Steamboat Springs Copper Ridge Business Park on Steamboat's west side appears to be exploding with activity. But one of the owners of the industrial subdivision, Steve Green, says appearances are deceiving.
Green's own janitorial supply business is located in Copper Ridge. He said he believes the changes were actually more gradual than is apparent to the casual observer.
"Some of the lots were sold years go, and it has just taken this long for people to get their projects under way," Green said.
The former cow pasture on County Road 129, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and the Steamboat Springs Airport, has been transformed this summer and fall with construction of projects such as Wagner Rents and a new Federal Express building scheduled to open in early December.
The developers, including Green, former Steamboat Springs businessman David Lindow, along with minority owners Ed and June MacArthur and Chuck and Patti MacArthur, are working their way through the city planning process with the fourth phase of the business park. It would include 27 new lots, most of them smaller than the lots in the first three phases.
The largest building under construction in Copper Ridge is the Wescoin Business Centre.
Wescoin's owners are Steve and Denise Peterson of Snow Country Concrete, which is also the general contractor on the building. The Petersons have already developed one building in Copper Ridge, which houses their own concrete contracting business and Precision Pools.
Wescoin office manager Charlie Wilson said tenants who have signed up for spaces in the 34,000-square-foot building include Kitchen Perfection and Custom Design Audio. A large plumbing and heating supply company, Winneslon Plumbing and Heating is among the tenants, as is a company called Sleepy Willow. Sleepy Willow combines top-of-the-line bedding products such as comforters with a business that builds unique beds, Wilson said. Most of its business is through mail order, she added.
Another business relocating into Wescoin is Colotex Electric supply/Steamboat Lighthouse.
Steamboat Lighthouse, not to be confused with the local bookstore of a similar name, has a small lighting fixture display room on Eleventh Street in the Old West Building. Steamboat Lighthouse is a department of a large electrical supply wholesaler, Colotex, which was founded in Loveland in 1977.
Colotex branch manager Ron Campos said his company will bring a true full-service electrical wholesale distributor to Steamboat Springs.
At 9,100 feet, the Steamboat Springs branch will more than double in size and offer 30 percent more stock and next-day delivery service. Colotex will be able offer commercial and industrial electrical devices to its clients.
Tricia Pfeffer is the sales manager of Steamboat Lighthouse.
Elsewhere in Copper Ridge, a local geotechnical and environmental engineering firm, NorthWest Colorado Consultants Inc., is planning a new 4,500-square-foot home. Brian Len said he and NWCC co-owner Hal Schlicht are looking forward to tripling the amount of space in their laboratory. The building, being constructed by Mike Engle of Engle Construction and Development, is tentatively set to be completed Jan. 1.
"It's going to make us more efficient," Len said. "In our current lab space, we were really crunched."
The expanded lab will allow the addition of new automated testing equipment, Len said. NWCC employs eight people on a full-time basis and five to six seasonal workers.
Another new home for a local business taking shape in Copper Ridge is the Moots bicycle factory, being built by Gleason Construction. Operations Manager Rick Boucher said everyone at Moots, which will complete between 550 and 600 high-end mountain bikes and broad bikes this year, is eager to get into the new plant sometime in early December
Moots, founded by Steamboat Springs resident Kent Eriksen, is owned by Chris Miller of Telluride. Eriksen is still active in the company and starts the manufacturing process on much of the raw titanium that goes into the bike frames.
The Moots building was designed by architect Dave Gibson to resemble a western barn. It will include three floors with the manufacturing plant on the first floor, offices and sales room on the second floor and employee housing on the third floor.
Federal Express has set a tentative opening date of Dec. 4 in its new location. It will offer a new, more efficient truck-loading area that will allow its employees to load delivery trucks indoors for the first time in Steamboat. Larry Muckridge, project manager for FedEx, said the new building is "coming along pretty well." The interior of the offices and customer service areas at the front of the building are still under construction.
FedEx will not own the new building, which is being built by Kahn Construction of Englewood. Tom Kahn is one of the principles in RTJ Copper Ridge, a limited liability company that is developing the building and will lease it back to Federal Express.
Other businesses located in Copper Ridge or planning to locate there include Fire Tech, Alpine Heating and Sheet Metal, Steamboat Brake and Alignment, Rick Voeltzel General Contracting and Rustic Woodworks.