Steamboat Springs A team that includes the developer of The Porches duplex project is proposing to replace the old Ptarmigan Inn hotel with a new building that would include 39 slopeside condos at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.
A number of the condominiums in the building would feature "lock-off" bedrooms that would allow property managers to manage 27 traditional hotel rooms.
"This gives us 66 keys and a total of 156 bedrooms, giving us substantially greater occupancy and intensity of use than the existing hotel's 77 rooms," project architect Eric Smith wrote in a letter to city planning staff.
The lock-off bedrooms are an apparent response to those in city government who have expressed concerns that large luxury condominiums don't house enough guests to support a vibrant ski area base.
The "pre-application" submittal made to the Steamboat Springs Planning Department this month represents the second proposal to redevelop the Ptarmigan in two years.
The Ptarmigan, built in the 1970s, is immediately east of the new One Steamboat Place project under construction next to the Gondola Building. Other buildings that bracket the Ptarmigan include the Dulany, Chateau Chamonix and Ironwood condominium projects.
Bruce Shugart, a principal in a Glenwood Springs company called Structural Associates, is a member of Ptarmigan Inn LLC, which acquired the Ptarmigan Lodge Hotel. Structural Associates built The Porches off Steamboat Boulevard and has been building large custom homes in the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding area for more than 20 years. Documents on file at the planning department list two other limited liability companies, Northrtrek LLC and British Charter Holdings LLC, as members of the Ptarmigan LLC.
Cafritz Interests of Washington, D.C., proposed in 2005 to build a 60-unit condominium building on the site of the Ptarmigan that would have been 118 feet high. The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and City Council rejected the Aspen Ridge plan, calling it too massive.
Shortly after, the city imposed a temporary moratorium on submission of major developments at the ski area base in order to buy time to adopt new planning guidelines for the area.
Cafritz backed away from the Ptarmigan in 2005 but resurfaced in 2007 with the purchase of the Thunderhead Lodge and Ski Time Square redevelopment sites.
The new guidelines are in place, and Shugart's group is taking a fresh approach to the building design.
Smith said the project would eliminate all of the current surface parking on the site and create two decks of subsurface parking. The parking levels also would include a 4,200-square-foot amenity building and three 700-square-foot affordable housing units.
The condominiums would be contained in four additional stories.
The building itself would be constructed in a "U" shape to allow a courtyard facing the ski slopes on its northern faÃ§ade.
Assistant city planning director John Eastman said that during informal talks with the developers, he asked them to improve an existing winter trail or ski-way that allows people on skis to access a city street between the Ptarmigan, Dulany and the future One Steamboat Place. The plans reflect that request, Eastman confirmed.
The new Ptarmigan building recently has entered the city planning process, and no public hearings have been scheduled. A timeline prepared by the city's Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee projects construction could begin as soon as the summer of 2008.