Ski Time Square sold

Washington developer purchases development, Thunderhead Lodge


Under Construction

Read more about how downtown and base-area construction is transforming Steamboat Springs.


James Traynor directs traffic through Ski Time Square on Wednesday while the base area construction gets under way.

What about the hotel?

Although Thursday's announced sale of Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge does not include other Ski Time Square Enterprises holdings here, General Manager Chuck Porter said other announcements will soon be forthcoming.

Negotiations for the sale of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Hotel and Conference Center in tandem with the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Course are in "serious and final" stages, Porter said.

The 17 lots in the undeveloped Greystone Park subdivision near the golf course have been sold to a local developer, Porter added. That announcement should come soon.

— The stage has been set for the redevelopment of some of the oldest buildings at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

Cafritz Interests, a Washington, D.C., real estate developer, announced Thursday it had closed on the purchase of Thunderhead Lodge and Ski Time Square from Ski Time Square Enterprises for an undisclosed price. Both projects date to 1968.

Cafritz President Steve Peer left no doubt his company plans to raze the existing buildings to redevelop the real estate into retail and residential condominiums.

"This is what our careers are about," Peer said. "If you look at our other projects, we try to find places where there are opportunities to modify existing assets and change them to become new and exciting."

Peer declined to reveal the purchase price, and officials at the Rout County Courthouse said the transaction has not yet been recorded.

Cafritz has a portfolio of office buildings, student housing and assisted living centers in the Washington area. Among its most spectacular projects is the 550,000-square-foot Washington Harbour on the Potomac River in historic Georgetown. It includes retail, restaurants and public spaces on the waterfront as well as luxury condominiums and high-end office space.

Originally built in 1985, it was renovated by Cafritz and sold to partner Long Term Credit Bank of Japan in 1990.

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to be involved in the repositioning of Steamboat Springs and Steamboat Ski Resort as we serve the over one million skiers a year who visit and live in this very special community and year-round destination resort," Cafritz Interests Chairman Conrad Cafritz said in a prepared statement.

Cafritz has engaged another development entity, Colorado-based The Atira Group, to act as the local developer for the Thunderhead/Ski Time Square. The Atira Group is pursuing the development of Bear Claw III, on the south side of the Headwall ski trail, opposite the Lodge at Thunderhead.

Noteworthy projects undertaken by the Atira Group include Catamount south of Steamboat Springs and Cordillera in the Vail Valley.

Chuck Porter, general manager of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Ski Time Square enterprises, stressed that the transaction announced Thursday does not involve the hotel or other related properties. However, he said news soon would be forthcoming on other Ski Time Square Enterprises holdings here.

"This is what I hoped for," Porter said. "Cafritz has the expertise and the capital to do a great job redeveloping these very visible assets."

Porter said existing commercial tenants in Ski Time Square have been kept abreast of plans for the property and know what to expect in the long run.

Peer said Cafritz would supply a significant portion of the capital for the purchase of Thunderhead Lodge and Ski Time Square. There is an additional financial partner that Peer declined to name.

Peer said it's premature to speculate on how many residential units might result from the redevelopment of Ski Time Square and the Thunderhead.

"We have rough numbers," he said, "but we have not yet engaged an architect. When we do, we'll prepare an initial schematic drawing of what it might look like."

He said it might take five to seven years to achieve full buildout.

Peer emphasized that the establishment of an Urban Renewal Authority at the base of the ski area, leading to a construction start on $20 million in public improvements, played a role in Cafritz's interest here.

"There are three components," he said. "Intrawest (purchaser of the Steamboat Ski Area) is a very important piece. The others are the public investment and other private investments. This is almost the ideal public/private partnership you hope to see."

- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail


Vince arroyo 10 years ago

its about time, if you don't like it MOVE!! It all about the haves and have not's in this valley get use to it..


thecondoguy1 10 years ago

this is good news, as soon as these properties are out of the ownership of these indifferent owners snubbing any maintainance and up grading of these properties the better. I hope the new guys have MONEY, not money, this crap has to gough, and it's gonna take dough....................... Good luck to them, and thanks for being here.........


Gladys 10 years ago

Does this mean 5 to 7 years of construction?


thecondoguy1 10 years ago least, sorry bout that.............


Magpie 10 years ago

Can you help me understand exactly what the properties in Ski Time Square are? Does it include the buildings that house Slopeside Grill around to Cafe Diva and Terry Sports or not?



jeannie berger 9 years, 12 months ago

not much left in the way of green meadows at the base area


steamboatsconscience 10 years ago

If there are no free concerts this summer, I will sell my overinflated house and move to Southern California, where sanity reigns!!


reallocal 10 years ago

Honey, you're gonna need more than that one dollar if you wanna live here long...


oofcboy 10 years ago

smoke em if you got em,time to wait for the new changes,you know like a fresh coat of paint.maybe someone will bring back the cookie stand or the enferno club(days gone by)


Bullpen 10 years ago

The "new" Steamboat will be LUCKY to look like Vail. What we are going to end up with is an upscale, highly marketed, version of Highlands Ranch. We have moved out and are glad we did! These developers have hijacked the valley's history, and will swarm you under in a orgy of greed. Good luck, the character left town YEARS ago!


thecondoguy1 9 years, 12 months ago

Aww............ you guys gotta give this new stuff a chance, all this griping and nothing has happened yet, Steamboat still has plenty o character, give me a break............


smr 9 years, 12 months ago

I would like to bring some positive comments to light regarding the Ski Times Sq./Thunderhead Lodge change of ownership... If we didn't have a world-class ski area, we probably wouldn't have 30 + restaurants, museums, botanical gardens, core trails and public fishing along the Yampa River, not to mention decent shopping and a public bus system, great library, etc. Our second home owners pay property tax and use very little or no public services in return. Our domestic product isn't supported by any large industry, other than our tourism. SO, if we want to continue our small town with benefits we must continue to be competitive with our neighbors. These dinosaurs sitting at our base area are not energy efficient, have very little architectural appeal. Just take a visitor poll when you riding the ski lift. It is better to take the old dinosaurs down and replace them with energy efficient buildings, safer and more architecturally pleasing than to build in our green meadows that truly define one of our many competitive advantages over our neighboring ski areas.


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