Monday, December 29, 2008

Steamboat Springs Average and Median Home Prices

Median home price declines by 22.5 percent
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Home price changes

Median single-family home

County Oct. ’08 Oct. ’07 Change

Eagle $839,300 $810,000 +3.6%

Garfield $372,500 $394,950 -6%

Pitkin $4.1M $3.7M +11%

Routt $511,000 $660,000 -22.5%

Summit $657,500 $648,750 +1%

Source: Land Guarantee Title Co.
The average price of single-family homes in Steamboat Springs is holding relatively strong at $996,816, but a 22.5 percent decline in the median home price in Rout County tells a different story.

Land Title Guarantee Co. reports that the median price of a single-family home here dropped from $660,000, based on statistics through the end of October 2007, to $511,000 at the end of October 2008.

The median price reflects the middle of the range and a decline suggests the range widened, either at the high or low end.

Prudential Steamboat Real­ty’s Pam Vanatta has concluded it was the latter.

“It has slipped quite a bit at the low end,” Vanatta said. “That doesn’t surprise me. There may be some homeowners who are a little leveraged and want to get out of the monthly payments.”

Steamboat’s decline in the median price of housing is in line with the entire western U.S., according to Land Title Guarantee Co., but not with Eagle, Pitkin and Summit counties, which have experienced slight increases in median home value.

The average price of a single-family home here in the second quarter of 2007 was about $890,000.

Vanatta said the new year might bring some changes to the local market.

“There hasn’t been a real price drop in prices here in 2008,” Vanatta said. “I think in 2009, we’ll see some sales that will affect the market. We just haven’t seen it yet.”

Vanatta said she would pay close attention to appraisers next year as they look for comparable sales to use in determining the value of properties. She said she would not be surprised if some appraisals next year are based on a single comparison.

It is difficult to discern a trend in the Steamboat market right now, Vanatta said. Isolated sales range from a modest Chinook Townhome to a luxury home in The Sanctuary.

“Our market is spotty right now, but things are selling,” she said. “I just put a house under contract in Fox Estates. They didn’t give it away.”

Phone volume at Prudential Steamboat has picked up this month, and prospective buyers are being very specific about what kind of property they are seeking.

“They’re asking things like, ‘I’m looking for a condo at the mountain. What’s the best deal on the market right now?’ It’s a great buyer’s market if you’re looking at high-end homes,” Vanatta said.

She is optimistic that sales volume, driven by declining interest rates, will increase in 2009.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail


If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: 970.846.1086
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Alpin Mountain Ranch & Club in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club is Steamboat Springs’ newest high-end mountainside community encompassing 1,216 acres and 63 homesites. Located only five minutes from the Steamboat Ski Resort, Alpine Mountain Ranch offers unparalleled proximity to skiing and all the conveniences, shopping and dining of Old Town Steamboat. A total of 900 acres of the property has been dedicated to a wildlife preserve and open space providing ultra-private living in a wilderness setting. Family-focused amenities include an Owners Lodge, concierge service, trout-stocked fishing and boating pond, a centrally-located Barn with equestrian services, a Hermitage in the backcountry, and multi-use trails for snowshoeing, hiking and horseback riding. Additional planned amenities include a state-of-the-art pool and fitness center and two luxuriously-outfitted guest cabins. 9 Homesites will be featured this winter. All are 5 acre parcels and each has a unique feel beginning at 1.4 million and topping out at under 2.5 million. If you are considering Steamboat this area is a must see...

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: 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, December 25, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In celebration of Christmas, the Steamboat Pilot & Today offers one of the most famous newspaper editorials ever, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” Written by Francis Church, the editorial originally appeared in the New York Sun in 1897.

“I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”

— Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


This Christmas my daughter was assigned this article to read to her family on Christmas Eve. It belessed us all. What wonderful teachers and local newspapers we have that will keep hope alive in all of us. Thank you Jesus for your birthday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Steamboat Springs Ski Area Snow Update and Deal of the Week

Ski area to open more terrain Saturday
Pilot & Today staff
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Updated 12:00 a.m., December 18, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Buoyed by more than 5 feet of snow at the Steamboat Ski Area in the past three weeks, ski area officials announced Wednesday a new slate of trail openings for this weekend. By Saturday, about 96 percent of the ski mountain will be open to skiers and riders.

Morningside Park, Rough Rider Basin, the gladed terrain of Pioneer Ridge and the Rabbit Ears Terrain Park are among the openings scheduled for Saturday morning. The Morningside chairlift also will begin operating for the season.

Ski area officials expect to open the Pony Express chairlift Dec. 27. Maverick’s Superpipe and Terrain Park also could open by Dec. 27, weather permitting.

“December has come in like a lion, and Steamboat continues to enjoy the bounty of being in a very snowy weather pattern, which shows no signs of stopping anytime soon,” Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President Chris Diamond said in a news release.

The ski area reported a 36-inch mid-mountain base and a 40-inch base at the summit as of Wednesday. Snow has fallen on the slopes of Mount Werner for 12 of the 17 days of December. Eight of those days recorded 4 inches or more of new snow.

More snow is on the way. A winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. today for Mount Werner and other higher-elevation areas of the Gore, Park and Elk mountain ranges. According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow could fall today, with 8 to 16 inches falling at higher elevations by this evening.

A second storm system is expected to move into the region Friday night and Saturday.

The snow and expanded terrain openings coincide with the beginning of the ski season flight program at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden. Wednesday marked the first arrival of the Northwest Airlines route from Minneapolis/St. Paul. Frontier Airlines begins its daily service from Denver this morning, and flights from Dallas, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and other cities begin Saturday.

The new terrain openings mean the Steamboat Ski Area will offer 2,863 acres of terrain can be accessed by 12 lifts and 154 trails. The Lower Vagabond and Moonlight trails are expected to open before Saturday.

Pow Pow Platter offered
Intrawest’s three Colorado resorts rolled out their latest special earlier this week.

Called the Pow Pow Platter, the promotion offers skiers and riders a $99 package that includes a day each in Steamboat Springs, Copper Mountain and Winter Park. The deal is available “while supplies last” or until Jan. 31. The platter — a photo ID pass — is unrestricted, and days do not have to be used consecutively. One ticket is valid for one day at each resort. The platter is available at or by calling 866-763-5958. The pass must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance and can be redeemed at any of the three resorts.


If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: 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 City Council News for December 16th, 2008

Steamboat Springs builders will be assessed a new building permit fee from now on. On Tuesday, December 16th City Council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance that will create a new building permit fee. The cost will be around $1,100 for a 2,500-square-foot single-family home and $6,520.40 for a 40,000-square-foot commercial property.

The developers of 360 Village who have proposed between 550 to 650 homes on 110 acres 1.3 miles west of city limits are going to begin formatting a pre-annexation agreement with City Council.

The Social Host Ordinance was defeated due to a tie vote.

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
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cell: 970.846.1086
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Foreclosures Rare In Routt County

Home foreclosures remain rare in Routt County
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, December 7, 2008

Routt County Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon confirmed this week that a pair of homes in Steamboat Springs — one on Red Hawk Court and another on Cornice Court — were foreclosed on this fall and returned to the holders of the mortgages, an outcome she seldom sees.

“It’s been very rare,” Whid­don said.

Just how rare was confirmed by third-quarter figures released this week by the Colorado Div­ision of Housing.

Routt and Moffat counties rank among eight Colorado counties with the lowest rates statewide of completed foreclosures as a percentage of total housing units through September. The rate in Routt is .08 percent, and in Moffat, it is .02 percent — the lowest in Colorado. That compares to .34 percent in Summit County and 1.34 percent in Weld County.

Usually, a small percentage of the foreclosure notices filed actually go to completion in the form of a trustee’s sale, because homeowners usually work with their lenders to resolve the delinquency before it goes that far.

Realtor Doug Labor, of Buyers Resource Real Estate, tracks real estate trends for the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service. He said Steamboat’s market is buffered against foreclosures by the relative prosperity of both its primary- and second-home buyers.

“Steamboat’s generally heal­thy economy and the financial wherewithal of its real estate owners creates a different demographic than many primary markets,” Labor said.

The two Steamboat homes were among four properties that recently were taken all the way to a completed foreclosure. The others include a home in Hayden and a parcel of agricultural land. Earlier in 2008, a single home on rural land was foreclosed on.

Although Whiddon was prepared to conduct a sale in all four recent cases, neither members of the public nor junior creditors appeared to acquire the properties. The result was that ownership reverted to the institutions holding the primary note recorded on the deed.

Routt County foreclosures filings have trended moderately upward this year from the past eight years, when the number of annual foreclosures tended to hover around 50. Foreclosure filings in 2008 currently stand at 50, compared to 47 in all of 2007.

Foreclosure ins and outs
The Department of Housing, in its report last week, explained the distinction between the number of foreclosure filings and the number of completed foreclosures.

The number of filings provides a view of how many borrowers have become seriously delinquent on their loans, the report says.

Foreclosure sale numbers, or the number of completed foreclosures, reflects how many households have lost all equity in a home as a result of the property being sold to another party — including the mortgage company — at auction.

Whiddon says that although she fields numerous calls from people interested in acquiring foreclosed properties, virtually no one shows up at one of the sales that always are scheduled at 10 a.m. sharp on Wednesday mornings.

Homeowners in foreclosure may lose their homes through a variety of processes; however, losing the home through a foreclosure sale is most damaging to the credit of the homeowners/borrower, according to the Department of Housing.

Labor said the gross number of foreclosure filings in Routt County is much less than in most American cities as a percentage of housing units. When compared to some other Colorado mountain towns, it’s about middle of the pack.

The 47 foreclosure filings here in 2007, when expressed as a percentage of the 14,273 units, works out to 0.33 percent. The 2007 average in Colorado was 1.85 percent, Labor said. The foreclosure rate in Pitkin County, including Aspen, was 0.13 percent last year. It was about 0.5 percent in Eagle and Summit counties.

As of Nov. 1, Whiddon thought the number of foreclosure filings in 2008 was on its way to 60 by year’s end. However, she since has revised that number downward, in part because banks have begun extending the time period they will work with creditors.

“Even with the slowdown, I think I’ll probably have three or four more this year,” Whiddon said. “I’m just guessing, but we might end up at 55.”

Activity is looming
Whiddon said that out of 36 foreclosure notices on the books through the second quarter, 13 already had been withdrawn. And out of seven foreclosure sales her office had scheduled as pending in September and early October, another six had been taken off the calendar because the lender filed notice of its intent to cure the defaulted loans.

Colorado law gives owners of nonagricultural property between 110 and 125 days to cure their default after the public trustee has published notice of foreclosure proceedings. The cure period is longer for ag property — 215 to 230 days.

There already are signs of foreclosure activity that will unfold in Routt County early in 2009.

Whiddon said she has a list of 23 properties with pending sale dates, including some in January and February. There’s still a chance those dates could be postponed as long as six months, she added.

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: 970.846.1086
office: 970.879.8100 EXT 434

One Steamboat Place Update - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

One Steamboat Place tops out
Completion still 1 year away for condo project at ski base
By Tom Ross (Contact)

Steamboat Springs — Skiers and snowboarders arriving at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area this season are apt to comment on the size of the construction project that recently topped out just off the southern edge of Gondola Square.

If they only knew.

“It’s huge,” Chris Burden agreed. “It’s almost 500,000 square feet. There are more than 300 people working here today. When you think of it, this is a world-class resort that sees 1.1 million skiers every winter, and we’re here building in the middle of it.”

Burden is project director for Timbers Resorts at One Steamboat Place, a luxury condominium project whose three wings have filled up the old gondola parking lot.

In the midst of a recent tour of the building, Burden gestures upward and casually remarks, “We’re walking directly underneath the swimming pool right now. That’s 1 million pounds of steel and concrete above our heads, and we’re in a parking garage that’s underneath it.”

One can’t fully appreciate just how large One Steamboat Place is without touring it. And in the midst of a tour, one might lose a sense of direction.

Burden knows every passageway and every corner of the big building that still has a full year of construction ahead of it. He strides past the employee cafeteria where One Steamboat Place staff eventually will be served meals. He motors past the five rentable employee housing units and proudly shows off a giant boiler room so complex, it will necessitate its own staff engineer.

Over in the west wing of One Steamboat Place, a 2,000-square-foot fitness gym is taking shape just a few steps from the 6,000-square-foot spa with space for 10 treatment rooms. A separate motion studio for yoga classes is next door.

A gathering area for members, the slopeside space for the Truffle Pig restaurant, and a large private lounge with towering ceilings all are taking shape.

‘For the community’
Chris Burden’s father, David Burden, is CEO and founder of Timbers Resorts. The company’s portfolio of resorts includes The Orchard in Napa, Calif.; Botany Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands; Castello di Casole in Tuscany; The Rocks in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Esperanza near the tip of the Baja Peninsula; and The Timbers at Snowmass.

David Burden said one of the notable differences between The Timbers, near Aspen, and One Steamboat Place is the degree to which One Steamboat Place engages the public. The Timbers is essentially a private enclave, Burden said, but the proximity of One Steamboat Place to the existing Gondola Square and the need to function well with existing condo projects and the ski area necessitated a different approach.

“We aren’t building One Steam­­boat Place just for our owners and guests,” Burden said. “We’re building it for the community, as well.”

One Steamboat Place will significantly add to public gathering areas in Gondola Square and engage the skiing public through inclusion of ski school offices within OSP.

When One Steamboat Place finally opens, pedestrians will make use of a new pathway through the giant condominium project, passing underneath a glass-walled bridge to emerge into the sunlight at the base of the ski trails.

The bridge links the central One Steamboat Place building with its east wing. However, for the public, it will be one of the ways they arrive at the future promenade that will border Burgess Creek and ring the edge of the ski trails. For example, people arriving at the ski area for free summer concerts from surrounding condominiums and neighborhoods are apt to walk beneath the bridge.

Burden said the initial design for the pedestrian walkway showed a pedestrian tunnel with a low ceiling. But a member of City Council urged the taller, more airy bridge, and now Burden believes that suggestion has enhanced the project.

“You want to listen to all of the input you get no matter who it’s from,” Burden said. “This is an idea that worked. It’s that kind of arrival (to the ski area) that’s huge.”

Financing secure
In response to a direct question about the financial health of One Steamboat Place in an economic downturn, David Burden offered assurances that financing for the completion of the project is “absolutely” secure, and said he’s optimistic that its slopeside location in Steamboat will continue to make it attractive in a difficult marketplace.

“This is where our philosophy of always doing projects in a great location comes into play,” Burden said. “We’re front row and center.”

The financing for construction of One Steamboat Place comes from multibillion-dollar real estate investment groups in London, Atlanta and a large German bank. He said he would not name the bank without prior approval from the institution.

“The money is in place,” Burden said. “It’s not coming from Wall Street. We’re not out searching for money. None of this is depending on income.”

One Steamboat Place has already sold 36 of 38 whole-ownership units in the project at prices in the range of $1.5 million to $2 million for condominium homes averaging 2,600 square feet. The success of the whole-ownership units has led the sales and marketing team to focus more intently on the membership club and the fractional ownerships it offers.

Of 176 one-eighth memberships, 148 have sold in the range of $600,000.

The more recently released one-twelfth fractionals sell for $370,000 and entitle members to a prime week in both summer and winter, plus a floating week and the privilege of visiting more frequently on a space-available basis.

“We lead with our one-eighth membership because that’s our bread and butter,” Burden said.

Burden said he’s seen very little evidence that purchasers already under contract will not execute those contracts when the project is complete.

“For a handful, they may be saying, ‘Oh, oh, How am I going to pay for it?’” Burden said. “But we’ve seen very little of that. People who decide to buy $1.5 million to $2 million vacation homes are very wealthy people.”

The Timbers/One Steamboat Place staff isn’t taking anything for granted, however.

“We study our demographics all the time and survey our owners in a fun way,” Burden said.

Very soon, Timbers will begin streaming on-site video progress reports into the computers of its contracted buyers as a means of reassuring them that things are steadily progressing.

And by February, a model unit in the heart of One Steam­boat Place will be completed. It will allow buyers to see and touch the interior finishes of one of the luxury homes that is changing the skyline at the base of Mount Werner.
END OF STEAMBOT PILOT & TODAY ARTICLE........................

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: 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 Sheraton Receives Face Lift - 3 Saddles

Sheraton unveils new look
By Tom Ross (Contact) - Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Sunday, December 14, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Twenty million dollars later, the Sheraton Steamboat Resort has an elegant new look and — if everything goes as planned — a new identity.

General Manager John Cur­now comes from Aspen’s trendy Sky Hotel, which can lay claim to making Forbes Traveler’s list of top 10 après ski bars. He’s hoping the refurbished 3 Saddles lounge will attract Steamboat residents to come mingle and sip designer cocktails with his guests at the Sheraton.

“It’s important to re-invite the local community,” Curnow said. “We want Steamboat to be comfortable here. You have to embrace the community. That’s been my background.”

To make it easier for Steamboat residents to check out the redesign of the public spaces at the Sheraton Steamboat — and hang out at 3 Saddles in the Sevens fine dining restaurant — Curnow will begin offering complimentary valet parking this winter.

Steamboaters who haven’t ventured beyond the Sheraton’s grand ballroom for a couple of years will be taken aback by the new lobby, the more inviting furniture groupings in 3 Saddles and the cybercafé the Sheraton mothership has branded The Link@Sheraton.

The design aesthetic melds playful ’60s-retro fixtures, ski history and ranching artifacts repurposed in glass-covered shadow boxes and designer lighting fixtures, including some that resemble icicles. You have to wander through the place for half an hour to soak it in.

Designers under contract to the Sheraton Steamboat’s parent company, Starwood Hotels, cleverly used a large waiting area at the entrance to Sevens to create two distinct areas for wireless warriors. The first provides stools around the arc of a counter in front of a fireplace. It is meant for people who have their own laptops in tow. It’s also strategically located next to a large window that overlooks the ski slopes.

Next door is a semi-enclosed circular room with a centerpiece round desk studded with large flat screen computer monitors.

The Link denizens are encouraged to order a bagel or a snack, Sheraton Director of Sales and Marketing Joan Morrison said.

The warm red color of persimmon permeates the redesign of dining rooms, the lobby and all the public spaces at the Sheraton Steamboat, because it’s a color that makes people feel good, Morrison said.

The intent is to reinvent the old hotel workstations as a social hub where guys and gals can sip cocktails or hot drinks.

A sophisticated touch
Curnow is determined that 3 Saddles (if you abbreviate the name to just plain Saddles, everybody will know what you mean) lays its rightful claim to being one of the premier après ski spots in Steamboat based on its unbeatable location at the edge of the slopes. He doesn’t want to deter a young crowd, but he’s aiming for adults seeking a sophisticated touch.

The music from the new sound system in the lounge is modern soft rock, and the programming is very deliberate. The two flat screens in the lounge will be tuned to adventure ski films, not basketball games. And the menu from Executive Chef Jon Demel promises creativity. His kitchen will put out elk sirloin chili, wine-braised bison short ribs, achiote marinated bone-in chicken breast and rack of wild boar.

The designers have succeeded in creating 15 to 20 intimate seating areas on soft furniture in the lounge.

Rooms get updated, too
The guest accommodations also have undergone a transformation at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort. All of the rooms, including the original small-format hotel rooms, have been refurbished with creamy leather on the walls behind the headboards, premium beds and bedding, flat panel televisions and nice touches like freestanding vanities. The small hotel rooms still are limited by their dimensions, but they are decidedly contemporary.

But the showplaces of the hotel’s west wing are four new two-bedroom suites created from four original hotel rooms. They feature a nontraditional central living area bracketed by a king suite and two queens on the other side.

The living area resembles a home theater with a large sectional couch backed by the equivalent of a breakfast bar in a custom home.

There is a microwave kitchen robust enough to satisfy anyone’s late-night food cravings.

Starwood Vacation Owner­ship is actively selling fractional vacation ownerships at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort in the previously existing Morningside tower. In fact, Morrison said, it was a key factor in Starwood’s decision to purchase the hotel.

Starwood was able to undertake the luxury refurbishing of the condominiums in Morningside into new vacation villas beginning in April and complete the first 21 two- and three-bedroom units of the eventual 45 in seven months. They are now open and hosting guests.

The best way to describe them is to compare the Shera­ton Steamboat Resort Villas to some of Steamboat’s best ski-in/ski-out condominiums with all of the luxuries of a full-service hotel, including room service and concierge service.

The project continues
The $20 million spent on the public spaces and nightly accommodations at the Sheraton Steamboat are part of a larger $50 million project that continues through next summer with the creation of more suites in the original portion of the Sheraton.

And the work is part of the Sheraton brand’s wide investment of $4 billion in new hotels, upgrading 100 exiting U.S. hotels and renovating 50,000 guestrooms and 100 lobbies.

Curnow is excited for his employees and guests to enjoy the new feel of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort. But he knows it’s not the end all. After seeing his property reduce its number of rooms from 315 to 205, he’s confident his staff can offer more individual attention to its guests.

“The design only gets you so far,” Curnow said. “We want to offer the personal service of a boutique hotel.”

END OF STEAMBOAT PILOT & TODAY ARTICLE.........................

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: 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 subdivision features mid-range homes with solar panels
Sunday, December 7, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs homebuilder Paul Flood is determined to show mid-level buyers in the Yampa Valley that “green” homes can fit within the budget of working families.

“I’m a little hardheaded,” said Flood, who builds structures including exceptional insulation and solar panels. “But I just think it’s where we’ve got to go. We absolutely have to start using alternative energy. Given a chance, people can be shown that the math works.”

Flood is the principal in P.T. Flood Construction and developer of The Meadow subdivision in Hayden, where he is not selling lots, but slowly rolling out spec homes he says he can take pride in.

The town of Hayden has approved The Meadow for 29 lots, and Flood has built seven homes in the first phase of 15 lots.

Of the seven homes, five sold. Sale prices have ranged from $255,500 in 2006 to $386,000 in late 2007.

One home, the largest in the neighborhood, recently was finished, and another is due to be finished in April.

Lots range from 6,000 square feet — or about one-seventh of an acre — to between 14,000 and 15,000 square feet — almost one-third of an acre.

The most recently completed home offers 2,300 square feet, four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. Priced at $489,900, it is the largest home in the neighborhood and isn’t typical of the slightly smaller homes to come, he said.

Building bungalows
Flood said he is contemplating going back to town government to see if he can get the second phase approved for 30 or 31 lots, so that he can build compact cottage homes in the future.

For now, Flood says he wants to keep close control of the type of housing built so that he can establish the theme of the neighborhood.

“I’d rather build spec homes right now, because I can establish the arts and craft, bungalow look,” Flood said.

Flood has contracted with Matt Wagar, of Moonhill De­­signs, the same designer res­ponsible for Cook Chevrolet and The Victoria in Steamboat, to help him create some of the existing homes at The Meadow. They include covered front porches with detached garages in the rear.

Flood strongly thinks that any green approach to meeting a home’s energy needs has to be two-pronged.

“The whole has to start with energy efficiency,” Flood said. “I use Styrofoam forms for the foundation, and we have Corbond insulation sprayed into the homes. It costs more, but I won’t build a home without it anymore.”

Start early
Flood tells prospective buyers that the construction phase is the time to invest in a home’s efficiency, reminding them that there are many aspects of a home that can be upgraded throughout time, but you’ll never re-do its exterior walls.

Realtor Scott Eggleston, of ReMax Steamboat, said Flood’s homes are among the most energy-efficient he has seen.

“The house is so tight, he has to put air exchangers in there,” Eggleston said.

Flood’s green building practices don’t end with exterior considerations. He also installs Energy Star appliances and favors renewable bamboo wood flooring.

However, for homes priced from the low $300s to the low $400s, the four solar panels on the back of the garage might be the most intriguing feature.

The system that Flood installs heats water in a holding tank by circulating glycol through coils in the panels and then running it through a small heat exchanger. Solar heat stored in the glycol is transferred to water for bathing and laundry, for example, but it also supplies the home’s in-floor heating system. A natural gas-fired boiler augments the heat.

The Meadow is in a quiet Hayden neighborhood, across the street from the new Dry Creek Park. It conveniently shares a property line with Hayden Valley Elementary School.

Flood said he is proud of some of the custom features he has been able to build into the homes.

“These homes are neat on the inside,” Flood said. “They’re not just big boxes. They have things like build-in window seats and kitchen nooks. There are also some bonus rooms that could be used as offices.”

Eggleston said he has worked with Flood for a long time and has admired his willingness to work with buyers to find terms that will help them acquire a new home.

“I’ve known Paul for 28 years, and he has always been very conscientious and concerned with doing the right thing,” Eggleston said.

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: 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 700 Facts

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 via Steamboat Pilot & TODAY

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
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cell: 970.846.1086
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Steamboat Ski Area - Champagne Powder

Expanded openings on tap for today
New terrain, deep snow greet skiers and riders Friday
Pilot & Today staff
Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday was the first official powder day of the 2008-09 season at the Steamboat Ski Area. Ski area photographer Larry Pierce was there to capture the day.
Steamboat Springs — Almost one-third of the Steamboat Ski Area will be open to skiers and riders by the time the gondola begins ferrying passengers to Thunderhead this morning.

Ski area officials announced Friday additional terrain openings that will bring the skiable acreage to 972. Storm Peak Express will be among the five chairlifts servicing 67 trails, including many of the runs off Sunshine Peak.

The list of trails:

■ Green: Arc, Big Foot, Boulevard, Duster, Feather, Flat Out, Giggle Gulch, Main Drag, Park Lane, Preview, Short Cut, So What, Stampede, Right-O-Way, Yoo Hoo and Why Not

■ Blue: Blizzard, Buddy’s Run, Calf Roper, Chisolm Trail, Dusk, Eagles Nest, Ego, Heavenly Daze, High Noon, Highline, Jess’ Cut Off, Lightning, Meadow Lane, One O’Clock, Rainbow, Rudi’s Run, Sitz, Skyline, Tower, Tornado Lane, Traverse, Vagabond and Vogue

■ Blue/Black: Norther, Sunset, Surprise, Two O’Clock

■ Black: Burgess Creek Lift Line, Closet, Cyclone, Dawn, Hurricane, Kuus’ Cruise, Nelson’s Run, Oops, See Ya, Shadows, Storm Peak Catwalk, Storm Peak North, Storm Peak South, Sundown Lift Line, Three O’Clock, Tornado, Triangle 3, Twilight, Twister, Typhoon, Vertigo and White Out

■ Terrain Parks: Lil’ Rodeo

■ Chairlifts: Burgess Creek, Christie Express, gondola, Preview, Storm Peak Express

The ski area opened last week, but there was no doubt Friday represented the first real day of the 2008-09 season for many local skiers and riders.

The ski area opened the gondola, as well as 27 additional trails Friday. The resort reported 11 inches of new snow Friday morning, but on some of the previously unopened terrain, the powder was significantly deeper.

“It was great. We had a blast up there today. I actually got stuck up there a couple of times,” said Toscha Velasquez, who joined coworkers on the slopes before heading into work at about 11 a.m. “I didn’t expect it to be that good. I think everybody’s pretty thrilled that it’s better than they expected.”

Long lines greeted skiers and snowboarders at the Burgess Creek chairlift, which also opened for the first time Friday and was the only lift open outside the base area. Between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., the wait at the three-pack lift was about 20 minutes.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the top of Heavenly Daze looked like the starting line at the annual Cowboy Downhill, as anxious skiers and riders lined up for a mass stampede as resort employees dropped the ropes on the popular trail. Snowmaking and grooming requirements delayed the trail’s opening until later in the morning.

Skiers and riders may want to wake up early this morning to take advantage of the conditions. The National Weather Service forecasts partly sunny skies through the weekend, with a chance of snow returning to the area Monday. High temperatures during the weekend will be in the mid-30s.

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
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cell: 970.846.1086
office: 970.879.8100 EXT 434

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Affordable Housing Rules in Steamboat Springs

Housing battle brewing
Developers could take legal action against Steamboat Springs
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs City Council rejected developers’ requests Tuesday to relax affordable housing requirements at Wildhorse Meadows, but sweeping changes could be in store for the city’s housing ordinances beginning early next year.

That effort might not come early enough for development company Resort Ventures West, however, as one company official hinted at potential legal action after City Council rejected the company’s proposal to remove deed restrictions and income limitations for potential buyers of affordable units.

“All options are available,” said Brent Pearson, a principal and chief financial officer of Resort Ventures West. “We’re going to have to look at all our options — any type of potential action we can take. … It’s not the last time the city’s heard from us.”

Wildhorse Meadows is a resort housing development near the base of the Steamboat Ski Area. One component of the project is First Tracks, an affordable condominium development aimed at satisfying the city’s affordable housing requirements for the development.

Citing their struggle to find buyers for condos in First Tracks, Resort Ventures West asked the city to remove the deed restrictions on the condos, which cap their annual appreciation at 3 percent in an effort to keep them permanently affordable. The company also asked to have income limitations removed, leaving a provision that only people working in Routt County be able to purchase the units as the sole restriction. City Council denied the request, 5-1, with several council members saying it would be inappropriate to approve the request in advance of a comprehensive review of the city’s affordable housing ordinances, which is scheduled to begin in February.

“It needs more thought and input,” City Council President Loui Antonucci said.

Council members Antonucci, Cari Hermacinski, Meg Bentley, Steve Ivancie and Walter Magill voted in favor of the denial. Councilman Scott Myller voted against it. Councilman Jon Quinn stepped down on the agenda item because his company has done substantial computer and phone system work for Resort Ventures West.

Pearson strongly disagreed with the majority of council and comments by Antonucci that government can’t move as fast as private enterprise would like.

“I understand your comments,” Pearson said. “I appreciate them. I completely disagree with them. When something serious happens out there, we move as quickly as possible. This is a very bad recipe for affordable housing.”

Resort Ventures West has been able to put just 14 condos under contract at First Tracks, which has 47 units scheduled for completion in June 2009. Delays in selling the condos, Pearson said, are delaying the entire development and increasing Resort Ventures West carrying costs and risk. The company spent $150,000 marketing the units, and Nancy Engelken, the city’s community housing coordinator, praised Resort Ventures West’s efforts as she recommended that City Council deny the company’s request.

Wildhorse Meadows has often been called a “guinea pig” for the city’s inclusionary zoning and linkage policies, which were revised substantially by a previous City Council last year. Although council members expressed their willingness to take a fresh look at the policies beginning with the February work session, Pearson regarded the prospect of waiting until then for resolution as a last resort.

“If all else fails, we end up back here in February trying to work with the city,” he said.

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado...

Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: 970.846.1086
office: 970.879.8100 EXT 434