Base area development on time, under budget

Mountain mobility issues become major focus


Past Event

Steamboat Base Area Urban Redevelopment ("Steamboat Unbridled") Open House

  • Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Centennial Hall, 124 10th St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free



Piles of construction materials sit at the Gondola Transit Center near the base of the Steamboat Ski Area on Friday afternoon. Public infrastructure projects at the base are under budget and on schedule, project coordinator Joe Kracum said Friday.

— Public infrastructure projects at the base of Steamboat Ski Area are under budget and on schedule for a Nov. 15 completion, project coordinator Joe Kracum told the city's advisory committee for the projects Friday.

With utility work complete, Kracum said the focus for the next few months will be streetscape and landscaping projects. The replacement of the Burgess Creek culvert, which runs from the Slopeside Grill to the future site of One Steamboat Place, also is on schedule, Kracum said.

"We're looking pretty good so far," he said, noting the biggest problem the projects have faced was an underground water line in an unexpected place.

Kracum said the original contract amount for this year's base area improvements - part of a multi-year, $23 million public improvements project - has risen from $3.9 million to $4.5 million, but still is below approved expenditures of $4.9 million.

Kracum gave his construction update Friday at a meeting of the Base Area Urban Redevelopment Area Advisory Committee. Also at the meeting, Carlos Hernandez of consultants Fehr & Peers gave a presentation about transportation issues arising from future construction at the base area. Hernandez broke down different visitors to the ski area by factors such as age and residency, and discussed how the city would like to see them transported to the mountain.

"As the town doubles (in population), there's going to have to be a major investment in Steamboat Springs Transit," said Assistant Planning Director John Eastman. "The dynamics of the local population are going to have to change."

The Steamboat Springs City Council will see the presentation Sept. 25 at Centennial Hall, following an open house updating base area redevelopment.

Barn raising

The committee also discussed options for relocating the Butterfly Barn, which currently sits on the site of the Wildhorse Meadows development, to a location where it could serve as an iconic entrance to the ski area. The two location options presented by Kracum - one near an existing Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. sign on Mount Werner Road and another near the intersection of Mount Werner and Pine Grove roads - both were ill-received by the committee.

In its only official action of the meeting, the committee voted to direct Kracum to resurrect previously failed attempts to negotiate with the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel's homeowners' association to place the barn on Grand property at the intersection of Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle. The barn must be moved from the Wildhorse Meadows property by next summer.

Also at Friday's meeting, the committee looked ahead to 2009 and perhaps the redevelopment's largest project, the construction of a promenade around the base of the ski area. Constructing the promenade will require the city to obtain easements from virtually every property owner in the horseshoe surrounding the ski area, from businesses to homeowners' associations.

Kracum said that in order to finalize design work for the promenade in time, the easements need to be in place by next summer. He said that would be a challenge, but is doable.

"I think it's an appropriate amount of time considering where we're at," Kracum said.

Since the last URAAC meeting, The Atira Group, acting in partnership with Cafritz Interests of Washington, D.C., has submitted broad site plans to the city's planning department to begin its pre-application process for the redevelopment of Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge.

The plans include seven buildings, some 10 stories tall, with a combined 1 million square feet of space. Planning Director Tom Leeson said the size of the project is "aggressive," but said otherwise, the village-like concept of the development fits with the city's vision for the base area.

"At first blush, it looks really consistent with our base area plan," Leeson said, noting that the project is in its preliminary states and has "a long way to go."


mtroach 9 years, 8 months ago

I belive that the ski area is it's own sales tax area, and that the higher taxes in the base area are what is being used to fuel the "public" funds for this redevelopment.


jack legrice 9 years, 8 months ago

Where is the funding for the public infarstructure coming from?


OnTheBusGus 9 years, 8 months ago

On time & under budget! I wonder how many other projects in town can brag about that!


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