Jim Tholson: Construction a problem


— When are we, the residents of Steamboat Springs, finally going to stand up and say, "We have an incurable illness"? Construction and deconstruction has gotten to the point of being ridiculous, especially when the only thing driving this madness appears to be greed.

It is one thing for our community to grow responsibly, and quite another for it to develop into a cancer, growing exponentially beyond all civic measures to control it. Evidently those in control of our community do not care about what is happening or they would be seriously considering a moratorium on all new construction indefinitely. How many of you want our community to end up like Vail or Aspen? Let me also remind everyone of the many disruptions in our water, electrical, phone and cable service due to irresponsible deconstruction.

Along with that, we all have to put up with an endangering increase in the local traffic, making a drive through town seem like a California freeway at rush hour. It is also very plain to see how the seasonal fluctuations in our population already have put a strain on our local infrastructure. A trip to either of the two food supermarkets or to the only major department store during these times is evidence of their inability to provide for the present population.

How are we going to manage the future population increases? Don't get me wrong, I am all for progress, but the latest trend in Steamboat Springs is very troubling. If those in charge don't get a handle on this disease soon, we will all be seeing our community's obituary in our local newspaper. Please, let's not let Steamboat Springs die.

Jim Tholson

Steamboat Springs


thecondoguy1 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Jim, this development is inevitable, progress is good, but did this all have to be scheduled at the same time?????????? It's a little much............


agentofchange 8 years, 3 months ago

QuitYerWhining, you said "rape and pillage" ? Those are your words. Stand by and watch ? Are you a driver or a passenger in this life ? Exloit the "Steamboats" of the world ? Blame that on the Crawfords, they started it. Lighting cigars with C-Notes ? What are you smoking, and why aren't you sharing ? Global warming ? The homeless and Real Estate ? My goodness you do go on... Lead, follow or get out of the way, and Quit Yer Whining. Bless you.


agentofchange 8 years, 3 months ago

yo Jim, we just voted out people just like you. Yes, I know this was all ocean before it was mountains, but you need to get with the program. Bless you.


Scott Wedel 8 years, 3 months ago

You ain't seen nuthin yet. Wait until Ski time Square gets rebuilt.

"Traffic like a California freeway"? How long since you were there? I was in the Bay Area a month ago and SB traffic is comparable to that traffic only after 10 pm. SB has two bad spots, the lights at 13th and at 129. Adding a lane in both directions to 129 would make a big difference.

And the light at the transit center needs to be synchronized with the light at 13th.

Though, I do not understand why downtown commercial construction is being allowed for months to take over streets which are public rights of way. They are being allowed exclusive use of our streets to use as part of their construction site. That is wrong.


QuitYerWhining 8 years, 3 months ago

RIGHT ON Agent of Change!!!....rape and pillage while the getting is good. If you stand by and watch you'll miss out on the spoils. Besides we are running out of Steamboats to exploit so you better get with it before there is nothing left or before those radical freak commi tree huggers put a stop to the whole thing and we won't be able to light our cigars with hundred dollar bills anymore. Speaking of tree huggers:.Global warming is really a good thing anyway:. Fewer blankets would be needed for the homeless... what do the homeless ever contribute to our well being in the real estate business anyway?


Harvey Lyon 8 years, 3 months ago

Construction is not going to change much...at least those that hope to increase business should hope it will not change. A town not growing and/or modernizing is a town dying...fact of life.

Construction noise and pollution can change thru electrical power and nuclear power as well as the various lesser wind power and solar energy programs available. Imagine a dump truck and loader that makes virtually no noise.

This is the promise of electrical vehicles and power....but to generate this large amount of power requires nuclear energy. A 5 gal can of gas in your back seat is dangerous and a nuclear plant is much much much more so. But smart folks well educated and well trained can handle this safely I assure you.


raver 8 years, 3 months ago

agent of change and quityerwhining: what was so terrible about the old steamboat? you know the one im talking about, the one that had a little character and wasnt just a sterile mask put one to make tourists feel comfortable. i understand that sometimes change is necessary but it seems to me like our town is trying to make progress for progresses sack. if you read any ski magazine youll see that steamboat advertises itself as "a real western town." well now jim cook is trying to uphold that image but seems to me that by trying to create the image of a "real" western town, he is destroying what the real western town was.


agentofchange 8 years, 3 months ago

raver, I remember that town, but that was then, and this is now. You can't bring back the past.

Steamboat is a town in the West, for real.


raver 8 years, 3 months ago

not saying we need to bring back the old steamboat, im just saying that what we are doing now is not good. change is neccesary but hundreds of town homes arent.


Sheryl Pierson 8 years, 3 months ago

It's not the change that is bad. It's the lack of planning to have a cohesive, integrated, economical plan for this town. Face it - the people in charge are amateurs. They could make the developers (the Jim Cook's of Steamboat) play by their rules and force the developers to contribute more from their obscene profits to enhance the public assets. For example, the Rec Center could be paid for by the developers and then everyone wins.


agentofchange 8 years, 3 months ago

A cohesive, integrated, economical plan for this town? Sounds like something provided us by a super master race. One that sees all, knows all.

Force the developers to "contribute" more of their "obscene" profits? Now you sound just like Hillary-Dillary! Bet that struck a nerve. Do you know anything about our system of risk and reward?

No debate about the people who were in charge, however we must have risk and reward. That is the system. By the way, if we were playing a "planning game" from the start, such as is used in training folks to to be planners, we would have a chance to have such a plan as you suggest in this town, but the cat is out of the bag.

By the way, Jim Cook has "forgotten" more about planning and development then those who were in charge know.


raver 8 years, 2 months ago

so agent of change, (and before i start im not trying to be sarcastic) what is this risk reward thing cause it sounds like our town is being used as a game


bubba 8 years, 2 months ago

It's quite simple, if you take an investment with a greater risk, there is a greater return. People who build real estate put millions of dollars at a significant risk, so their profits are not necessarily 'obscene.' There is another term, arbitrage, which is the mechanism by which the market 'prices' risk. What that means is that if developing real estate had a higher return than it's level of risk would warrant, then everyone would try to be a developer, then they would bid the land prices, etc. up to the point where there is no longer an abnormally large return, or 'obscene' profits.


id04sp 8 years, 2 months ago

The main problem is that there are lots of people around who have always had everything given to them without the need to work very hard for it or know where it comes from, and they don't understand why the spoiling they experienced in childhood cannot continue into adulthood.

The people who went through college on Mom and Dad's dime and then decided to move to Steamboat and suddenly cannot afford a house are the problem. The people who can afford what's being built are lining up to buy them.

Developers of town home properties are limited in the volume they can provide, so they have to make the money on fewer units. The land those units sit on is the main cost driver in Steamboat and Routt County, and the cost is high due to demand. Houses of less than 1400 square feet are on the market in Steamboat II for 1/2 million bucks. You could buy one of those houses for less than $100,000 15 years ago. As a result of this kind of market, new town homes with similar or less square footage can be sold easily, and they are probably far more profitable over all than the luxury homes which were being built just a couple of years ago.

Somebody who thinks it's easy to build a house needs to try it. I've done it. It takes someone with time and money to risk to back the project, and that's why development is done by, uh, developers who are willing to take the risk. The house you buy for $500,000 may only net the developer a few thousand dollars when it's all over. Then he's got to go back out and do it again, over and over, to make a living.

Jim Cook is not keeping other developers away at gunpoint. Anybody who wants to come in and buy land and build homes is free to do so. All it takes is the economic "mass" to pay for the land, labor and materials necessary to build locally. $200,000 is plenty for a single family home that would sell for $250,000 in the rural south, but it won't even cover expenses for one home building project in Routt County.

Home ownership requires a willingness to make a personal investment. That's more than just paying for the home for most of us; it's going to school and getting a job that lets us buy a home. It's not the builders and developers who are at fault. It's the people who have not made the personal investment required to be able to afford a home in a ski resort town.

The solution is to go elsewhere and live in a place you can afford. Come back and ski on vacation. That's what 299,000,000+ other Americans do.


agentofchange 8 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, what he said. What are they teaching in schools today for economics? Some of the garbage ideas I see here really worry me. These people will never be enpowered, they will always be looking for a "handout" Sad.


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