Grand keeps its green guard up

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— The Steamboat Grand Resort hasn't rented out retail space that runs along the front of the hotel and that could be a good thing.

A problem with snow and ice falling off the roof has prompted the hotel to put up a plastic green fence around part of the building.

"We're maintaining the roof," hotel general manager Terry Murphy said about workers shoveling snow off the roof. "While they're doing that, we want to protect the people."

The green fence has been up for a couple of months, but Murphy said the problem will likely go away when builders finish the penthouse on top floor of the hotel.

"The penthouse isn't complete, so there's heat still escaping to the roof," Murphy said. "That's why we've had the issue of snow removal and prevention."

Murphy explained that the Grand's roof was designed as a "cold roof" so the snow will stay on.

"Once the penthouse is finished, the roof and snowload should work properly," said Mike Lane, the public relations director of the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

In the meantime, the ski company is looking at "design issues" involving the portico that covers the area where cars pull up in front of the Grand.

Workers have been shoveling snow off the portico to keep snow and ice from falling on people or cars driving in and out.

"They're looking at a few options and talking with the architects about what is best (for the portico roof)," Lane said, adding snowguards were one option.

As for the green fence, it is also keeping people from walking on heated sidewalks in front of the hotel. Those sidewalks offer the only access to much of the 14,000 square feet of street-front retail space.

None of that space has been rented yet. In fact, Lane said, workers are still finishing some of the retail space.

All but one of those retail and restaurant spaces have no access from inside the hotel. That means people will have to walk outside and enter the shops from the sidewalk.

Murphy said he doesn't see that as a problem.

The Grand has one retail shop inside that sells personal and medicinal items as well as drinks and souvenirs. It's owned by the ski company.

The $80 million hotel has been open since October. It made national news in November after it was reported that its underground garage was built too low to accommodate some sport utility vehicles with ski racks.

New Hampshire-based JSA Inc. designed the building. The architect firm has designed several prominent hotels, including an ASC's hotel in Park City, Utah.

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