Locals catch cabin fever

Lake Catamount development nears completion

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— The first lakeside duplexes at the Catamount Ranch and Club are nearing completion at Lake Catamount, 12 miles south of Steamboat Springs, and could be occupied by mid to late summer. The developers are mildly surprised and pleased that some of those homeowners will be full-time residents.

"A significant portion of the purchases have been by local people who intend to use them as year-round homes," Tony Walton said. "I don't think the developer expected that."

Walton is the listing broker with Mason and Morse Real Estate. Developers of Catamount Ranch & Club are members of a joint effort involving well-known Vail development firm Cordillera and three businessmen with strong ties to Steamboat Tim Mueller, Lyman Orton and Nick Schoewe.

The Cabins at Lake Catamount were conceived to offer a different price point from the surrounding Homestead building lots, which originally sold in the $600,000 to $1 million-plus price range, Walton said.

Of the 22 duplex units in the first phase of the Cabins, 16 are under contract, Walton said. Purchasers include well-known locals, Steve Elkins and Don Valentine. The remaining duplex halves, each 2,500 square feet in size, are available for prices ranging from $835,000 to $985,000.

Other purchasers at the Cabins at Lake Catamount include people who had already purchased Homestead lots and will live at the Cabins while they are building their homes. Walton said some people have discussed keeping their cabins as guest houses, rather than putting them back on the market once their permanent homes are complete.

Completion of the Lake Clubhouse at Lake Catamount is expected in time for golf season 2002, Walton said. Catamount will also begin construction this summer on the clubhouse for its golf course, closer to Steamboat. A second phase of the Cabins, involving another 22 duplex units, is approved for construction. But the timing of building that second phase has not been finalized, Walton said.

Walton said he believes there are two significant factors that have attracted buyers to the Cabins at Lake Catamount.

"What is attracting people to these homes is the uniqueness of being able to build next to a 530-acre lake and enjoy maintenance-free living," Walton said. Another factor is the cabin owners' eligibility for membership in the Catamount Club, which includes use of the lake with boating and fishing privileges, and golf-course membership.

Walton said Cabin purchasers have one year within which to purchase a membership. They cost $75,000 and annual dues are $4,300.

"When you look at it objectively, and from the standpoint of resale value, it doesn't make sense not to purchase a club membership with the real estate," Walton said.

The Cabins are designed to afford owners as much privacy as possible, Catamount spokesperson Jody Patten said. The only common walls they share are at the garage and mud room.

Walton said the duplex concept allowed the developers to create a lakeside village with reasonable density, leaving acres of surrounding open space.

Interior finishes include random width red oak flooring in the living room, kitchen and dining room.

A river rock veneer fireplace in the living room encases a 48-inch gas fireplace. The kitchens feature pine cabinetry and the master bath includes a marble tub and floor. The master bedroom measures 12-by-16 feet.

The Lake Club, when finished, will include the Clubhouse restaurant.

The club will also offer tennis courts, exercise facilities and a year-round swimming pool.

The existing Outfitters Center offers both motorized and non-motorized boats, mountain bikes, cross country skis and fishing gear.

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