that without an expansion, the hospital has no more room in its block scheduling for surgeries without adding night procedures, which both patients and doctors dislike. Cassidy said that in addition to the two new operating rooms, her department also will see two suites added for minor and endoscopy procedures. She said it will be good to separate patients coming in for these procedures from those undergoing major surgery.

“It’s just more of a relaxed atmosphere,” Cassidy said.

With its expansion, the hospital is doing more than meeting immediate needs.

“Down the road, we are looking at robotic surgery, so the new rooms will be a little bit larger to accommodate the robotic equipment,” Cassidy said.

Physician involvement
Other project components include the remodeling of existing space, additional storage areas, a dedicated surgery waiting area and a family waiting room, a lactation consultation room and a larger special care nursery in the Family Birth Place.

“It’s going to be more comfortable for families, especially the father,” Summers said of the Family Birth Place improvements. “We’re trying to make this a little more like home while still having all the components of a first-class delivery unit.”

Summers credited YVMC and the Healthcare Foundation of the Yampa Valley for allowing physicians to have a say in the expansion’s design, from the number of rooms to interior design elements and amenities.

“We’ve all had input,” Sum­mers said.

Gills said hospital staff spent days in the hospital’s conference rooms mapping out the expansion with cardboard boxes and masking tape. McKelvie said doctors still are gathering ideas at site visits across the state. She said the level of preparation is a factor of the scale of the project.

“It is an enormous undertaking for us,” she said.

The biggest challenge for the hospital will be maintaining its current level of service as it renovates some of its existing spaces. Gills said patients shouldn’t expect any reduction in the quality of service.

“Obviously, we’ll continue to offer the full range of services,” Gills said. “We will have to temporarily relocate some services while we’re completing the renovation.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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Dream Island - Steamboat Pilot Editor's Notes

Our View: Park to test housing plan
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Updated 03:04 p.m., May 29, 2008
Steamboat Pilot & Today Daily Newspaper

— Editor's note: The original version of this editorial incorrectly stated that the acquisition of Dream Island would help Green Courte Partners satisfy its affordable housing requirements for the River Walk, Alpenglow and Howelsen Place development projects. Green Courte is interested in purchasing Dream Island to help satisfy its affordable housing requirements for the River Walk development only. The editorial has been updated to include the accurate information.

Last week’s news that Chicago-based Green Courte Partners is under contract to purchase Dream Island Mobile Home Park presents an interesting scenario for the city of Steamboat Springs and its relatively new affordable housing mandates for developers.

Green Courte Partners and local developer Jim Cook say the property would be used to provide deed-restricted affordable housing and, importantly, to help them satisfy the affordable housing requirements mandated by city ordinance for the River Walk development in downtown Steamboat.

An inclusionary zoning and linkage ordinance passed by the City Council in June 2007 requires that developers provide deed-restricted affordable housing as part of their projects.

It seems clear that the council’s intent when passing the inclusionary zoning ordinance was to make developers provide an increased supply of affordable housing for Steamboat’s work force. But Green Courte’s proposal — and it’s a clever one — would simply take existing stock of relatively affordable housing and ensure that it remains in place. When the city adopted the inclusionary zoning ordinance last year, it didn’t include a “no net loss” provision that would have set requirements for providing new affordable housing on top of those units replaced in a redevelopment project such as Dream Island.

Green Courte’s purchase and its impact on the community is complex for a number of reasons, including the benefits such a purchase could have on the existing residents of Dream Island despite the failure to actually create new affordable units. Cook says Green Courte is interested in pursuing ways to allow current Dream Island residents to become owners instead of renters — but it’s unclear whether that means the land on which their homes sit, or just the homes themselves.

Green Courte also plans significant upgrades for the eclectic mobile home community, including improved roads, landscaping, lighting and tighter oversight of neighborhood covenants, all of which are needed. There’s even a possibility Green Courte would gradually replace Dream Island’s older homes with new ones and give the current residents the first opportunity to buy them. Other scenarios being considered by Green Courte include offering owners 99-year leases on their lots.

The Dream Island discussion is incomplete without noting other possibilities for Dream Island.

With its riverfront location and close proximity to downtown Steamboat, Dream Island is a prime chunk of real estate in a growing resort community. The current owners of Dream Island, Colorado Real Estate Investment Co., admit they’ve been shopping the mobile home park to potential purchasers. It was therefore quite possible for a developer with no interest in preserving affordable housing on site to redevelop the property, although potential hurdles to such a move include the site’s floodplain location and the existing zoning of the neighborhood.

We’ve said before that it’s easier to hold on to the community housing we already have than it is to create new affordable housing. In that regard, Green Courte’s purchase has the potential to keep Dream Island a neighborhood for working-class residents, albeit with some needed improvements along the way.

But the city’s affordable housing ordinances were geared toward making developers create new affordable housing, and not necessarily convert existing affordable housing into, well, affordable housing. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the passage of the inclusionary zoning ordinance, Green Courte’s purchase provides the impetus for City Council to review its affordable housing ordinance and revisit issues such as whether those ordinances should include a “no net loss” provision.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Triple Crown's Future in Steamboat...

City to sketch Triple Crown future
By Brandon Gee (Contact) - Steambaot Pilot & TODAY Reporter
Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steamboat Springs — A four-field sports complex near Steamboat Springs Airport and $7.5 million could be the answer to keeping Triple Crown Sports in Northwest Colorado for another decade.

In a progress report to the Steam­­boat Springs City Council on Tuesday, Director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Chris Wilson outlined a scenario that could satisfy the needs of the sports tourism company that hosts baseball and softball tournaments in Steamboat and surrounding communities each summer and also keep the number of visiting teams at or near the current level.

A consultant’s report released last year states that Triple Crown’s tournaments — which some residents oppose because of noise, traffic congestion and other impacts that accompany the influx of visitors — bring about 32,000 visitors and $1.19 million in tax revenues to Northwest Colorado each summer.

Issues such as the company’s controversial proposed use of Emerald Park in 2009 and 2010, fields that don’t meet Triple Crown standards and little progress on the construction of a regional sports complex in Hayden have brought Triple Crown’s relationship with the city to a new head. Triple Crown President Dave King has said he may not sign a short-term contract extension through 2010 without substantial progress toward meeting the long-term needs of his growing company.

King “isn’t really interested in a two-year contract,” City Council President Loui Antonucci said Tuesday. “Any less than (10 years), he felt, would not allow him to grow.”

Wilson’s report outlined a scenario in which Triple Crown would split its World Series event, the largest in Steamboat, between Steamboat and a new host city. Steamboat would continue to see about 375 to 400 teams visit while the event grows in the second city. Then, beginning in 2011, the number of teams visiting Steamboat would drop to 250 and build slowly from there.

In the meantime, the city would face a number of demands. The first, Wilson said, would be the $2.5 million renovation of fields throughout the Yampa Valley, bringing them up to Triple Crown standards. Completing fields at Dry Creek Park in Hayden would cost $875,000 to $1.4 million, depending on whether lights are included. And a four-field complex on city property near Steamboat Springs Airport would cost $2.5 million to $3.5 million. Wilson stressed that the cost estimates are preliminary. He called it a “first shot across the bow.”

Wilson said the costs would not only satisfy Triple Crown, but also would meet local needs.

“We do need more turf,” Wilson said. “It’s not that we are adrift in fields and stuff like that right now.”

Councilwoman Cari Herma­cinski said she supports the plan, noting the revenue Triple Crown generates for the city.

“It’s almost as if someone else is paying for us to update our fields,” Hermacinski said.

Fields near Steamboat Springs Airport have never been discussed publicly. Hermacinski said the city is no longer considering a regional sports complex in Hayden because of uncertainties surrounding the developer who was going to donate the land for the facility. Also, Hermacinski said, the extension of water lines to an approved development near the airport has opened new development possibilities on city-owned property there.

Councilman Jon Quinn said he is more hesitant to open the checkbook. He said he wants local businesses to pony up some of the costs, since they also benefit from the money spent by Triple Crown tourists. Despite this and some other concerns, most council members said they are in favor of Triple Crown continuing to operate in Steamboat as long as it doesn’t grow too large.

“The size of Triple Crown in our community is at a saturation point,” Councilman Walter Magill said, adding later that “Triple Crown is a good partner in our community. I’d like to see them stay here.”

Joe Kboudi, owner of All That Jazz music store, and Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, said businesses would be willing to help.

“We’re willing to have skin in the game,” Evans Hall said.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact:
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates.
I am happy to help...
E-MAIL: CELL:(970)846-1086

Steamboat Golf Courses' Opening Soon

Golf courses ready to tee off
By Luke Graham (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & TODAY Reporter
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Steamboat Golf Rates

Steamboat Golf Club
9 holes — $26; 18 holes — $36

Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club

9-hole rate until June 8 — $70 with a cart; twilight after 2 p.m. — $55

Haymaker Golf Course (resident rates)
9 holes — $29; 18 holes — $45; twilight after 3 p.m. — $34

Steamboat Springs — Aided by the recent surge of warm weather and blue skies, all three Steamboat Springs public golf courses are expected to be open by the end of the week.

While the Steamboat Golf Club has been open since May 4, Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club — formerly the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Course — is set to open Friday, and Haymaker Golf Course is scheduled to open Thursday.

“It’s emerald green right now. It is pristine right now,” said Hank Franks, Haymaker’s director of golf. “It’s a little soft, but it’s in pristine shape. (Golf course superintendent) Bill Whelihan and his staff have just done a tremendous job.”

All of Haymaker’s amenities will open Thursday, including all practice facilities and the Staxx restaurant.

Thursday also will be the first day tee times will be accepted at Haymaker. Tee times can be made by visiting the course or going to

Because of construction and some weather issues, Rol­lingstone Ranch Golf Club will have only the front nine open Friday.

Director of Golf Brian Thorne said weather permitting, the back nine will open soon. He also reminded golfers that because of construction this summer, the course will have only 17 holes open at any given time.

“Other than that, it’s green and in great shape,” Thorne said.

Wayne Garrison, manager of Steamboat Golf Club, said while the other area courses have been battling the fruits of a record-setting winter, his course has been open and in great shape.

“It’s a compliment to our new course superintendent, Andy Keyek,” Garrison said. “They’ve done an absolutely great job of getting the course open.”

Golfers with questions can call Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club at 879-1391, Haymaker Golf Course at 870-1846 or the Steamboat Golf Club at 879-4295.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...
E-MAIL: CELL:(970)846-1086

Agate Creek Custom Home - Steamboat Springs

Agate Creek home costs $5.85M, includes custom interiors
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & Today Reporter
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Do you have part of the story?

The asking price of $5.85 million for a large home in Agate Creek Preserve includes many of the custom furnishings. Photo by Tom Ross
Steamboat Springs — One of the large homes in Agate Creek Preserve is back on the market with an asking price of $5.85 million, a number that could help establish the market for local high-end estates in the midst of the national economic downturn.

This time around, the 7,328-square-foot home at 31050 Sweet­water Lane is being offered fully furnished with many custom pieces.

With furnishing included, the home is priced at about $692 per square foot.

The property, originally a spec home built by contractor Stein Halsnes and an investment partner about four years ago, was first sold.

Picture windows in the great room and formal dining room frame views looking straight into the gladed ski trails in Priest Creek at the Steamboat Ski Area.

In the evening, a full view of the base village shows off the lights coming on in the valley. There are views from every room.

Among many notable architectural features in the home are three unusually large hewn beams in the living room.

The six-bedroom, 7.5-bath home has as many square feet in decks and patios as some single-family homes in Steamboat — 1,905 square feet.

“There are two bedroom suites in addition to the master suite,” Baden said. “And each of those has its own living area attached so families can have their own space. All three suites are on different levels.”

The master bathroom is large enough to accommodate a grand chandelier — that’s in scale. Throughout much of the home, the ceilings are 10 feet tall.

The kitchen of the home has an extra room almost anyone would enjoy but few can aspire to — its own office. But this kitchen office does double duty. A portal in the office overlooks the wet bar, so that caterers could access the bar while helping to host a party.

There is a separate covered deck off the kitchen to house the barbecue grill, and another deck off the dining room has a patio table that seats eight.

The recreation room on the walkout level is exceptionally large and includes a wet bar with its own dishwasher. And not far away is 1,111 square feet of unfinished space that could be converted to a theater or fitness room.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

New Steamboat Development - Edgemont

Edgemont ready for purchasing day
Steamboat Springs — The developers of the ski-in, ski-out Edgemont condominium project are looking ahead 12 days to the May 30 selection event when buyers may select and purchase the resort homes for the first time.

Edgemont Sales Director Mark Murrell said it’s important for prospective buyers to become involved soon to familiarize themselves with the property before May 30.

“There’s still time to call Steamboat’s most exciting slopeside location home,” Murrell said.

Edgemont developers the Atira Group cite recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, released by American Express Publishing Corp. as indicators that although middle income Americans are skittish about the housing market, affluent buyers see opportunity in the market.

People with a discretionary income of $500,000 a year see opportunity in real estate, according to the survey.

Edgemont’s sales selection event will take place at its preview center in the commercial shops at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Reservation holders will have the first pick of 42 units released for sale this season.

Edgemont’s residences will include 18 floor plans ranging from one to five bedrooms with prices from $870,000 to more than $3 million.

Construction is scheduled to begin early this summer with completion of the first release anticipated during the 2009-2010 ski season.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

Dream Island Mobile Home Park - Under Contract

Dream Island under contract
Jim Cook and Green Courte Partners plan affordable housing on site
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & TODAY Reporter
Friday, May 16, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Developer Jim Cook confirmed Thursday that Green Courte Partners has placed Dream Island Mobile Home Park under a purchase contract and intends to use the site for deed-restricted, affordable housing.

The deal has not been consummated.

“Our job is to try and make the current renters owners,” Cook said. “It’s not set in stone how we’ll accomplish that, but I think we can make it happen. I think we can be very creative.”

Dream Island is nestled between U.S. Highway 40 and the Yampa River on the west side of Steamboat Springs. There are more than 80 homes in the park, Cook said. He did not divulge the contracted purchase price.

The current owner is Front Range firm Colorado Real Estate Investment Co., or CREICO. Typical lot rent is $530 a month, according to residents.

CREICO Chief Financial Officer John Eberle said his company had been quietly marketing the mobile-home park, which it has owned for about 15 years.

“We get approached from time to time on that property and, in this case, we decided to test the market,” Eberle said. “We put together a packet and sent it to a few parties.”

Dream Island resident Moose O’Malia was skeptical about Green Courte’s plans to keep Dream Island a mobile-home park and lamented the changes Cook and Green Courte already have brought to Steamboat’s downtown.

“This is prime real estate on the river,” O’Malia said. “I’m on welfare and food stamps and can barely afford to live here now. Keep all the large (developments) out at the mountain and keep Old Town, Old Town.”

Green Courte, based in Chicago, is the investment partner in three major downtown Steamboat Springs developments incorporating residential and commercial space. Those projects include Howelsen Place and Alpenglow, nearing completion on Lincoln Avenue. A third, River Walk, has not broken ground but would occupy the site of the former Westland Mobile Home Park.

Cook said Dream Island would help his development team meet the affordable housing requirements mandated by city ordinance.

Residents respond
The development team has not made any decisions, Cook said, but one possibility is gradually replacing Dream Island’s older mobile homes with new mobile homes and giving current residents the first opportunity to buy them. They also are contemplating offering owners a 99-year lease on their lots, which would make it possible to get financing and afford residents increased security.

Dream Island resident Tracy Delli Quadri would be happy to see her mobile home bulldozed if she could be assured of remaining at Dream Island, she said. Delli Quadri, who has lived in Steamboat since she was three months old, operates a licensed home child care business and is a respite care foster parent who is called on in crisis.

“I love living here,” she said. “I just don’t love my little house. My neighbors are quiet, and it’s a perfect location for what I do.”

Jay Mogil is a Dream Island resident and also operates a camera and electronics business in one of a few commercial spaces occupying an old motel at Dream Island.

On Thursday, Mogil said he was taking a delegation of fellow Dream Island residents to meet with Cook in the evening, at Cook’s invitation.

“I hope Jim Cook’s goals for Dream Island to remain an affordable mobile-home park come to full fruition so that as many of the current residents as possible can remain here,” Mogil said. “I hope that we’re able to keep an affordable housing neighborhood viable in this town and that people can see that this is an opportunity to build equity (in their homes) that they might not otherwise have.”

Upgrades intended
O’Malia, 74, has a beautifully cared for home with shrubs and trees she has planted and containers of pansies that already are thriving.

She said she is worried that if she needs to sell her home someday to be able to afford supported living, her 35-year-old trailer won’t attract a buyer because Cook’s group would replace it with a newer home.

Cook said he and his partners intend to improve conditions in the mobile-home park.

“I think I can assure everyone it will not be kept in its current state,” he said.

Better streets, landscaping, streetlights and tighter oversight of neighborhood covenants are all a possibility, Cook said.

Green Courte’s profile in Steamboat is one of a luxury residential and commercial builder. However, Cook said the company has financial ties to a manufacturer of mobile homes. Green Courte announced this month that it was named “Manufactured Home Community Operator of the Year” at a convention for the manufactured housing industry. The company release states that Green Courte helped to found the Urban Land Institute’s Manufactured Housing Community Council, and has promoted long-term leases throughout the industry.

Cook sees Dream Island as an ideal place for deed-restricted, affordable housing.

“What better place?” he asked, “than a place that’s within walking distance of downtown, already has a park in place and where trails already exist.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

New Subdivision - 360 Ranch or 360 Village to ask for Annexation

360 to ask for annexation
Developers expected to submit application to city this week
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Steamboat Springs — After decades without a significant expansion of city limits, Steamboat Springs will likely soon see a proposal for a second major annexation in the west of Steamboat area. The developers of 360 Ranch — a project that spent months last year as a rural subdivision in the Routt County review process before being withdrawn in December — intend to submit an application to the city this week for a new project called 360 Village. The application will include proposals to extend city limits and Steamboat’s urban growth boundary.

“We received a letter from 360 Ranch expressing a desire to annex into the city for development,” City Manager Alan Lanning confirmed Monday. In terms of proposed annexations, the development would join the Steamboat 700 project already under review, bringing the total number of potential new acres to more than 1,000. Steamboat 700 is 700 acres in size and 360 Village is 350 acres. Tony Connell, a local partner of general partner Hank Wilton of Virginia, said the name “360 Village” refers to the panoramic views the site offers of the Yampa Valley and its surrounding mountains. Connell said the application would likely include 600 to 650 housing units. Commercial uses also are being considered, but Connell could not say on what scale.

Tuesday, Connell said the development team is about 90 percent ready to submit an application to the city and may do so as early as today. The application is expected by Thursday at the latest, as that is this year’s deadline for applications to extend the city’s urban growth boundary.
Preliminary marketing materials provided by Connell discuss possible project amenities such as a piazza, a recreation center, a “360 Theater,” a chairlift between a park and public plaza, a flume trail, an ice-skating pond, an events center and a child care facility.

Randall Hannaway, another local project partner and a Realtor at Colorado Group Realty, said the project would be “very much a locals’ community.” Connell said the group is committed to satisfying the new urbanism design principles of the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan as well as its affordable housing guidelines, which stipulate that 20 percent of housing units be made available to people who make an average of 80 percent of the area median income.

Connell served on the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission in the late 1990s when the provisions of the original WSSAP were spelled out. Later, he developed West End Village, where market-rate homes helped subsidize affordable units. Connell said he hopes for more of the same with 360 Village.

A harder sell
Planning Services Manager John Eastman said 360 Ranch has a tougher road to hoe than Steamboat 700. “The annexation would be really interesting,” he said. Unlike Steamboat 700, which is adjacent to city limits, 360 Village lies west of county subdivisions Steamboat II and Silver Spur, between Routt County Road 42 and U.S. Highway 40. State statute requires contiguity for annexation, so the city would first have to annex Colorado Department of Transportation right-of-way along U.S. 40 until it reached the project. Eastman called it a “flagpole annexation” that is possible, but not necessarily logical. “That’s not typically something that’s encouraged by either state statute or normal annexation procedures,” Eastman said. “It’s not something we’d take lightly.”

Eastman said the city’s biggest concerns relate to the extension of city services. As an example, he described a situation where a city snowplow would pick up its blade as it left current city limits and drive through the county to drop the blade again and plow streets in 360 Village. The project is 1.3 miles from city limits as the crow flies, and just more than 2 miles via U.S. 40.
“From an infrastructure and city services point of view, it is not considered logical,” Eastman said. The developers disagree. Hannaway said the proposal makes great sense because of its proximity to a church, a school, a golf course and county subdivisions Silver Spur and Steamboat II. “I actually think it’s quite logical,” Hannaway said. “You can’t really deny that we don’t already have a community there.” Hannaway also said it is dangerous to allow property owners directly adjacent to city limits to gain too much power by being “the only game in town” when it comes to annexation considerations.

Connell said the city’s infrastructure and service concerns would be addressed in the development plan and annexation agreements. Eastman said the property — formerly farmed by Frank and Dot Hussey and bought by Wilton West Development in February 2007 for $6.74 million — is a tract the city expected might be annexed one day. But officials expected annexations to progressively roll from east to west.
“They’re coming in sooner than expected,” Eastman said. “But our job is to listen to the proposals.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

Main Street Makover

Main Street makeover
City prepares for 2009 Lincoln Avenue overhaul
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Steamboat Springs, Colorado — Forget all the construction under way in Old Town; the reconstruction of U.S. Highway 40 may result in a very different-looking downtown Steamboat Springs in coming years. At its meeting tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council will see two presentations covering a number of certain and potential changes to Lincoln Avenue, as it is known through city limits.

Beginning in 2009, a repaving of the street from Third to 13th streets is a certainty. The repaving is a project of the Colorado Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the federal highway, unlike other Steamboat streets, over which the city has sole say. The $10.5 million project is being paid for by federal and state funds and will begin in September 2009.
Public Works Director Philo Shelton said the start date should be a relief to downtown business owners and others, because CDOT originally planned to repave the road in the traffic-heavy summer. The construction will take a break during ski season. It will resume and is planned for completion in spring 2010.

Shelton said the repaving will be carried out in two-block intervals and that traffic lanes would be reduced in construction zones but not eliminated entirely. CDOT is leaning toward repaving the road with concrete rather than asphalt, Shelton said.
City Manager Alan Lanning said concrete is more durable, but he acknowledged it could have negative aesthetic effects. “To some degree, concrete changes the character of the road,” Lanning said. “I think asphalt has a more rustic feel to it than concrete does. Concrete seems likes an interstate to me.” Nonetheless, Lanning said he would rather have the road last 15 to 20 years than the five- to seven-year life of asphalt. Shelton said there also are cost advantages to concrete. Although asphalt is usually cheaper and quicker, Shelton said some unique characteristics of Lincoln Avenue make concrete the easier alternative in this situation.
Although the city is not paying for any of the repaving project, Shelton said the city intends to coincide some projects of its own with the work. He said the city will take advantage of the street being torn up to install underground utility work. More visible improvements also are being considered.

A traffic analysis conducted by consultants PBS&J has resulted in recommendations such as moving the traffic light at Eighth Street to 11th Street, limiting pedestrian crossing to intersections with traffic lights, and providing bus bays at the far side of signaled intersections. Off Lincoln Avenue, the study also recommends the addition of striped bike lanes on Oak, Yampa, Fifth and 11th streets.

After a series of public meetings last year, a separate study looking at a revitalization of streetscapes was put on hold while the PBS&J study was completed. Officials said the traffic analysis was necessary to make sure Britina Design Group’s $439,000 Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan would fit needed pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle improvements.
Shelton said that if council members are amenable to PBS&J’s recommendations, “We’ll proceed with the streetscape designs to match those recommendations.”
— To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210
or e-mail

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Steamboat 700 - Pre-Annexation Agreeement

Jack White and Stephen Aigner: A negotiation plan for Steamboat 700
Sunday, May 4, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The city is negotiating a pre-annexation agreement with Steamboat 700 LLC. On May 6, Steamboat’s citizens can comment on the city’s pressing needs they want the pre-annexation to address.

Not a development review, annexation is a negotiation about which the City Council has complete discretion. If the pre-annexation agreement does not meet the city’s needs — if the benefits to the city do not substantially outweigh the costs, as required by the Community Development Code — then, there is no reason to approve the annexation petition.
Given the Steamboat 700 discussions to date and the Pilot’s excellent three-part series on annexation, we think these ideas, in addition to ideas already advanced by city staff but not included here, belong in the pre-annexation agreement.
First, to minimize traffic, trips to/through downtown and adhere to the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan and the Community Housing Plan, Steamboat 700 should:
■ Donate land for a grocery store, a post office, child care facility and a school.
■ Construct a school to accommodate the anticipated proportional increase in school age students who live in Steamboat 700.
■ Require small-lot zoning and deed-restricted units integrated into neighborhoods, not built off to the side.
■ Require full-time residency in neighborhoods, thus reaching the city’s goal of 33 percent affordable housing units in West Steamboat.
■ Include a capital gains assessment that declines during the first five years to discourage speculation and flipping, thus moderating housing cost appreciation for buyers with incomes between 120 percent and 200 percent of the area median income.
■ Dedicate the capital gains assessment (or Real Estate Transfer Assessment – RETA) to mitigate areas of the city that are affected adversely by the annexation as identified in the independent studies.
■ Compose the organizational body that administers RETA revenue with representatives of all neighborhoods within the new city limits.
■ Provide a percentage of residential lots to Habitat for Humanity.
■ Include a “luxury” assessment on houses that exceed a certain square footage.
■ Require all large residential single family dwellings and commercial construction to meet a specified green standard.
■ Require landscaping, such as xeriscaping, to conserve fresh water and minimize its consumption for all new residential construction.
■ Require an endowment fund to expand water and sewer capacity.
Second, to amend the Urban Growth Boundary, consistent with city resolution 2006-15 and in collaboration with Routt County, the city should first:
■ Annex the 500 or so acres within the Urban Growth Boundary and test assumptions on pressure to grow, on trip reductions and on transit expansion.
■ Amend the Urban Growth Boundary if — and only if — explicit assumptions hold, and annexation of the additional 200 acres will yield exceptional benefit, as required, to current residents.
Of course, annexation for development should pay for itself. The city should assure current residents they will not experience diminishing levels of service or pay for additional infrastructure, e.g. a fire station and engine, or fire and law enforcement services triggered by annexation.

Annexation should fulfill unmet needs of the city and mitigate the needs that it will create. In Durango, the Three Springs development dedicated land for “city parks and two schools, fire and police stations, a child care center and affordable housing.”
In Minturn, the Battle Mountain Resort “will also bring streets, streetscapes, an $8.5 million recreation center, trails, a scholarship fund for locals, $22 million to acquire land, parking lots, employee housing, local use of the private resort, wildlife mitigation and the final cleanup of an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site created by acid mine leakage from an abandoned mine on Ginn’s property. … All in all, Ginn will provide $180 million for town improvements.”

One hundred eighty million dollars! All financial and infrastructure negotiations preceed the final pre-annexation agreement and, thus, determine the extent to which public benefits are “extraordinary” or “overwhelming.” Annexation can be a positive step forward for Steamboat Springs. Let’s not blow it.
White is president of the Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley; Aigner is the Community Alliance’s organizer.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

Home Sales in 2008 - 46% Below 2007 Numbers - 27% Above Sales Averages from 2000 - 2006

Dollar volume off 63 percent for March
Entry-level home sales down, though inventory remains
Sunday, May 4, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Sales of entry-level homes here slowed markedly in March even as the sales levels of the most expensive homes were close to last year’s unit volume or greater.
Overall dollar volume in Routt County declined steeply in March from the record set during the same month in 2007. Sales in March, including sales that were not made through the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service, were $52.3 million compared to $141.8 million in March 2007, said Bruce Carta of Land Title Guarantee Co. Carta said the March 2008 totals were bolstered by a $9 million sale of a new timeshare condominium building at the Village at Steamboat, to its affiliate, Worldmark Club.

“There is little doubt that the Steamboat Springs real estate market is not as active as it was during its record-setting pace a year ago,” said Doug Labor of Buyer’s Resource Real Estate.
Still, 16 homes priced between $1 million and $1.5 million sold in March compared to 13 a year ago. And four homes priced between $2 million and $2.5 million sold this March compared to six in March 2007.

Labor said first-quarter sales handled through the MLS totaled $116 million. That figure is 46 percent below the first quarter of 2007, but it still is 27 percent above the average of all years since 2000. March 2008 dollar volumes gleaned from Routt County records by Carta were lower than those posted in 2005 and 2006.

The decline in dollar volume in March that was attributable to residential units was from $80.3 million to $29.66 million. That includes single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums.
The price point between $300,000 and $500,000 accounted for 16 percent of the total home sales in March 2007 and nowhere was last March’s drop more pronounced than in that price range.

Thirty-two homes selling between $300,000 and $500,000 contributed $12.5 million to March 2007 totals. In 2008, 15 homes in that range produced gross dollar volume of $6.04 million.
Although real estate inventories during the first quarter increased twofold to move closer to historical trends, Labor said scarcity of homes in the low end probably played a role in the decline.

“I think inventory was a factor,” Labor said.
Sales at lower price points saw a significant decline in March, according to Carta’s research. Home sales priced at $300,000 or lower totaled 52 in March 2007, but just 12 in March 2008.
The latest statistics don’t mean there aren’t condos and townhomes available this spring at prices lower than $500,000. Labor said 157 homes are currently listed below $500,000. Of the total, 127 are condos, including nine or 10 at Shadow Run and Walton Village on Whistler Road as well as at the Rockies on the other side of the ski base. A half-dozen Mountain Vista Townhomes recently have come on the market for prices from $449,000 to $479,000.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

One Steamboat Place at Ski Area Base Going Vertical June 3rd, 2008

One Steamboat Place to begin building steel structure June 3
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Reporter Steamboat Pilot & Today
Saturday, May 3, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The hive of construction activity at the One Steamboat Place site at the base of the ski area this week was in preparation for large concrete pours in the week ahead. But the most dramatic action begins in early June, when workers begin erecting structural steel on the 482,000-square-foot project.
“You’ll see us go vertical on June 3,” Project Manager Chris Burden said. “You’ll look up there in the air when those cranes start swinging steel.”
Ultimately, 100 truckloads of steel will be delivered to the site, Burden said.

One Steamboat Place isn’t scheduled for completion until fall 2009. When finished, it will include 80 residential units, public plazas, underground parking garages, a new ski school facility and almost 17,000 square feet of commercial space, including a fine dining restaurant.
Original plans called for the upper terminal of the Wildhorse Meadows gondola to be located in the public plaza at One Steamboat Place. However, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. President Chris Diamond told the Steamboat Today in late March that the terminal could shift to the north in Gondola Plaza. He said his company is in talks with Wildhorse Meadows to collaborate on a faster gondola.
The weight and size of the gondola would necessitate the move.

Burden said despite having to build throughout a record winter of snow, the crews from Haselden Resort Constructors are on schedule. “We were able to accomplish what we needed to,” Burden said. “It was a big winter, but they’re mountain builders, and this stuff doesn’t phase them.” Burden said the foresight Haselden showed in bringing a snow melter onto the site reduced the number of truck trips needed to remove snow on the tight construction site and keep the work on pace.

Current work at One Steam­boat Place includes pouring caissons and building elevator and stairwell cores, Burden said. Two on-grade concrete slabs recently were poured where the parking garage will be. A 2-foot slab to support the swimming pool is scheduled to be poured Wednesday.

Skiers coming down the bottom of the trails when the 2008-09 ski season begins should see the complete steel shell of the building, Burden said. It’s also possible that the exterior skin on a portion of the building’s west side, near the transit center, also will be installed.
One Steamboat Place is the first of a series of projects expected to modernize the resort village at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

City Councilman Steve Ivancie put the project in historical perspective when City Council voted to approve the project in July 2007. “We are transforming our base area from a 1970s and 1980s base area into a base area of 2008, 2009 and 2010,” Ivancie said. “It’s way overdue.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

Elkhead Reservoir is Open and Has Doubled in Size

Elkhead Reservoir east of Craig opened to the public about two weeks ago. In addition to the expansion project of the past two years, officials plan to add another beachfront, a boat ramp and between 30 to 50 campgrounds by the end of the summer.

Elkhead Reservoir open, new features planned for summer
By Collin Smith (Contact)
Thursday, May 1, 2008

Craig — Although the sky is, at times, still dark and gray, and thermostats around town may fluctuate between a cold winter and a not-quite warm spring, Elkhead Reservoir is open for frolickers and fisherman.
And Steve Drake, a founding member of American Bass Anglers District 92 in Craig, is open and ready for the possibilities Elkhead might provide.
“I’m sure I’ll be out there this year,” he said. “Every chance I get.”
At the moment, though, the weather is not cooperating with people’s plans for summer to start early.
“The water’s cold, and the weekends are snowy and rainy,” said Ron Dellacroce, Yampa River State Park manager.
The reservoir has been pretty quiet — but not without sporadic visitors hanging out on the beach — since it reopened for the year about two weeks ago, Dellacroce said.
That’s not what he expects when summer gets going.
“It’s definitely a popular place,” Dellacroce said. “Really close to town and lots for people to do.”
Besides the large expansion project — which concluded last year and doubled the reservoir’s water surface — there are additional features for visitors.
There’s a new beach and boat ramp on the northeast side that will be ready mid-summer, Dellacroce said. Between 30 to 50 new campground sites are planned for Elkhead, as well, most of which will be finished late in the year.
These improvements were done with the city of Craig’s annual $15,000 contribution to the reservoir and about $1 million from Colorado State Parks, Dellacroce said.
There should be room for everybody, he said.
The extra surface water “gives the opportunity for people that like to fish to get out of the traffic, the other boats and the jet skis and stuff,” Dellacroce said.
That will be good news to anglers such as Drake and his American Bass Anglers partner, Don Eriksen.
Both said they were sorry state officials pulled longer smallmouth bass out of local rivers to put in Elkhead, but they’re looking forward to seeing what this year’s fishing at the reservoir would be like.
“I’m pretty optimistic it’s going to be pretty good this year,” Drake said.
Eriksen remembered Elk­head’s fishing to be pretty good for the area before the expansion started.
“I did fish that quite a bit,” he said. “Bass are excellent eating fish.”
American Bass Anglers plans to hold two, one-day tournaments at Elkhead in August. Drake said the group usually gets 20 to 35 anglers for each event.
Park officials have been restocking the reservoir after the new Elkhead Dam was completed last year, Dellacroce said. Fish populations dwindled after officials lowered the reservoir waters to work on the dam.
Officials hope to have healthy populations of smallmouth bass, crappie, trout, some catfish and others.
The last time Elkhead saw any major construction improvements before the recent expansion was about 20 years ago, Dellacroce said.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

Housing the Steamboat Work Force

Tom Ross: On the Market
Housing the Steamboat work force
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Reporter
Sunday, April 27, 2008

Community leaders are hosting a series of Friday panel discussions at Rex’s American Grill & Bar this spring and summer to tackle affordable housing issues. Topics will include economic sustainability, community work force and public policy considerations.
Hosts include the Steamboat Springs Economic Development Council, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., and the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors. Sponsors include the city of Steamboat Springs and First Tracks at Wildhorse Meadows. For more information or to register, call 875-7000. Seating is limited. The individual panels are listed below:
■ May 2 — Housing our Work Force: Economic realities
Using case studies and current market data, the forum will examine what typical workers at various income levels can afford to pay for the rental or purchase of property in Steamboat and surrounding communities.
What housing is available on the supply side, and what does it cost to acquire land and build new housing in today’s Yampa Valley economy?
Will the market adapt to these needs, or will the community adapt to the market? Experts in housing, development and community demographics will discuss the economic realities of the local housing market.

■ May 30 — Maintaining Affordability: Will your kids be able to live here?
The forum will explore the relationship among the availability of housing, maintaining a sense of community (for generations to come) and workforce retention. Experts on hand will explore different models of creating affordable housing for multiple populations including shared equity housing, deed restrictions, down payment assistance, government housing programs and various funding mechanisms for building and sustaining affordable housing. The discussion will expand to include strategies local and national employers are using to ensure housing for their employees.

■ June 27 — We’re Not Alone: Learning from other communities
Other mountain communities have experienced the same escalation in housing cost issues that have reached a critical point in Steamboat the past few years.
The forum is intended to bring to town policy makers and development professionals from other communities to reflect on their successes, failures and ongoing efforts.
The panel will provide feedback on strategies currently under consideration in the Yampa Valley. Panel members will be asked to discuss the unintended consequences of past solutions that have been implemented in their communities.

■ July 25 — Show Me the Money: Funding strategies and resources
The forum will pull together financial, governmental and development professionals to discuss options and strategies for funding affordable housing projects. The presenters will seek creative input from public and private sources as well as potential collaborative (public/private) suggestions for land acquisition, deed-restricted housing, apartments and non deed-restricted housing (high-density, small square footage developments).
Barriers to the funding options will be discussed, and the public policy issues will be contrasted for the audience. Panel members also will be asked to think ahead 5 to 10 years for land acquisition and how this could be addressed.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

To Annex? To Tax? or Both or Neither?

Towns avoid costly residential development
By Brandon Gee (Contact) - REPORTER
Sunday, April 27, 2008

Unlike Granby and Steamboat Springs, the town of Hayden has no desire to annex any more land for residential purposes.
Hayden by the numbers
■ Population: 1,634
■ Total housing units: 658
■ Mean travel time to work: 26.6 min.
■ Median household income in 1999: $42,147
■ Median value of single-family, owner-occupied homes: $132,100
— Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Granby by the numbers
■ Population: 1,525
■ Total housing units: 628
■ Mean travel time to work: 15.6 min.
■ Median household income in 1999: $46,667
■ Median value of single-family, owner-occupied homes: $153,200
— Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Steamboat 700 by the numbers
Size: 700 acres
Buildout: 10 to 25 years
Residential units: 1,827 to 2,243
High-density residential units (condos, townhouses, apartments): 45 percent
Small, single-family lots (under 8,000 square feet) or duplexes: 36 percent
Square footage of commercial/nonresidential uses: 272,000 to 331,000
Affordable housing target: 80 percent to 150 percent AMI (area median income)
Permanently deed-restricted housing provided by developer: 20 percent (367 to 448 units)
Topography: Most slopes 5 percent to 15 percent, some 30 percent or more on bluffs and hillsides
“Village centers:” three to four stories
Open space: 221 acres (32 percent)
Trails: 10+ miles
Infrastructure cost: $103 million
Additional off-site automobile trips a day generated: 14,000
— Source: Steamboat 700 Initial Submittal, November 2007

Steamboat Springs — Planning Services Manager John Eastman knows officials in other communities might raise an eyebrow when he says Steamboat Springs is “encouraging residential development.” The statement sounds a little crazy because of Colorado’s tax structure, which Tim Katers said prevents the state’s sales-tax-based municipalities from generating revenue from residential development. Katers is a planning consultant who works for Hayden and other small Colorado communities.

Steamboat officials agree with Katers. A report being prepared for the city’s Planning Commission, which is considering urban growth boundary amendments, states that “multiple studies … clearly show that single-family residential development costs the city of Steamboat Springs more to serve than revenues received through sales tax.”
“Based on the financing mechanisms that the city has in place, residential has shown to be a money-loser for the city,” Eastman said. “If each new resident could at least bring a tourist along, we’d be OK” Nonetheless, Eastman said the city’s great need for affordable housing means it is willing to consider the annexation of Steamboat 700, a 700-acre development that proposes about 2,000 homes on a parcel just west of city limits. “It was a recognition that if we want to continue to remain a real community, we have to provide at least some opportunity for the people who work here to live here,” Eastman said. “We’ve got a goal of being a real community.”
As Steamboat city officials address the challenges and opportunities presented by the potential annexation of Steamboat 700, municipalities across Colorado are tackling very similar issues. Minturn residents will vote May 20 on a proposed, 5,300-acre project on Battle Mountain. And in Durango, a project nearly identical to Steamboat 700 in size and uses is beginning to take shape.

Hayden has drawn the line when it comes to the annexation of anything but commercial and industrial properties, while Granby has staved off collapse and quadrupled its size in less than a decade with the annexation of about 7,000 acres of resort development such as the SolVista Basin ski area.
Grow or die
“We knew that we had to grow or we were going to die, literally,” said Ted Wang, former mayor of Granby. “Our sales tax was completely flat,” Wang said. “Inflation alone was eating us alive. We knew we absolutely had to do something to increase our economic engine.” As a result, developments such as Granby Ranch, which includes SolVista Basin, Grand Elk Ranch & Club and Orvis Shorefox, were brought into town limits. Although these projects are geared toward second-home owners, Wang said the town required a strong commercial component be a part of each project. Grand Elk, for example, includes 350,000 square feet for commercial use along with its 730 housing units.

In its initial submittal to the city of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat 700 proposes 272,000 to 331,000 square feet of commercial with 1,837 to 2,243 homes.

But Granby didn’t stop at requiring commercial space, and Steamboat officials don’t intend to, either. The Granby developments established special districts to tax their residents and fund required infrastructure improvements. Additionally, a percentage of the districts’ bond proceeds go to the town. At Shorefox, Development Manager Jeff Martin said the development’s tax district is approved for $40 million in bonds. If the full amount is issued, the city will see $3.6 million from Shorefox alone. Wang said the town’s annual budget is about $4.5 million.
“The only stipulation is that they have to use it downtown, which we think is a good thing,” Martin said. “You need a downtown to succeed for your developments to succeed.”
“You want the vitality of downtown to grow at the same time these projects grow so it’s a cohesive town together,” added Steve Bromberg, general manager of the Shorefox and Grand Elk developments. “It’s a benefit to the public, but the public is going to include residents of Shorefox.”

Tax and mend
Bromberg disagrees with the notion that residential development doesn’t pay its own way.
“During the early stages of development, we agree that’s costly to the town. But once a project is platted, that’s when this thing stabilizes,” Bromberg said. “Once a new community is developed, why should that lot owner be treated differently than one that wasn’t annexed recently?”
Granby also has required real estate transfer assessments in annexation negotiations. After the initial sale of property in the developments, a small percentage of future sales is given to the town.

Wang said these measures and others have successfully mitigated the costs of growth and that the town’s economic needs for annexation have been fulfilled.
“We did a number of things that we felt were more creative,” Wang said. “Over the long haul, that’s really important, and that’s where it’s really important to have this vision to look decades out. Over the long-term, it makes a big difference.”

Steamboat 700 Project Manager Danny Mulcahy has proposed similar measures. He has proposed a taxing district to pay for ongoing maintenance costs, and he has proposed a real estate transfer assessment to be devoted to affordable housing. Like Bromberg, Mulcahy said there should be a limit to how much the city exacts from the future residents of Steamboat 700. For example, Mulcahy said it wouldn’t be fair to charge only his residents for traffic improvements the city will need with or without his development.
“I don’t want our residents to be second-class citizens and pay disproportionately,” Mulcahy said. “I don’t think that they should have an exponentially higher burden than the rest of the community.” In addition to a taxing district and property transfer fees, Eastman said the city is contemplating a number of creative mechanisms, such as on-street parking fees, to at least make Steamboat 700 a revenue-neutral venture.

Thanks, but no thanks
“Residential annexation is something we’re not interested at all in right now,” Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said. “We’ve got so much acreage in town that’s already zoned residential.”Hayden approved its most recent annexation earlier this month when it added 16 acres west of town for Precision Excavating. At a Town Board meeting, Trustee Tom Rogalski called the annexation “just the kind of economic development thing we’ve been looking for.”
Hayden approved the 47-acre annexation of the Dry Creek Village residential de­­velopment in 2005. The deal required the developers to pay a number of fees and share in the cost of realigning Routt County Road 37, among other things. But the town since has lost its taste for expanding its limits for anything but commercial or industrial uses.
“Housing doesn’t pay to bring in right now,” Trustee Richard “Festus” Hagins said. “Right now, I’d rather see commercial growth.”

Hagins said an increase in population — and also demand on town services — is inevitable due to resort activity in Steamboat and oil and gas development to the west. He said the town’s strategy is to offset the cost of that growth with revenue from commercial and industrial activity.
“There’s days I wish the phone would stop ringing,” Martin said. “It’s hard to keep concentration on existing services when you’re constantly reviewing things. My focus is on making sure existing residents don’t pay more.”

Reasons for annexing property — and what to annex — vary across Colorado with the needs of the particular municipality and the wishes of developers. Unlike Hayden, Steamboat does not have an abundance of vacant land within city limits that is zoned residential. And unlike Granby, the city is not in a position where it needs to grow or die from an economic standpoint. Steamboat is concerned about the death of its character.
“People love Steamboat because of the working class nature of it,” Mulcahy said. “At the end of the day, we have conflicting desires. We want the town to stay the same, but to keep it the same, we have to let it grow. If we want to have any opportunity to keep the same culture and character in the town, we have to keep the opportunities for the same people to live here.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...

Habitat for Humanity - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Habitat for Humanity gets down to business
Group invites lawmakers, others to come out for weekend ‘build day’
By Blythe Terrell - Reported in the Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Saturday, April 26, 2008

Strap on a hard hat
Interested in owning a Habitat for Humanity home or volunteering with the group? Call 871-6101 for information.

Steamboat Springs — Habitat for Humanity of Colorado called on volunteers and others for a build day last weekend, “just to see how many hammers we could get swinging,” said Shelly Flannery, executive director of the Routt County branch. About 30 people participated in the April 19 event in western Steamboat Springs, where the organization is building a duplex, Flannery said. The group invited volunteers and lawmakers to the build day to raise awareness about Habitat for Humanity’s efforts, she said.

“Habitat for Humanity organizes the day each year and tries to get elected officials and people who put in place regulations that allow or disallow affordable housing,” Flannery said.
The organization’s volunteers build homes for families that make 60 percent or less of the area median income. According to city figures, that number is about $45,420 for a family of four.
The families buy the homes through deed-restricted, no-interest mortgages. They also must put in “sweat equity” — physical work on their own and sometimes others’ Habitat homes, Flannery said. That brought out the Archuleta family, who will buy a home that Routt County Habitat plans to build in Hayden, Flannery said. Melissa Kerbs and Marissa Jaime will buy the Steamboat duplex for their families.

State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, was among those who visited the site April 19. Taylor toured the home with his wife, Geneva. He said he was impressed by the progress at the site. “I just think that when people get together like that, basically anybody who wants to come in can put a hammer in their hand, someone will tell them what to do, and they’ll do it,” he said. “They move along, get stuff done.” Flannery said the group plans to finish the duplex in the first part of July and then get to work on the Hayden house. Habitat is looking at two more sites in Steamboat but has not finalized anything, she said. “We’ve got some ideas,” Flannery said. “It’s just a matter of trying to contact people and kind of put a bug in their ear. We’re at the very beginning of negotiations with two sites … and it’s looking good.”

Once the group has its plans squared, it will start taking applications. Any family whose combined income is less than 60 percent of the area median income is encouraged to apply, she said. Habitat for Humanity will release details and provide that required income figure, which changes, Flannery said. The group’s activities are particularly important in a place like Steamboat, where the cost of housing is high, Flannery said.
“If there wasn’t a Habitat out there, there’s no way the Archuletas and others like them would know what it’s like to own a home,” she said.

­— To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234
or e-mail

END OF STEAMBOAT TODAY AND/OR STEAMBOAT PILOT ARTICLE (STEAMBOAT'S DAILY NEWSPAPER)To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Century 21 Ski Town Associates. I am happy to help...