Steamboat Springs The new owner of the Steamboat Ski Area is not among the candidates to purchase assets of Ski Times Square Enterprises, which includes the Sheraton Hotel.
"We are not currently in negotiations with Intrawest," Sheraton General Manager Chuck Porter said Friday, the day after Intrawest closed on the purchase of the ski area.
Intrawest's parent company, Fortress Investment Group, is not involved in negotiations either, Porter added.
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. officials had no response to Porter's statement. Ski Corp. President Chris Diamond also said he spoke with Intrawest chief operating officer David Barry, and he chose not to comment.
Porter said the Sheraton assets are being divvied to match the interests of prospective buyers. They are in discussions with several groups that he would not name.
"The portfolio of assets will involve different buyers," Porter said. "Some of the properties are major redevelopment properties while, others like the hotel, are operating entities."
Last fall, a consulting firm in the hospitality industry was retained to market the holdings of Ski Time Square Enterprises, whose base-area assets include the 315-room Sheraton hotel, several Ski Time Square commercial buildings and the 75-unit Thunderhead Lodge. The properties have been identified as playing significant roles in future redevelopment of the aging base area.
Ski Time Square Enterprises assets outside the base area include the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Course and the Graystone residential subdivision on Steamboat Boulevard.
Porter said the sale process is progressing rapidly, and an announcement could come in the "not-too-distant future."
Porter and others have said in the past that it would make sense for one entity to purchase the ski area and the Sheraton property.
"It would probably be simpler, but that doesn't preclude anyone else," Porter said. "We have to work together with whomever the owner of the ski area is."
Steamboat developer Jim Cook agreed shared ownership made sense to him at first.
"Initially, that would have been my reaction as well," Cook said. "I know the people who are negotiating to buy the property, and I think their approach will dovetail with what Intrawest is doing."
Cook said he was not involved in any negotiations for the property, and he could not say who was attempting to purchase the property.
Intrawest not buying the base area property is not a bad thing, Cook said.
"I know one of the developers, and I think they would do a very good job keeping it homespun and intimate rather than corporate," he said, adding he understands why Fortress or Intrawest would decide not to make an offer on the property.
"I think Fortress has put their oars in a lot of ponds already at the base area with purchasing the ski area," Cook said.
Ski Corp. does own a few parcels of developable property around the base area.
Steamboat Springs City Council member Ken Brenner said he was surprised Intrawest "missed an opportunity like this" to buy the property.
"Many people would assume : that Intrawest/Fortress would be anxious to at least be in the negotiations for the adjacent property," Brenner said.
"It's probably not a bad thing to have a number of property owners at the base area. It brings a balance of perspective to the base area."
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