Sunday, February 18, 2001
Steamboat Springs The walls of a dozen new luxury townhomes are scheduled to rise out of their foundations by St. Patrick's Day at The Mountaineer at Steamboat on Medicine Springs Road.
Ground was being broken this week on the second phase of the project which includes some of the largest vacation homes ever built in any multifamily complex at Steamboat.
Developer Jim Darcy of Mountain Habitats could realistically begin delivering the first of the 12 townhomes to clients within four and a half to five months, say by mid-August, listing Realtor Bob Mesecher said. That's possible in part because the walls of the buildings are being framed indoors, in a Steamboat warehouse, by Ferris Framing.
The units at The Mountaineer range in size from 2,655 square feet up to 2,963 square feet. None offer fewer than four bedrooms and four bathrooms. All units have two-car garages.
"They're not only the biggest (townhomes) in Steamboat," Mesecher said, "they are the most upscale. Every finish in here is upscale."
The most readily apparent example of the developers' commitment to high-end finishes is in the extensive use of hand-peeled logs on stairway and loft railings.
From the standpoint of consumers, the vacation homes at the Mountaineer appear to be duplexes, and for practical purposes, that's what they are. However, Mesecher said the units were taken through the city approval process as townhomes so the owners could have common property. That includes a swimming pool and two hot tubs that will be built as part of phase two.
The entire project includes 28 units in 14 buildings arrayed in a horseshoe, with three buildings and the pool area in the center. The southernmost buildings border a pedestrian trail along Walton Creek Road.
Darcy toured resort areas throughout the Mountain West to research high-end vacation homes and take notes about the features and qualities that defined the market.
What he learned was that buyers of high-end townhomes expect high levels of finish without having to obtain them through upgrades. That means granite slab countertops, expensive Kohler bathtubs and even upgraded interior doorknobs.
Mesecher said the drive to make new ski area townhomes as luxurious as feasible is a result of both the current market and the cost of the undeveloped land the projects are being built on.
"The property prices are so high, you can't afford to build low end," Mesecher said.
Mesecher said only about 25 percent of the units at Cross Timbers are on the short-term rental market, and based on that trend, he predicts that at least two thirds of the townhomes at The Mountaineer will be held strictly as private second homes.