Thursday, October 30, 2008

St. Cloud Mountain Club in Steamboat Springs Slope Side

The St. Cloud Mountain Club elevates private club membership to a new level in Steamboat Springs. The Mountain Club’s premier location at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area in the heart of Torian Plum Plaza, extends to its members the ease of ski-in/ski-out access combined with attentive, personal services and outstanding amenities. Whether your goal for the day is to sail down the mountain, nestle in by the crackling fire with an espresso or savor the opportunity to do both, St. Cloud Mountain Club membership makes it effortless.

The Benefits of the club include:
Member’s Lounge. Luxuriously well-appointed, the Member’s Lounge is less than 120 feet from the slopes and features:

• Free continental breakfast
• Lunch and après ski food service
• Espresso bar
• Indoor/outdoor fireplace
• Large flat screen televisions
• Private lockers
• Individual boot dryers
• Reserve the lounge for private functions

Wine and Liquor Selection. Professional wine experts have selected a wide variety of fine wines and liquors to enhance your mountain club experience. So whether it is a bloody mary with your breakfast, a snifter of cognac by the fire or a glass of fine wine as you wind down from a day of skiing, the Club will have you covered in style.

Valet Parking. Dedicated valet parking near the Torian Plum Plaza at the foot of the Steamboat Ski Area allows Members the convenience of spending most of the day skiing, not trying to find a place to park. Hand your keys to the valet and step into the Club for acup of hot coffee or breakfast before heading out to the slopes.
Ski Valet Service. The Club’s Ski Valets will take care of up to four sets of skis or snowboards. They will have them ready for you when you step out onto the snow, alleviating the hassles of carrying your family’s skis to and from the slopes.
Concierge Services. The Club’s knowledgeable local staff can assist or coordinate with you so you can take advantage of the wide variety of activities and offerings in Steamboat Springs and the surrounding area. Concierge staff can also arrange all your skiing needs, including ticket and pass purchasing, private lessons and ski and snowboard equipment rental.

Membership Levels: There are 2 distinct membership levels for sale Cloud Nine and Passport:
• Cloud Nine Membership includes all amenities, including permanent valet parking
• Passport Membership includes all amenities, including free valet parking for 3 years
Membership Deposits:
• 100% of Cloud-Nine and Passport membership deposit are available for reissuance after 25 years or when the membership is reissued through the Club.
• Memberships can be transferred one (1) time to a family member
• Memberships can be attached to a property in Routt County

Please contact Michelle Diehl Broker Associate, GRI with Prudential Steamboat Realty 970.846.1086 or to arrange all the details for you with the peace of mind of Buyer's Representation.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Steamboat Place & The Steamboat Grand: Developments in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, November 16, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Doug Beall, vice president of development for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., shared news Wednesday about the progress of One Steamboat Place, the large luxury condominium project poised to expand and modernize Gondola Plaza.

Beall told an audience at the Steamboat Grand that the building is scheduled to top out Dec. 1 and that the two large construction cranes dominating the skyline there should come down shortly after. Expect to see a model unit at OSP early in 2009, Beall added.

Beall also told his audience that his company is looking closely at its ability to add a new wing onto the Steamboat Grand.

The Grand, which opened in 2002, is pre-approved for an addition on the south end, farthest from the entrance to Ski Time Square, but the clock is ticking.

“Grand Hotel Phase II is vested (with city planning), but the permit expires in 2011,” Beall said. “We’re taking a wait-and-see attitude right now.”

The recovery of the local real estate market will influence any decision on the timing of adding onto the Grand, he added.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

St. Cloud - Exclusive Slopeside Club in Steamboat Springs

Ski valets by the slopes
St. Cloud introduces luxury brand with private club in Torian Plum Plaza
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Reporter Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Sunday, October 26, 2008

Skiers who can manage the $40,000 membership fee will enjoy an unprecedented level of service at the base of Steamboat Ski Area this winter, when the private St. Cloud Mountain Club opens.

In addition to valet parking and ski service, members will be served breakfast, lunch, cocktails and après ski meals.

Developer Jamie Temple said the concept is modeled after successful ski base clubs in other resorts, some of them with heftier membership fees.

“It’s not inexpensive, and it’s not for everyone,” Temple said.

The business plan is intended to deliver many of the luxuries of ski-in/ski-out living to people whose luxury digs in Steamboat don’t happen to be slopeside.

The St. Cloud Mountain Club is under remodeling in an existing building in Torian Plum Plaza. The location, previously occupied by Home on the Range, is immediately behind the sales center for One Steamboat Place and across the plaza from Café Diva and Terry Sports.

Temple is a principal in Momentum Steamboat, LLC. He and partner Colgate Holmes have entered the city planning process with a proposal for a large luxury condominium project nearby — St. Cloud Resort and Spa.

Despite the similar names and shared ownership and management, the club and the future resort are separate projects, Temple said. Someday, he added, St. Cloud Resort and Spa will need a similar club of its own in order to command slopeside prices on condominium sales.

The St. Cloud Resort and Spa will not begin the lengthy process of petitioning the city for a development permit until the economy recovers from the current crisis.

“That could be 10 months or a year away,” Temple said. “We’ll let the capital markets and the local real estate market get healthy again.”

In the meantime, the St. Cloud Mountain Club will represent the first introduction of the brand in Steamboat.

All the amenities

The club is designed to welcome no more than 230 families into membership, and only the first 25 founding members will join for $40,000. Those who come after will pay $45,000.

What else will they get for their money?

When members wind down their skiing day, attendants will meet them at the edge of the snow and take their equipment to storage. Boots will be dried overnight on individual boot driers.

When they walk by the indoor/outdoor fireplace and enter the doors of the club, members will be confronted by the plush-but-modern aesthetic of designers from Hirsch, Bedner and Associates, the same firm that won awards this year from “Travel and Leisure” for its work on the Ritz Carlton in Beijing.

There will be a full bar, including espresso, flat-screen televisions and comfortable furniture, as well as a separate children’s area.

The concierge staff will arrange for the purchase of lift tickets, ski lessons and alternative outings.

Temple said he studied similar clubs in Aspen, Vail, Telluride and Park City, Utah, and concluded that Steamboat was being underserved in that area. A similar membership in Vail is priced at $250,000, he added.

He said he recently previewed St. Cloud Mountain Club to 50 interested people during a launch party at bistro c.v. and judged the response as enthusiastic.

“At lot of people will really appreciate this service,” Temple said. “It’s ideal for homeowners at Storm Mountain Ranch, for example.”

The resort

St. Cloud Resort and Spa entered the city’s pre-application process in March. The tentative plan for the building would include 780,000 square feet and 201 residences in multiple buildings.

The development would be built on the site of the existing Clocktower Building and the parking garage at the entrance to Ski Time Square, which is owned by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

The Steamboat Ski Area sent a letter of permission giving the developers the ability to enter the city planning process. However, a sale of the parking structure has not consummated.

“We’re aware that they have contemplated that parking structure in the pre-application and have acknowledged that we have no objection,” Ski Corp. Vice President of Development Doug Beall told the Steamboat Pilot and Today at the time.

The general contractor for the St. Cloud Mountain Club remodel is GE Johnson, the same firm building Edgemont.

Temple was the developer of Storm Mountain Ranch in Steamboat with his brother Jeff, as well as Water Dance in Frisco and Uptown Broadway in Boulder.

Holmes is a founding partner and former president of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. His background includes operation and development of resorts and hotels in locations including southern California and Phoenix.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Confidence in Intrawest - Shows in the Refinancing - Good News Steamboat Springs!

Intrawest meets debt deadline
Analyst: Refinancing will probably mean less investment in Steamboat
By Brandon Gee (Contact) - Reporter Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Intrawest successfully refinanced $1.7 billion in debt today, staving off fears that Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.’s parent company was heading toward bankruptcy.

Vancouver, B.C.-based Intrawest would not disclose the terms of the refinancing, spokesman Ian Galbraith said. Intrawest is a privately held company owned by New York-based Fortress Investment Group, a public hedge fund and private equity firm.

“I suspect we may not really know what the terms are going to be until the third quarter conference call with Fortress,” said Jackson Turner, an analyst with New York-based Argus Research Company.

Given the current global credit crisis, Turner said the renegotiated terms are probably not favorable to Intrawest and will affect the company’s ability to invest in ski resorts such as Steamboat. Turner said each percentage point increase in the debt’s interest rate constitutes an additional $14 million Intrawest has to pay each year.

“I just can’t imagine that the terms are favorable,” Turner said. “Cutting services — I’d still say that’s on the table.”

In addition to Steamboat and Whistler Blackcomb, Intrawest has interests in resorts including Copper Mountain and Winter Park. Galbraith would not answer questions about whether the refinancing would affect Intrawest’s future investments in its resorts.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with our lenders, particularly given the challenges of the global credit markets,” Bill Jensen, chief executive officer at Intrawest, said in a press release. “The support Fortress and our lenders have shown underscores their confidence in Intrawest and will enable us to continue to execute on our long-term strategic plans. Intrawest has great assets, a sound business model and a solid track record.”

After trading at a 52-week high of $23.04, Fortress Investment Group’s shares have plunged. Shares fell 5 cents Thursday to $3.85 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Turner downgraded Fortress’s stock from “buy” to “sell” earlier this week.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Bridges - Tentative Plan For A New Steamboat Springs Senior Citizen Campus

Doak considers life along river
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Reporter Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Sunday, October 19, 2008

The land for The Bridges at Steamboat is just west of U.S. Highway 40 and south of River Place. Before the development could go forward, the city would have to annex the parcel.

Steamboat Springs — The Bridges at Steamboat would relocate Yampa Valley Medical Center’s nursing home into the midst of a new experiential residential neighborhood based on the twin themes of trout fishing and enthusiasm for the natural environment.

Hospital CEO Karl Gills confirmed that tentative plans for the new development entail moving the Doak Walker Care Center to a new senior citizens campus about two miles from the hospital on the city’s southern edge.

“It will be really exciting if it can come together,” Gills said. “The concept of elder care and skilled nursing is constantly evolving. The idea of a long hallway is giving way to more of a community feel.”

The development has been proposed for 40-plus acres just outside the city’s southern limits and west of U.S. Highway 40, across Dougherty Drive from the River Place neighborhood. It would be built on multiple parcels, one owned by Butch Dougherty and another owned by Ed MacArthur. In addition to a senior campus, it would create market-rate housing along the Yampa River.

The move would enable matching the Doak, a skilled nursing facility, with independent living and assisted living homes for seniors. That’s something that could not be done as effectively at the medical center site, Gills said.

The number of rooms and beds in the Doak also would be increased at The Bridges, from 59 to a number yet to be determined.

The senior living campus is just one portion of the overall plan at The Bridges at Steamboat.

The Bridges is actually entering the city planning process under a joint development agreement involving Yampa Valley Medical Center and Yampa River Village LLC, an entity created by Hank Wilton, of The Wilton Companies based in Richmond, Va.

Gills said that if the parcel is annexed and the plan adopted, the two entities each will have to purchase their own land and will develop independently of one another.

Riley Polumbus, a spokeswoman for the developers, said seniors at The Bridges would find themselves in the midst of a community within the broader Steamboat community, with a small commercial center and grouping of small luxury homes nearby in the Yampa Club. The Yampa Club residences are not necessarily intended for seniors.

The intent is to create a real estate development that is more than just townhomes and cottages, she said, in much the same way that a trip to the Apple Store is more than just a trip to a computer store, and a visit to Starbucks is marketed as not just a cup of premium coffee but the best part of one’s day.

“This will be an experience-based community,” Polumbus said. “One that offers community interaction.”

In the case of The Bridges, the experience will revolve around trout fishing, viewing wildlife including nearby nesting bald eagles and gathering later to talk about it in the lodge.

If people who purchase slopeside condominiums enjoy the ski-in/ski-out lifestyle, residents at one of the 70 to 100 townhomes or cottages at the Yampa Club would enjoy a fish-in/fish-out lifestyle, Polumbus said.

The townhomes and cottages would be built on both sides of a stretch of the Yampa River that runs through the property.

In addition, Yampa River Village LLC would develop a town center closer to U.S. 40 intended for the types of retail that would appeal to the community.

The choice of names for The Bridges was made deliberately to suggest a metaphor for the succession of senior living options at the project, Polumbus said. In theory, people might begin living independently in one of the 15 to 25 cottages on the senior campus, continue to assisted living and ultimately check into the nursing home.

The literal manifestation of the name will appear in a covered bridge entry to the neighborhood, as well as new automobile and foot bridges over the Yampa.

Annexation questions
The Wilton Companies has been in business in Richmond since 1945. It developed and manages multifamily housing projects, office parks, industrial and retail centers in the mid-Atlantic region.

Wilton is best known in Steamboat as the developer of 360 Ranch, a proposed subdivision in the west of Steamboat that is in the city planning process.

The Bridges and 360 Ranch have something in common: both projects are seeking annexation to the city. There is a significant distinction in that area, however. Unlike 360 Ranch, The Bridges already lies within the city’s existing Urban Growth Boundary.

The joint development will need to pursue a pre-annexation agreement, Senior City Planner Jonathon Spence said.

Spence said a future discussion about how The Bridges fits in with the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan should prove to be interesting.

The developers, in their pre-application documents, suggest the proposal is consistent with the plan’s vision for low-density housing in that part of the South Valley.

Spence said that at first glance, plans to build in close proximity to the river may not be such a good fit.

“The plans says we shouldn’t really be building in sensitive areas like this with a nearby (Mount Werner Water) infiltration gallery, wetlands and the floodplain. But additional senor facilities are a need today, and even more of a need tomorrow.”

Polumbus acknowledge the situation.

“Our greatest asset is our greatest challenge,” she said. “The river is what makes this such a compelling property. To be able to use that, we have to be sensitive to the environment. We’ll have to work with the best people we can to make that a reality.”

One of the centerpieces of the trails network at The Bridges is a large viewing platform so visitors and residents can observe a nearby bald eagle nest. The developers already have engaged a consultant with regard to the eagles and have said they would be willing to follow their advice and avoid building activity during sensitive nesting periods.

Polumbus said that in addition to expanded senior living opportunities, The Bridges affords the potential of linking the Yampa River Core Trail south of Haymaker Golf Course and a lake in the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area.

Both development entities will wait to see if they win city approval before going forward with tentative agreements to purchase the larger land parcels from MacArthur.

Gills said he’s confident the Doak Walker Care Center, run by hospital staff, provides high-quality care and through the Eden Alternative, goes a long way to providing residents of the Doak with a residential lifestyle. However, he said, taking it to another level at The Bridges would require the hospital board to engage with another business entity that has more expertise in projecting future demand for senior services and operating skilled nursing centers. He’s just as certain that Yampa Valley Medical Center could not develop the new senior campus without outside financial help.

“We can benefit by identifying and linking with a strategic partner,” Gills said. “And I know it can’t be done without philanthropic help.”

Gills said his board is committed to ensuring that a new Doak Walker Care Center is accessible to area residents.

“We’re working to make that happen,” he said. “In terms of making it affordable and available to all, that’s part of our mission.”


An article on The Bridges at Steamboat development in the Oct. 19 Steamboat Pilot and Today incorrectly referred to 360 Ranch when it should have referred to 360 Village.

Wilton Development is in the planning stages for both The Bridges at Steamboat and 360 Village.

The article also provided incorrect information about 360 Village. While a previous version of 360 Village applied for an extension of the city’s urban growth boundary, or UGB, because a portion of its land lay outside the existing boundary, the latest proposal for 360 Village lies entirely within the UGB.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Ptarmigan Inn - Proposed 57-Unit Condominum - Proposes Leeds Green Building Standard

Ptarmigan proposes to build green at ski base
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Reporter Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two Colorado developers propose to redevelop the Ptarmigan Inn into a seven-story building that would comprise 57 slopeside condominiums.

Steamboat Springs — The proposed redevelopment of the Ptarmigan Inn, which first emerged in 2005 and resurfaced in August 2007, is active again at the city planning department. This time, the developers say they aspire to meeting LEEDS green building standards.

Bruce Shugart, president of Mountainside Development Corp., has submitted an application for a development permit for a 57-unit condominium building that would go up where the 1970s-era Ptarmigan Inn Best Western stands now.

It’s the first public sign of activity on the project since it came through the city’s pre-application process in August 2007.

“They certainly have ad­­dressed some of the comments they received in the pre-application process,” Senior City Planner Bob Keenan said. “The architecture is substantially different.”

Some of the design changes have addressed the mass and scale of the building, he added.

At the pre-application phase, the project proposed 39 large condominiums. In the intervening 14 months, the number of condos in the project has increased to 57 with the potential for some interval sales, the developers wrote in a memo to the city. The net sellable square feet as proposed would be 138,043.

Other features of the new plan include a snowmelt system for public plazas and walkways.

Another principal in the project is Richard Dean, who like Shugart is a building contractor. They promised to meet green building standards in their pre-application documents. The city just adopted a change to make green building its highest goal for developers asked to provide community benefits to offset variances from the development code.

“The new Ptarmigan will attain LEED certification for environmental and sustainable design methods, materials and construction practices,” they wrote. The developers also committed to using wind energy credits to offset the building’s energy usage.

The Ptarmigan Inn adjoins the lowest slopes at the Steam­­boat Ski Area on their south side. The redevelopment does not involve the adjacent Ptarmigan House condominiums.

The Steamboat gondola passes directly in front of the Ptarmigan Inn. The redevelopment site is tucked between the existing Dulany Condominiums on the west and Chateau Chamonix on the east. The large One Steamboat Place development, currently under construction, is virtually next door.

Shugart and Dean say they intend to develop a community park with a snow-melted hardscape, as well as a pocket park with a historic display close to a trail that would lead along Burgess Creek to the ski slope.

In order to make the parks more appealing and accessible, they hope to work with Ptarmigan House and Iron­­wood Condominiums to convert the long driveway to Après Ski Way to a snowmelt system.

Plans to redevelop the ski-in, ski-out property represented by Ptarmigan Inn were first broached by Steve Peer of Cafritz Interests, of Washington, D.C., in 2005. He withdrew planning documents for the project then known as Aspen Ridge, and Cafritz subsequently acquired the Thunderhead Inn and Ski Time Square on the opposite side of the ski area. Cafritz assigned the role of developer to The Atira Group.

The Ptarmigan Inn site appears as “Gondola-1” on the city’s zoning map, a designation that comes with lower maximum building heights than, for example, On Steamboat Place, which is zoned Gondola-2.

The maximum height in the G-1 district is 63 feet, and the project’s tallest elevations are as tall as 94 feet in some places, Keenan said. Mountainside Development is not seeking a zone change, but is asking for a building height variance, he added.

Shugart could not be reached directly for comment.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Steamboat 700 - Third Party?

700 doubt arises
Officials question the commitment of developers
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Steamboat Springs — As formal review of the proposed Steamboat 700 project west of city limits is set to begin in earnest, concerns have been raised — and refuted by Steamboat 700’s project manager — about developers’ commitment to seeing the project through.

Per the terms of a pre-annexation agreement with the city of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat 700 is to submit an application for annexation by the end of the month. The city and developers are conducting studies of raw water availability, metro districts, U.S. Highway 40 and fiscal impacts of the project.

Excerpts of a leaked Steamboat 700 investment prospectus twice have been revealed publicly in recent months — at a meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council and in a letter to the editor published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today. According to a copy of the prospectus provided anonymously to the Pilot & Today, Steamboat 700’s investment strategy is “to complete the annexation, entitlement process and engineering allowing for the property to be developed by a third party. It’s anticipated that the land will be sold in an unimproved state within a three year period.”

Councilman Steve Ivancie said that wording concerns him.

“I want to be sitting across from the people who are going to be a part of this community for the next 30 years,” he said. “I want to know that the deal I’m negotiating is with them. I want a partner. I’m not here to ensure that an investor in a piece of property has a huge return on his investment. My job is to negotiate the best deal for this community for now and into the future.”

Councilwoman Cari Herma­cinski agreed.

“I definitely think it would be more reassuring for the city if we knew we had a partner for development that was going to see the project through,” she said. “It’s a little concerning to know their ultimate strategy is to annex and sell it rather than annexing it and moving forward with vertical construction.”

Meanwhile, Steamboat 700 principal and project manager Danny Mulcahy continues to assure doubters that he is in it for the long haul.

“The intent of Steamboat 700 is to be the master developer of the Steamboat 700 community for the foreseeable future,” Mulcahy said. “The prospectus is written in a manner that is appropriate for this stage of development.”

When asked to elaborate, Mulcahy said he could not.

“That’s probably the best thing I can say to that,” Mulcahy said. “It all comes back to how investments are structured.”

No promises
The principal owners of the de­­velopment company Steamboat 700, LLC, are Mark L. Fine, of Mark L. Fine Associates; Jim Zeiter, of Insight Holdings; and Mulcahy, of DM Hollo Management. All three companies are based in the Las Vegas area. While Mulcahy is the project manager, all three companies are managing the investment.

On the Web site of Zieter’s company Insight Holdings, a real estate operating company specializing in the commercial real estate market, Steamboat 700 is listed not only as an investment opportunity, but also under a tab labeled “available properties” where it describes the property as vacant commercial and residential land. Mulcahy also said this is not cause for concern.

“We’ve never made any secret that there’s going to be a number of third-party developers,” Mulcahy said. “That’s how development works. … The master developer controls what products are built and where they’re built. They make sure the master plan is followed. In that manner, (third-party developers) have to build what I want because it directly affects the value of the adjacent property.

“I’m not going to make any promises to anybody,” Mulcahy continued. “But Steamboat 700’s intent is to be the master plan developer of this master-planned community. We don’t see anybody else being the master developer of this site.”

Asked if the leaked investment strategy would affect the way they review Steamboat 700’s annexation application, council members said they would proceed cautiously and structure the annexation agreement and master plan in such a way that it must be honored regardless of ownership.

“It puts me on a very heightened awareness to make sure we’re addressing all the concerns with a good agreement,” Hermacinski said.

“I think if we do the annexation process right, we can do that,” said Councilman Jon Quinn, who suggested the city require all infrastructure improvements be constructed up front. “That’s probably not what the developer is looking for. But I think the more we front-end load (the annexation agreement) the more it’s going to compel them to stick around and sell some homes.”

Mulcahy, Fine and Zeiter have collaborated before, on projects primarily in the Las Vegas area. Their experience includes mixed-use projects, office buildings, business parks, industrial warehouses and retail centers.

Mulcahy, who graduated in 1997 from UNLV with a degree in psychology, was promoted to real estate broker with Insight Realty Associates in 2004. Mulcahy was charged with analyzing investment and development opportunities, as well as monitoring and driving the company’s sales programs and training its sales team.

Asked for credentials relative to a project like Steamboat 700, Mulcahy most often has cited two Las Vegas-area master-planned communities guided by Fine. Fine guided the 8,000-acre Green Valley development for 17 years as president of American Nevada. For four years, he was president of Summerlin, a division of the Howard Hughes Corp.

In their early years, both developments became some of the fastest-growing communities in America.

In 1999, Fine considered the communities successful and popular enough to stake much of his campaign to be mayor of Las Vegas on them. He claimed his experience building those communities would serve him well in leading all of Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Fine was not elected.

During Fine’s campaign for mayor, the Las Vegas Sun reported that, in 1988, Fine served on a bond oversight committee for the Clark County School District that was heavily criticized for spending bond money ineffectively and for building just 57 of 77 promised schools. The same article also reported that when Fine served on the bond committee in 1994, as its vice chairman, the committee “went out of its way to rectify the problems of the previous bond.”

Fine since has shifted his focus to high-end retail and office projects in the Las Vegas area. He continues to develop property in Summerlin, which has a population of 85,000. According to the Las Vegas Business Press, one of Fine’s current projects is a 370,000-square-foot headquarters complex for the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and Mulcahy’s DM Hollo is developing a $58 million, 552,833-square-foot big-box industrial complex jointly with RJR Capital Management.

Other players
A document provided by the city of Steamboat Springs lists 77 Steamboat 700 investors. The overwhelming majority have Nevada addresses, but investors also come from Florida, Oklahoma, California, Alabama, Ohio and Illinois. Of the five investors with Colorado addresses, two are in Steamboat. They are David Baldinger Jr., managing broker and owner of Steamboat Village Brokers, and West Steamboat Partners, a limited liability company. West Steamboat Partners’ registered agent is Chad Fleischer. Fleischer and Pam Vanatta, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, facilitated the 540-acre Brown property’s 2007 sale to Mulcahy and his partners for about $25 million.

In addition to its purchase of the Brown property, Steamboat 700 also has an adjacent parcel of about 150 acres under contract for $4 million. Another limited liability company, Steamboat Victory, owns that property. Steamboat Victory’s registered agent is the Corporation Service Company, one of the world’s largest registered service agent companies specializing in corporate identity protection. Marilyn Guire sold the 150-acre parcel to Steamboat Victory in 2004 for $2 million.

That year, Guire told the Steamboat Pilot & Today that her property was under contract by The Pacific Companies, a group of firms specializing in the development and construction of affordable housing. Earlier this year, Caleb Roope, managing principal and founder of The Pacific Companies, signed the city’s pre-annexation agreement on behalf of Steamboat Victory and designated Steamboat 700 as its authorized representative. A phone message and e-mail to Roope on Friday afternoon were not returned.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Hayden Development: Dry Creek Village - Discount Offered on Building Lots - Under $100,000.00

Houses go up in Dry Creek
Hayden subdivision developers offer discounts on lots
By Blythe Terrell (Contact) - Steambaot PIlot & TODAY reporter
Friday, October 17, 2008
Steamboat Springs — The first two houses have gone vertical in Dry Creek Village, and the developers of the Hayden subdivision aim to draw more buyers with discounts.

There are 54 lots in the first phase, and the final plan calls for 150. The development is off Routt County Road 37 in southeastern Hayden. The opening of the C.R. 37 extension, Hawthorne Street, will create easier access from U.S. Highway 40 to the neighborhood.

The developers are handling infrastructure but are not building the homes.

Amy Williams, of Colorado Group Realty, espoused the virtues of the lots. Although some are adjacent to the road, most back up to open space, she said. Eight lots have sold, and the playground and soft-surface trails are in, Williams said.

“I think this is wonderful,” she said. “My kids could race out and run to the playground. I have essentially added 2 acres to my holding to have that open space and playground there.”

Lots cost $69,900 to $95,000, and developers are offering 10 percent off on lots that close before the end of the year.

“That’s a big deal,” said Jon Peddie, who is developing the project with Jim Woods. “Because if you think about a bank lending you 70 or 80 percent, a 10 percent discount is a big number.”

Peddie billed Dry Creek as a good place for commuters and people who want to build their first home. The mortgage crisis has made sales a challenge, he said.

“There are some that are reserved,” Peddie said, “but as the world has slowed down, and with the difficulty of getting credit, we’ve had a few people that still want to buy, but they’ve been delayed.”

The location also puts Steamboat Springs commuters a few minutes closer to work, Williams said. Peddie noted that the project is affordable and involves no deed restrictions. Plus, it’s new, he said.

“You know that everything has been done to current codes and current standards and done right,” Peddie said. “All the roads, the sewer, the water and everything have been accepted by the city, and they’ve gone through all their warranty periods with no issues. And the views out there are just outstanding. They’re not mountain views like Steamboat, but they look out toward the valley.”

Williams pointed out that Dry Creek Village sometimes has been confused with Lake Village, a subdivision off Routt County Road 53 that is mired in legal and bankruptcy problems. Dry Creek is not affiliated with that project, she said.

Williams and Peddie were optimistic the project would attract future homeowners.

“We’re hopeful that Hayden, as with Steamboat, that the market will kind of rebound, and we’ll be OK,” Peddie said.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Yacht Club in Steamboat Springs - 1,170 Square Foot Deck

The new owners of the Yacht Club building are proposing creating a 1,170-square-foot deck on a roof overlooking the Yampa River. Enlarge photo — Photo by Matt Stensland

Yacht Club seeks rooftop deck
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Reporter Steambaot Pilot & TODAY
Friday, October 17, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The new owners of the Yacht Club building have plans to add a dining deck on the roof of the restaurant, 811 Yampa St.

River Front Partners LLC, of Fremont, Neb., purchased the building and two adjacent parcels for $4.5 million in early July. In addition to the restaurant building, the entity led by Ellen and Rick Fauss acquired an open green space, a small employee parking lot and the steel building currently housing Backdoor Sports.

The developers recently sub­­mitted plans to the city of Steamboat Springs for two new mixed residential/commercial buildings that would be built on the lawn and the site where Backdoor Sports now stands.

The Yacht Club building would remain, but seating capacity would be expanded through the creation of a 1,170-square-foot deck on top of a flat roof overlooking the Yampa River, according to architect Tom Jarmon of Eric Smith Associates.

Senior City Planner Jona­than Spence said the developers would need to obtain a variance to the water body setback ordinance. That ordinance requires that new buildings be set back 30 feet from the banks of the Yampa.

The Yacht Club, operated by Mor­­­ton and Ellen Hoj, is somewhat unusual, even on the south side of Yampa Street, because it fully encroaches on the river setback. The fact that the existing building already abuts the river and an existing ground level deck virtually overhangs the river could make it easier to get the variance, Spence said.

“We’ve been pretty firm with all the developers on water body setbacks,” Spence said. “But this is a little bit of a different animal.”

Jarmon informed Spence in a memo that in addition to adding a deck on the roof of the Yacht Club, the developer intends to add 58 square feet to the building to allow for a staircase needed to provide the required second exit for the deck.

The Hojs did not build the dining room addition that encroaches on the river setback, and they have announced plans to move on from the Yacht Club to open a new fine dining establishment, The Diplomat, in The Victoria at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue. They could not be reached for comment this week, but a sign on the door of the Yacht Club says the dining room will be closed until Dec. 15.

Ellen Fauss previously told the Steamboat Today that she and her husband have been in discussions with prospective restaurant operators.

Backdoor Sports owner Peter Van De Carr has told the Steam­boat Today he has an option to move his business to a new building at 655 Yampa St. that still is in the development process.

The two new buildings next door to the restaurant would be three stories high and include retail spaces on the ground level and seven residential units above. There would be on-site parking spaces for each unit in the building.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Inspiritu Verde - Green Development In Steamboat Springs

Council narrowly supports Inspiritu Verde
Vote gives go-ahead to development at Fourth and Oak streets
By Brandon Gee (Contact) - Steamboagt Pilot & TODAY reporter
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs City Council moved forward — albeit hesitantly — Tuesday with three items related to sustainable building practices.

For John Buchanan, a close vote in favor of his proposed development at Fourth and Oak streets brought a fitting end to what was described at Tuesday’s council meeting as a lengthy and trying review process for the Denver architect and developer. Buchanan entered the city planning process in July 2007.

The project, Inspiritu Verde, was granted seven variances from the Community Development Code in exchange for its promised benefits. The project’s name fittingly translates to “inspired green,” as it proposes to be the city’s first project to earn a “gold” Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It also includes a voluntary affordable housing unit and storm water and sidewalk improvements in the public right-of-way.

Comments from the public were mixed between supportive and critical, with most arguments against the project focusing on its mass and scale. The project consists of two new buildings that would replace two yellow, stucco 1949 duplexes. Buchanan requested a five-foot increase in the buildings’ average plate height, encroachment on three of the 7,000-square-foot lot’s building setback requirements and a 34 percent increase in the allowable ratio of floor space to lot area.

The formula used to calculate the ratio calculated Inspiritu Verde’s square footage at 4,711, but city planner Bob Keenan confirmed that number does not include reductions for garage space, basements and bonuses for the development’s proposed employee housing units. Without those reductions, Keenan said, the square footage is about 9,100 square feet in size.

For Councilwoman Meg Bentley and Councilman Jon Quinn, the project was too large to swallow.

“I think the design is fantastic; I love it,” Bentley said. “I wish it wasn’t in Old Town or that it was in a different part of Old Town. … I think it’s fantastic, but I can’t” support it.

Others were willing to compromise.

“I think this is a courageous project,” Councilman Scott Myller said. “I’m ready to go for it.”

City Council President Loui Antonucci, who said he was torn on whether to support the project, said the decision boiled down to a choice between moving the community more toward green building practices or sticking “with traditional design which is what Old Town stands for.”

The project passed, 4-2, with Antonucci, Myller, Councilwoman Cari Hermac­inski and Councilman Walter Magill voting in favor of the project, Quinn and Bentley voting against it and Councilman Steve Ivancie stepping down because of a professional connection to the project.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cash Offers In Steamboat Springs = Lower Prices

Money talks, cash shouts
Buyers who can pay up front are noticed
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, October 5, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Given the slow pace of real estate sales in the Steamboat Springs market this fall, it feels premature to label cash buyers a trend — but something is going on out there.

“The last two years, sellers didn’t really care a whole lot about cash offers,” Coleman Cook of Colorado Group Realty said. “Today, with all the struggles in the financial markets, cash speaks pretty loudly. Cash buyers are in a very good position right now.”

Cook was looking forward to a closing on a piece of undeveloped land Oct. 3.

He noticed the listing by Colorado Group colleague Kris McGee and called it to the attention of his clients. They were able to negotiate an almost 10 percent reduction from the asking price on a desirable piece of property.

Pam Vanatta, broker owner at Prudential Steamboat Realty, is seeing the same emerging trend.

“Cash is king right now,” Vanatta said. “Many of the buyers right now are investors and have cash. They think they can get good deals, and they can.”

Vanatta was one of the Realtors involved in a cash transaction on a luxury home that closed for nearly $2.595 million in Old Town during the week of Sept. 22 to 28. The asking price was $2.975, which translates into a 12.7 percent reduction in price.

Not all of the cash buyers looking for good deals this season are realistic in their offers, Vanatta said.

Cook said the power of cash in the market is the ability to close a sale in two weeks instead of 30 to 40 days, during which the seller lives in uncertainty.

“In this market, there is no guarantee that after 30 days we’ll get a loan commitment,” he said.

Some of the prospective buyers are financially astute and see a chance to put money that has been pulled out of the stock market to work. The prospect for returns of 15 to 20 percent throughout the next five years is appealing right now, Vanatta said.

“Most of the people are really sophisticated buyers and sellers who understand the market is what it is,” Vanatta said. “There are also sellers who have to sell, and that’s what changes the market.”

Eliese Pivarnik, of Colorado Group, agreed that cash offers tend to get the attention of sellers in a slow market.

“Cash definitely makes somebody much more likely to negotiate the price of an offer, she said.

Pivarnik was in the midst of negotiations on behalf of a cash client, but said it was premature to discuss the transaction.

Her colleague, Jon Wade, said he is working with four cash buyers this month, and he is not convinced that cash is buying real estate here for below-market prices.

“If there’s a premium price built in, you might be getting a reduction,” he said.

One of Wade’s cash buyers has put a home in the Sanctuary under contract.

“This is a builder/developer in the Midwest. This is extremely smart money,” Wade said. “They’re also down-to-earth Steamboat people. If you walked by them on the street, you wouldn’t know it.”

Wade believes the same market drivers that were in place during Steamboat’s un­­precedented run-up remain in place.

He observed that Intrawest owns Steamboat Ski Area, many people would love to move to Steamboat, the mountain and downtown commercial districts are improving, and the valley is running out of land.
To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Steamboat Springs - Construction Industry Layoffs

Layoffs could be coming to locals amid economic downturn
By Blythe Terrell (Contact)
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Steamboat Springs — Some local businesses might pare down their ranks as the economic crisis roils industries nationwide.

Brian Bradbury, an employment specialist at the Steamboat Springs Workforce Center, said he sees the effects. Routt County’s unemployment rate stood at about 3.1 percent in August, up from 2.4 percent the same month in 2007, he said. Colorado’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent for the month, compared with 3.8 percent for August 2007.

“We’re getting a lot more people coming in (from) the construction industry, where some of the projects have been shut down or slowed down,” Bradbury said. “That is definitely a trend we’re seeing. Also, unemployment questions are definitely rising. We spend a lot of time explaining it to people.”

TCD President Rick Brodie said he expected layoffs at his company, but he didn’t know how many people would lose jobs. The construction company has projects lined up through the middle or late part of next year, Brodie said. After that, he’s not sure what will happen.

“It’s about lending,” he said. “It’s about the money available.”

The economy will turn around when banks loosen up and start providing loans again, Brodie said.

The specter of recession only increases the uncertainty, Brodie said.

“It’s easy to turn the news on and get online and see what’s going on with the Dow,” he said. “None of it’s really encouraging. Historically, since the ’70s, recessions have been eight to 10 months to recovery. … I think there’s more uncertainty with this one than ever before.”

Layoffs are common in the Yampa Valley during this part of the year, Bradbury said.

“But it seems to be more than usual,” he said.

The Steamboat Springs area lags the rest of the nation in economic trends, Brodie said. That means business is OK for now, but that could change. It also means that any recovery will come later for Steamboat than the rest of the country, he said.

Excavating company Rogue Resources has gone from 85 to about 65 employees, though most have left on their own, senior accountant Trent Jones said.

“We kind of got lucky,” Jones said. “I think we were needing to do some layoffs, and we had five guys from the pipe crew that just up and left” for a job in Denver.

The company has had steady projects this year, Jones said.

“We haven’t really experienced any more difficulty getting financing or leasing equipment,” he said. “The rates we’re paying stay pretty constant, even recently, which kind of surprises me.”

Sarah Fox, of Fox Cons­truction, said her company has not had to lay anyone off for a couple of years. She doesn’t expect anyone at Fox to be laid off this year. The company is hiring carpenters and possibly an estimator, she said.

Brodie predicted that many employers eventually would encounter challenges.

“I think it’s yet to be seen, but it will be seen,” he said. “I think that again people are working off an existing backlog. I think the future backlog is going to be the key.”

Rick Smith, an operations manager for Connell Resources in Steamboat, said his company had steady work and had not laid off anyone. But Connell deals mostly in paving, he said, which means it is finishing existing projects now.

The company won’t know what to expect until next year’s plans start coming in, which won’t happen until early 2009, Smith said.

“We’re not a real good barometer” for the economy, he said. “All those projects have already been in the works for a while.”

Connell will do some layoffs for winter because of normal slowdowns, Smith said.

“Our layoff schedule is going to be normal,” he said. “But that has to do with weather, not money.”

Smith said he expected the stock market to rise and become more stable after the Nov. 4 presidential election.

None of the employers professed to know what the future holds, but all are keeping an eye on the economy.

“In the meantime, we can all go skiing, so we’re luckier than most,” Brodie said. “I’d rather be here than anywhere.”
To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

First Track - Affordable Housing in Steamboat Springs

First Tracks seeks input
Developers want OK for companies to own, rent affordable housing
By Blythe Terrell (Contact) Reporter Steambot Pilot
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Developers of First Tracks, the affordable housing component in Wildhorse Meadows, are asking city officials to change the affordable housing rules to allow business owners to buy the units and rent them to their employees. Photo by Matt Stensland
Steamboat Springs — First Tracks developers are puzzling about how to get buyers into lower-cost units, and they brought in business owners Thursday to talk about it.

The developer, Resort Ventures West, plans to ask the city to change its inclusionary zoning and linkage ordinance to allow employers to buy affordable units and rent them to workers, a practice not allowed under current ordinances.

About 14 of the first phase First Tracks at Wildhorse Meadows units are under or nearly under contract, and 33 remain on the market. All of the units targeted at people who make 80 percent of area median income have been sold, development manager Mariana Ishida told business owners at the lunch meeting.

Nancy Engelken, community housing coordinator for the city of Steamboat Springs, joined the group to discuss how to get people into affordable homes. It’s challenging, the employers agreed.

“We have a lot of young people who would like to come work for us, but they can’t afford the housing,” said Kim Johnson, an owner of Wildhorse Salon. “To get them here, it’s a nightmare. I had several people from Denver and Wyoming who were interested, but they backed out because they couldn’t find housing.”

The city’s housing requirements focus on ownership, though the ordinance also covers rentals. The restrictions are based on area median income. Steamboat requires high-density residential developments to build or put money toward housing for people with lower incomes. The homeowners must earn 80 percent of their income in Routt County, Engelken said.

The city is focused on those who make 80 to 120 percent of the AMI: $42,400 to $63,600 for a single-person household.

Resort Ventures wants to eliminate the income requirements and home appreciation caps for housing units that employers buy and rent to workers.

“If you work in the county, you should be able to buy one of these and sell it or rent it to someone who works in the county,” Ishida said.

At the lunch, Resort Ven­tures aimed to get feedback about businesses’ housing needs. The company plans to present its amended ordinance to the Planning Commission next month. The City Council is scheduled to take up the issue in December. Engelken said she had not written a staff recommendation on the proposal.

Part of the issue, business folks said, is that different businesses have different housing needs. Patrick Delaney, of Steamboat Resorts, said his employees usually seek seasonal rental housing. Affordability is crucial, he said.

“A lot of our employees who’ve worked with us for years, because it’s seasonal they don’t make $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 a year,” Delaney said. “They’re more in the $35,000 or $40,000 range.”

Prices are high for all types of residences, Engelken said.

“More and more, the market here, whether it be rental housing or ownership housing, the market is closed,” she said.

Though they expressed concern about the issue, the business owners didn’t provide clear direction for Engelken or Ishida.

Delaney said he thought employees needed more education on affordable housing. He said Steamboat Resorts was not eager to buy housing.

“All things being equal, if we have to — and only if we have to — we probably are interested in buying some rental units, and I think on a case-by-case basis, we are interested in helping some of our long-term employees obtain housing,” Delaney said.

Engelken encouraged business owners to contact her through the city at 879-2060 if they would like her to provide information about housing options and rules.

“I want this to be a partnership with all of you to figure out how to make this work, because in inserting this provision to allow the employer-based purchase of a unit, it’s important for you to say, ‘This is what we need,’” Engelken told the group.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Friday, October 10, 2008

Steamboat Springs - August Market Update

Steamboat's August Market Update

The Yampa Valley boasted healthy sales for the month of August 08. With close to $60 million in total sales volume, a wide variety of Steamboat neighborhoods embraced strong transactions. The total sales for the month included four transactions valuing over $4 million each further determining that the luxury market is still riding a strong current of buyers and sellers. The average transaction price in Routt County is showing a great rise in value for ski resort property at $676,330.

Contact Michelle Diehl, GRI - Prudential Steamboat Realty at 970.846.1086 or to learn more about the Steamboat Springs Market.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Steamboat Springs Economy According to Carl Steidtmann

Better times ahead
Economist offers a brighter outlook amid difficult days
By Blythe Terrell (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & TODAY Reporter
Sunday, October 5, 2008

Carl Steidtmann
Steamboat Springs — Economist Carl Steidtmann analyzed the financial crisis and gave a levelheaded forecast of the U.S. economy Friday morning, predicting a modest recession with a slow recovery that could start late next year.

Steidtmann was called on to deliver what local Vectra Bank President Bob Kuusinen jokingly called “a crystal-clear picture of where we’re heading in the months and years ahead.” Steidtmann, chief economist for Deloitte Research, spoke to more than 100 people at Vectra’s Business for Breakfast event Friday at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel — while across the country, Congress debated and passed a $700 billion bailout of the free-falling financial industry. President Bush signed the bill into law later in the day.

The past
The situation, Steidtmann stressed, is surprisingly stable.

“If you’d told me a year ago that banks were going to lose half a trillion dollars and oil prices would be $150 a barrel … I would have told you there would be a very deep recession,” Steidtmann said.

The economy has grown a couple of percentage points in recent quarters, he noted. But there are significant challenges.

The crisis arose largely as a result of investment bank balance sheet issues, he said. Large financial institutions were leveraging 30 times the amount of their equity. Much of that money was borrowed in the commercial paper market, he said, which involves notes that typically are used for short-term financing.

The institutions, such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, spent some of that money on mortgage-backed securities. Those floundered amid subprime mortgage troubles. The government then bailed out — nationalized, Steidtmann said — lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Several banks failed.

But Steidtmann framed those collapses as necessary.

“The financial service industry does represent a bloated part of the economy,” he said. “It’s downsizing and shrinking, which will actually have a positive effect in the long run. The fact of it is the banking system had gotten out of control.”

The government’s blame, Steidtmann said, falls squarely onto Republicans and Dem­ocrats.

“To create a crisis of this magnitude, it really does require bipartisan cooperation,” he said, getting a laugh from the crowd.

As contributing factors, he cited moves in the Carter and Clinton administrations making it easier for low-income people to buy homes, an out-of-control Fannie Mae, lax mortgage lending standards, lax rating industry oversight, and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s relaxing of leveraging rules during the Bush administration.

Previously, banks could leverage themselves only 12 times, which means the bank could lend $12 for every $1 of equity, Steidtmann said. The relaxing of that rule led to some banks leveraging 30 times their equity.

The future
Wall Street’s failures will have an impact nationally and locally, Steidtmann predicted. U.S. institutions are hugely in debt, he said. That will pose a problem in our credit-based society.

“Households are not going to have the amount of credit they had in the past, so we’re going to see a reduction in consumer spending,” Steidtmann said.

Consumer spending has risen from 64.5 percent to 72 percent of the gross domestic product since 1982, he said. In the $15 trillion U.S. economy, that’s substantial. Steidtmann estimated onsumer spending would drop 5 percentage points as a portion of the GDP.

The $700 billion government bailout plan probably will help but not cure the problem, he said. It will help financial institutions remove bad assets from their books but won’t necessarily help them build shareholder equity, Steidtmann said.

Those institutions will be back to ask the government for more money, and automakers also will seek federal help, he predicted.

The recession Steidtmann expects will be modest. It probably will hit the Steamboat Springs area after it hits the rest of the country, he said, which is typical of economic trends. That means the recovery would come later, too.

“It will be a relatively mild recession, but it’s going to be a long one because it’s going to take banks a long time to work through the problems on their balance sheets,” Steidtmann said.

Locally, the recession is likely to drive down spending, employment and construction, he said.

Comparisons to the Great Depression are off base, Steid­tmann said. That’s partly because the government is shoring up the banking industry, which it did not do in the 1920s and ’30s. Also, he said, President Hoover’s policies worsened the economy after the Depression. Hoover raised taxes and signed a strict trade policy — two bad moves, Steidtmann said.

Restricting trade would be a colossal mistake, he said. Because the dollar is weak, companies are bringing manufacturing back to the United States. That will increase the United States’ exports, and trade restrictions would harm that, he said.

Steidtmann also predicted that investment in energy, renewable and otherwise, would increase. That could be a boon for Northwest Colorado.

So, who’s the best person to lead the country through recovery? Steidtmann said he expected both top presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, to listen to competent advisers.

“I think at the end of the day, you have pretty conservative policies coming out of either campaign,” Steidtmann said.

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

360 Village (Decrease in Size for Phase One) Steamboat Springs

360 Village reduces plan
Developers’ new annexation proposal conforms to existing UGB
By Brandon Gee (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & TODAY reporter
Saturday, October 4, 2008

By the numbers
360 Village, first proposed phase

Dwelling units: 525 to 650

Village Center commercial: 180,000 to 210,000 square feet

U.S. 40 entry commercial/retail: 100,000 to 185,000 square feet

Open space: 27 to 30 acres

Steamboat Springs — The developers of 360 Vill­­age won’t ask the Steamboat Springs City Council to commit “political suicide.”

In a pre-application for annexation submitted last week, Wil­­ton West Development proposes development on only 110 acres of the 350-acre project site two miles west of city limits. The proposed development conforms to the urban growth boundary, a growth management tool jointly administered by the city and Routt County.

Wilton West Development failed in attempts earlier this year to expand the UGB to encompass the entire property. While the UGB is described as a precursor to annexation in the city and county’s Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan, state law governs annexations, and the city could have considered annexing the entire 350-acre property without a UGB expansion.

Although legal, Council­woman Cari Hermacinski said in August that disregarding the UGB and the community plan would be “political suicide.” With their latest proposal, the developers won’t even ask council to consider such a move, and instead plan to develop the rest of the site in two future phases.

While the plan for 360 Village has changed, its primary message has not. Developers continue to tout their affordable and attainable housing plan above all else. Since their initial submittal to the city in May, the developers have bolstered their argument with the results of the recently released Work Force Housing Demand Analysis, which recommended the city provide for more affordable rental opportunities and small-lot, single-family homes.

“Affordable and attainable housing is our No. 1 focus,” said Tony Connell, a partner in Wilton West of Steamboat, a subsidiary of Virginia-based Wilton West Development. “We are excited to present a plan that reflects the needs of the community as shown in the analysis. The housing study clarifies our vision of full inclusion. We want to build products that offer opportunities to a broad spectrum of our community.”

City Planner Jason Peasley noted that 360 Village’s pre-application states the project will comply with the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan requirement that a minimum of 20 percent of proposed units be priced at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

“That was a sticking point with Steamboat 700 and doesn’t appear to be with this one,” said Peasley, referring to another proposed development west of Steamboat.

360 Village’s pared-down proposal doesn’t include some of the frills envisioned in the initial plan for the entire property. Amenities such as a chair lift, an amphitheater and a flume trail are gone from the latest proposal, and it is unclear whether they will be included in plans for future phases.

Added to the plan, though, is a provision for a 100,000-square-foot pad that could house a big-box retail store. City officials are studying how to fit such a store into plans for the west of Steamboat area, in order to prevent the sales tax leakage that would result if a super store were located outside city limits in Routt County.

Although it now conforms to the UGB, 360 Village’s location west of Routt County subdivisions Steamboat II and Silver Spur still will pose a challenge as the development moves forward to hearings with the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and City Council.

State statute requires contiguity for annexation, so the project would require what Planning Services Manager John Eastman has called a “flagpole annexation,” where the city would first annex rights of way along U.S. Highway 40 until annexed land reached the project. Although legal, Eastman has said that such an annexation may not be appealing because of the implications it has on the extension of city services.

“This is a pre-application,” Eastman said Wednesday, “and my expectation is, we will have some good discussion about that issue as we move through the process.”

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

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Economic Definitions & Steamboat Springs Economy...

Market issues hit home
Experts expect fallout from crisis to affect construction, credit
By Blythe Terrell (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & TODAY Reporter
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Assets: All the entries on a balance sheet showing the entire resources of a person or business, tangible and intangible, including accounts and notes receivable, cash, inventory, equipment, real estate, goodwill, etc.

Capital: Wealth (money or property) owned or used in business by a person, corporation, etc.

Leverage: To speculate in (a business investment) largely through the use of borrowed funds, or credit, with the expectation of earning substantial profits; also, to mortgage (oneself or one’s assets) in this way.

Recession: A temporary falling off of business activity during a period when such activity generally has been increasing.

Subprime mortgage: Generally, a mortgage loan made to a borrower with a weaker credit profile than that of a prime borrower. As a result of the weaker credit profile, subprime borrowers have a higher likelihood of default than prime borrowers.

Sources: Webster’s New World Dictionary, Fannie Mae

Steamboat Springs — Make no mistake, experts said: The economic problems battering the nation are coming to Steamboat Springs.

Construction projects are being put on hold, and credit could be tougher for businesses and residents to get. The city is behind national trends but not exempt from them, Carl Steidtmann and Steven Hof­man said Wednesday.

“The idea of some who are in denial, who think that somehow those in a resort town are immune, is really denial in its most dreadful form,” said Hofman, former director of research and policy for U.S. House Republican leadership.

The subprime mortgage crisis has thrown lenders and banking industry behemoths into a tailspin. The federal government has bailed out several financial institutions, and lawmakers are pursuing a package that they hope will bring relief.

Steidtmann, who is giving a talk to businesses Friday about the 2009 economic outlook, is chief economist at Deloitte Research. The crux of the issue, he said, is that banks need enough capital to be able and comfortable to lend money.

“The banks do need to be recapitalized, and that’s going to happen one way or another through private sector or public sector action,” he said. “The faster we can get the banks recapitalized, the quicker we can get economic recovery.”

But Hofman fears that the proposed $700 billion bailout plan won’t accomplish that.

If banks’ assets continue to lose value, the bailout money “won’t be used to capitalize for more lending — it will be used to chase the value of their assets,” Hofman said. “That’s the fundamental problem, and I don’t believe that has been sufficiently wrestled with at this point.”

He said it was understandable that the House rejected the plan this week. Lawmakers are dealing with economic issues that few understand, Hofman said.

“The irony here is that the sophisticates on Wall Street have no better handle on this than small-business owners in Steamboat or a nurse at the hospital,” he said.

Local impacts
Regardless of the success of the bailout package, the economic upheaval could impact areas such as Steamboat Springs’ work force, Hofman said.

“If the recession does hit the town, and a lot of the trades people can’t get work and leave town, then what does the economy look like?” Hofman asked. “And once the economy starts turning around, do we have the capacity to attract the kind of work force that we need to be a growth economy again?”

He also said the people buying second and third homes in Steamboat have helped drive construction. Those often are the people affected by struggles at institutions such as Lehman Brothers, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Hofman said.

Those people won’t return to the market for a while, he predicted.

Although the shake-up will affect Steamboat, Steidtmann said it was important to remember that the U.S. economy has been weathering the storm. Through the end of last year and early this year, the economy grew 2 percent, he said.

“It’s always very interesting in times like these to try to track the economy,” Steidtmann said. “But I think the volatility of the economy is much less than what it appears to be. It’s like a huge battleship — it just takes an awful lot to change it off its course.”

Steidtmann said he thought the country was in a mild recession that would continue to next year.

“I think when we get to the second half of 2009, we’re going to start seeing a slow and modest recovery,” Steidtmann said.

So, what should the average person do? Hofman and Steidtmann offered advice.

Folks should be “starting to take some of the nonessential things out and creating greater savings, creating a greater cushion,” Hofman said.

Consumers will see credit costs increase, Steidtmann said. Credit limits are likely to decrease, and interest rates and penalties are likely to increase, he said.

“Pay down your credit card, pay down your own debt, save more and spend less,” Steidtmann advised.

Hofman reminded Steam­­boat residents to watch the unfolding events carefully.

“Take them seriously,” he said, “because they’re one wave away from hitting the town.”
To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
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cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434